The SME advisory board at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy focuses on the current situation and future economic prospects facing small and medium-sized businesses as well as professional services. The board advises the Federal Minister on the impacts that structural changes in the domestic and global economy are likely to have on SMEs. In addition, it analyses the effects that current domestic economic policies are having on the SME sector. The members of the board may set up working groups and submit the results of their deliberations in the form of resolutions.
Members are nominated at the beginning of each legislative period, and the board typically meets twice a year to submit proposals on general issues concerning SMEs.
The SME Advisory Board was set up in response to a motion by the Bundestag Committee of 7 May 1956 on Special Issues of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, following a request by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. The first, constitutive meeting of the SME Advisory Board took place on 5 December 1956 and was chaired by Economics Minister Professor Dr. Ludwig Erhard. Since then, the members, who are appointed at the beginning of each term of legislation, usually meet twice a year in order to provide ideas about general SME-related issues.
Board members are selected primarily on the basis of their practical and professional experience SME-related issues. Moreover, they are not representatives of associations but rather serve as independent persons who represent only their personal views and are not bound by the instructions of others.