Blockchain Technology: A latent game-changer for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)
SMEs are the backbone of the economies of several, if not all, European countries. In fact, their role is critical worldwide but even more so for Europe. The percentage of SMEs share is at 99.8%, with large enterprises accounting only for 0.2% in the European Union (EU), while employment by SMEs is very high at 66.6 % and in some cases (i.e., Cyprus) this goes up to a striking 83.8 % of all employment . However, many SMEs face barriers in entering trade markets. Other SMEs have difficulties in several sectors, such as transactions, data storage (cloud storage), cash flow, etc., while security issues such as protecting their IPs, digital transactions, digital identity, etc. is a major hassle.
Although blockchain technology is often linked with large enterprises, it can be a latent game changer for SMEs. Blockchain can provide new opportunities and significant benefits for SMEs. The goal of the Block Chain Technology for SMEs (BCT4SMEs) project is to speed up and increase the adoption of BCT by SMEs through: (i) supporting SMEs managers utilising and integrating blockchain technology and (ii) enabling SMEs managers to benefit from the advantages that the technology brings, thus improving their place in the business economy. In fact, Blockchain technology adoption can help SMEs to overcome their problems, escape national boundaries and reach more markets. A Blockchain training course will be defined and a truly interactive online system, the Blockchain Implementation Assistant (BIA), will be developed providing personalised training pathways. It will initially test the knowledge and awareness of SMEs about blockchain technologies and then provide personalised training plans.
Via the training course and BIA, the project aims to accomplish the following objectives:
- Assist SMEs improve their place in business economy;
- Promote the use of new technologies in SMEs;
- Empower managers/owners of SMEs with the essential skills and knowledge regarding BCT, in order to help them run and manage their businesses successfully;
- Develop strategies and actions that present an innovative approach on blockchain technology education.
- European Commission, Performance Review – 2019 SBA Fact Sheet, CYPRUS, Available Online (Last Accessed: 15 April 2021): https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/38662/attachments/6/translations/en/renditions/native.