Inderscience Publishers

Business clusters and competitiveness in Small and Medium Enterprises: the case of the IT sector in Thessalonica, Greece

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The role of industrial districts and their significance in generating economic growth is well established in the literature. Based on studies in Europe and the USA, many government agencies have encouraged the formation of business clusters as means of improving competitive advantage. This paper addresses the issue of how business clusters impact the performance of SMEs. Through detailed case studies in a less-developed region of the EU, the paper concludes that SMEs that develop strategic partnerships are more likely to grow, innovate and expand their trading in international markets than those SMEs that adopt a 'traditional' go-it-alone approach.

Keywords: business clusters, industrial districts, SMEs, small and medium-sized enterprises, competitiveness, information technology, IT sector, Greece

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