Governments promote start-ups increasingly, as measures to fight unemployment and to overcome crises. However, we do not know whether such short-term policies also contribute to the desired outcomes in the long run. Long-term growth and survival of young firms crucially depend on the founders’ abilities as well as on their investment into their firms’ human capital. So far, little is known about the effects of crises on human capital formation within young firms. Do firms that are founded during a crisis suffer from disadvantages from the very beginning? Or is it easier for them to build up their stock of human capital due to the fact that they face less competition from established firms on the labour market?To develop policies that enhance innovativeness and competitiveness of the European economies we should know the answers to these questions. Therefore, they are evaluated in a joint research project of Portuguese and German researchers which is funded under the SEEK programme. The SEEK programme is coordinated at the Centre for European Economic Research in Mannheim, Germany and financed by the federal state of Baden-Württemberg.
We want to develop and discuss policys which support SMEs during crises in a mutual dialogue of politicians and academics. We wish to put a strong focus on the discussion of stimulating effects through the support of SMEs during crises. Beyond that, we wish to discuss strategies for SMEs to retain and recruit personnel during crises and strategies for long-term growth.