Today, SMEs are the driving force of economic growth and job creation. They also provide a main source of vocational training of our youth and contribute efficiently to the consolidation of Luxembourg’s economic fabric as well as the expansion of the national labour market.
Aware of this socio-economic reality and with a desire to create a tool to support this sector and ensure its continued relevance, the Ministry of the Middle Classes, Commerce and Tourism worked together with the concerned professional circles to establish an initiative in favour of small and medium-sized enterprises. This plan was adopted by the Government Board on 29 March 1996 and discussed in the Chamber of Deputies in July 1996.
It was intended to place this first initiative at the service of both business and labour. A determining factor in job creation resides in the promotion of an entrepreneurial spirit. Within the scope of this spirit is the development of young people’s interest for craftsmanship and the professional trade by encouraging and developing their entrepreneurial talents. The preservation of a crafts and trade foundation in our economy needs a regulatory, administrative, fiscal and social environment which is favourable for their development.
The large majority of the measures proposed by this initiative has been realised since the presentation of the programme to the Chamber of Deputies.
When the Government confirmed the validity of the plan, it wanted to forge ahead and undertook to put this initiative into reality, stressing certain supporting measures in the sector of the middle classes.
During the second half of the year 2000, the Ministry of the Middle Classes, Tourism and Housing, after consultation with the representatives of professional organisations and chambers, worked out a new set of measures to follow the 1996-2000 initiative; these were in a direct line with the way that had been mapped out by the plan. It is in this perspective that the document adopted by the Government Council on 2 February 2001 does not appear as a new initiative, but rather as an “ update of the aforementioned initiative in favour of SMEs “.
The updating of this initiative is the keystone of spirit of enterprise and sustainable development. In the context of this philosophy of qualitative growth, special attention will be given to the creation of enterprises and training of the business managers with the aim to ensure the viability of our SMEs and to ensure the continuity of the middle class sector.
Together with the professional chambers and organisations, the Government will support all actions taken to promote the entrepreneurial spirit, as it is convinced of the necessity of a large national discussion to inform and increase the public’s awareness for the entrepreneurial spirit and a liking for risk taking, thus developing an environment conducive to the creation of enterprises – more particularly with young people.
With the objective to consolidate employment and to reinforce competitiveness of our enterprises within a framework of increased competition, the Government has established this updated plan of action, based on ten different thrusts and including several dozen measures.
You can consult below the updated plan and the various documents concerning its implementation, including the 1996-2000 initiative and its result.