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Small and medium enterprises and eco-innovations: empirical study of Slovak SME´s

Authors:
Ľubica Lesakova1
1. Matej Bel University (Slovakia)
Pages:
89 - 97
Language:
English
Cite as:
Lesakova, Ľ. (2019). Small and Medium Enterprises and Eco-Innovations: Empirical Study of Slovak SME´s. Marketing and Management of Innovations, 3, 89-97. http://doi.org/10.21272/mmi.2019.3-07


Annotation

Eco-innovation and green technologies are key to Europe´s future and they are at the heart of the European Union (EU) policies. The EU´s economic prosperity and well being are linked to its natural environment and the global demand for renewable energy and resource-efficient solutions will be a source of new jobs and economic growth in the years to come. As the numerous practical examples from industry demonstrate, eco-innovation is a powerful instrument that combines reduced negative impact on the environment with a positive impact on the economy and society. Eco-innovation call attention to the positive contribution that the small and medium enterprises can make to sustainable development and a competitive economy. To step towards sustainable economic growth, there is a need for much more eco-innovations to appear in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The aim of the paper is to present the results of empirical research aimed at SME´s involvement in eco-innovation activities in Slovakia and to compare them with the EU 28 average. Our analysis is aimed at five eco-innovation activities contributing deeply to the circular economy. That is a) waste recycling and minimizing waste generation; b) re-planned energy usage to minimize consumption; c) redesigning products and services to minimize the use of materials or using recycled materials; d) changes to the use of water to minimize consumption and to maximize water re-usage; e) usage of renewable energy sources. Identified will be the actual and perceived issues (problems, difficulties) encountered by Slovak SMEs with regard to undertaking eco-innovations. Based on the research results formulated are the implications for SMEs managers and policymakers in Slovakia concerned with the SME´s involvement in eco-innovation. Our study is qualitative and descriptive in nature and most of the data is based on secondary sources. The data used to assess the SME´s involvement in eco-innovation activities come from the survey commissioned by the EC in the year 2016 with the aim to explore SME´s activities in relation to the circular economy (including the eco-innovation activities) in the period of years 2014-2016. As to the Slovakia 383 SMEs operating in manufacturing, services and in the industry sector has been interviewed. The methods used in the paper are the methods of causal analysis, deduction, abstraction, comparison as well as synthesis.


Keywords
Eco-innovation, small and medium enterprises, Slovak Republic


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