KfW: SMEs rely on innovations in the crisis | 07/12/20


FRANKFURT (dpa-AFX) – Many medium-sized companies in Germany have responded to the corona pandemic with innovations. A good quarter (27 percent) of the companies have, for example, introduced new products or set up processes differently due to the crisis, and a further 16 percent are planning appropriate steps. These results are the result of a special survey by the KfW development bank among 3,000 companies, which was published on Sunday.

“The medium-sized companies in Germany are actively fighting the crisis. Many of them quickly adapted their processes and business models to the difficult framework conditions. That is positive,” said KfW chief economist Fritzi Kohler-Geib. “Even small, quickly implementable measures can make the difference and make a significant contribution to surviving the crisis.”

A good fifth (21 percent) changed their operational processes, 14 percent said they had changed their business model – this includes, for example, the conversion of a restaurant to delivery and / or pick-up service.

Broken down by economic sector, it can be seen that the majority of companies in the service sector have produced innovations (37 percent), followed by manufacturing and trade (both 26 percent). Companies with a drop in sales of more than 30 percent were particularly inventive.

Despite the positive signals from medium-sized companies, the economists of the KfW banking group are dampening expectations. It can be expected that due to the sometimes tense financial situation “more in-depth innovation projects will be delayed in time, reduced in scope or completely abandoned”. This fears that “the corona crisis will have a negative impact on the creation of fundamental innovations in the middle class”.

KfW chief economist Kohler-Geib warned: “This is a development that we must keep an eye on because the ability to implement major innovation steps is highly relevant for Germany as a business location and is essential for sustainable recovery.” / Sik / ben / DP / e.g.

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