How European small and medium-sized enterprises create sustainable value?

Welcome to this lunch seminar with presentation by Professor Jukka Mähönen, Department of Private Law, University of Oslo.

Open for all interested. Please register your participation below.


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a vital part of the global economy. They constitute a significant part especially of the European economy from food production to finance, and they are an important part of global value chains producing commodities for European consumers. The SME regulatory ecology differs however from other leading forms of European firms, namely listed and state-controlled enterprises; SME business models and financing structures are less regulated by law, governmental, central bank and supervisory authority directives, codes and standards, and more through contracts and contractual relationships, value chains and digitalization, but also social norms of the communities they are involved in. The indigenous businesses of Europe are also SMEs.

The crucial question for SMEs is, are their commitments to other organisations in value chains reciprocal and sources of opportunities for them and sustainability, or are they unilateral, one dominating organisation as a multinational enterprise subordinating the network in its private interest without need to internalize their private and social costs and causing a ‘strategic failure’ for the whole network and especially the SMEs in them. On the other hand, SMEs are alone too small, lacking finance especially if their business model is sustainable. New digital means as platform economy and crowdfunding as well as new forms of cooperativism open on the other hand new pathways for sustainable business models.

In his paper Jukka discusses the possibilities for sustainable SMEs from the point of view of networking to sustainable value chains. Examples discussed are public private partnerships and community-based and often digital networks, as cooperatives.

Due to their importance for economy, SME sustainability is however crucial. That is why they cannot be left out of rigid regulation of the sustainability of their business model.


Please see Jukka's presentation from this lunch seminar (.pdf).


Please register and we will send you the zoom link to the lunch event. If you have any questions, please contact our administration.


Published Apr. 22, 2021 9:36 AM - Last modified Apr. 29, 2021 1:08 PM