This study measures SME success rates and identifies policy initiatives to further support SME
participation in public procurement.
SME participation in above-threshold EU procurement seems to be slowly increasing over time.
The share of contracts won by SMEs and their contract value has increased between 2011 and 2017 SMEs also show a net increase in participation in public procurements. In contrast, the
success of SMEs in below-threshold procurement seems to be diminishing.
SMEs win more contracts in procurement related to works and services as well as in
manufacturing and construction. Factors such as the type of contracting authority or its
location; the tender procedure used; involvement of central purchasing bodies; or the use of
specific procurement practices have little impact on win rates.
Increasing participation and win rates could indicate that past policy has been effective in
stimulating the participation of SMEs. This study offers recommendations for initiatives to further
strengthen the participation of SMEs in public procurement in the future.

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