State support for the digitalization of SMEs in European countries

  • Received August 22, 2022;
    Accepted November 18, 2022;
    Published December 1, 2022
  • Author(s)
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  • Article Info
    Volume 20 2022, Issue #4, pp. 290-305
  • Cited by
    7 articles

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

COVID-19 and Russia’s war against Ukraine have created many challenges for the business models of SMEs, stimulating them to develop alternative forms of business. Among the key alternatives, one should single out digitization. However, imperfections of Ukraine’s state support system for digital transformation necessitate adapting the positive practice of leading countries with excellent business digitalization. Therefore, this paper structures the practical experience of state support of European countries in the digitalization of SMEs. The study conducts a cluster analysis to identify countries whose experience in state support for business digitalization is the best for adoption. Clustering employed the criterion of using key digitization instruments: internet of things, integration of business processes into electronic processes, digital integration with customers/suppliers, cloud services, big data analysis, and artificial intelligence. Thus, 4 clusters were identified (the first cluster comprises 16 countries, the second – 2, the third – 5, and the fourth – 7). These findings contributed to the selection of some key measures. They included: expanding the financial capabilities of SMEs to adopt digital technologies in their processes; formation of digital hard skills among entrepreneurs and increasing the personnel potential of SME digitization; creation of a favorable business environment to stimulate the digital activity of SMEs; and popularization of business digitalization strategy as a component of digital transformation strategy in society.

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    • Figure 1. The use of digital technologies by business entities according to size in EU countries in 2020, %
    • Figure 2. Trends in the integration of SMEs into e-business in some countries in 2012-2021, % in the structure of SMEs
    • Figure 3. Conceptual model of state support for digitization of SMEs
    • Figure 4. Key measures of state support to stimulate the digitalization of SMEs in the global economy
    • Table 1. Stages of cluster analysis
    • Table 2. State support measures for business digitalization
    • Table A1. Initial data for the cluster analysis of countries by the level of SME digitization
    • Table B1. Initial centers of clusters
    • Table B2. Chronology of iterations
    • Table B3. Belonging of countries to clusters
    • Table B4. End centers of clusters
    • Table B5. Distance between the end centers of clusters
    • Table B6. Number of observations in each cluster
    • Table B7. Distance of ANOVA clusters
    • Conceptualization
      Viktoriia Strilets, Serhiy Frolov, Oksana Tymoshenko
    • Methodology
      Viktoriia Strilets, Viktoriia Datsenko
    • Visualization
      Viktoriia Strilets, Maksym Yatsko
    • Writing – original draft
      Viktoriia Strilets, Serhiy Frolov, Viktoriia Datsenko, Oksana Tymoshenko, Maksym Yatsko
    • Writing – review & editing
      Viktoriia Strilets, Serhiy Frolov
    • Investigation
      Serhiy Frolov, Viktoriia Datsenko, Oksana Tymoshenko
    • Validation
      Serhiy Frolov, Viktoriia Datsenko
    • Data curation
      Viktoriia Datsenko, Maksym Yatsko
    • Formal Analysis
      Oksana Tymoshenko, Maksym Yatsko
    • Software
      Oksana Tymoshenko, Maksym Yatsko