Laurent Heiler, Baloise;
In Luxembourg, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a major economic role, both by their number and the diversity of the sectors they cover.
According to Luxembourg's Ministry of Economy, some 32,000 SMEs employ a total of 210,000 people, more than half of all domestic jobs. Laurent Heiles, Director of the Bâloise Assurances Group in Luxembourg (a company that has been active in Luxembourg for over a century), explains why Luxembourg SMEs are a historical priority of the insurance company.
"First of all, Luxembourg SMEs are doing well"
Let's take working with crafts to start with - according to the Chambre des Métiers (Chamber of Trades), the sector has been growing continuously for 20 years. We think of trades carried out by artisans include food, mechanics, personal care (hair, beauty, etc.), but this is certainly not all...
The crafts industry also includes actors of new building construction, as well as renovation: two very dynamic sectors which cover trades, specialists in maintenance, electricity, façadiers, painters, etc. In total, some 6,900 SMEs are listed by the Chambre des Métiers, across 120 different specialist areas.
We are very involved with merchants/traders also; even if the sector suffers from competition from eCommerce, it has embarked on a real change (we think of the "Go Digital" initiative of the Chamber of Commerce, the WeDo.lu crafts platform and also the "Letzshop" initiative which covers 300 - 500 online shops), and its market share seems to be recovering. In addition, the major representative bodies such as the Association des Commerçants, Artisans et Industriels of Esch-sur-Alzette (Association of traders, craftsmen and industrialists) and the Union des Commerçants de la Ville de Luxembourg (Union of Traders of the City of Luxembourg) do much to reinvigorate the offerings of their members. In the end, according to Statec, there are more than 7,500 shops across the Grand Duchy.
In addition is the Hotel and Catering business, which covers more than 2,800 companies and employs 20,000 people in Luxembourg according to its supervisory federation HORESCA. Its market is also growing; the milestone of 3 million overnight stays annually was reached in 2017, according to VisitLuxembourg.
Baloise also targets professions such as independent intellectual professions: the health sector includes 2,200 general practitioners, specialists and dentists, as well as pharmacists, physiotherapists, veterinarians, etc.; the 3,000 legal professionals in Luxembourg (mainly lawyers), the architectural sector (architects, surveyors, consulting engineers, etc.), accounting professionals (fiduciaries, accountants and auditors), those in insurance and consulting (consultants, trainers, IT freelancers, etc.), not to mention the unregulated liberal professions that include communication agencies and freelancers in graphics, design and translation.
"But above all, because Bâloise has launched a new product perfectly designed for SMEs"
Bâloise has recently inaugurated a revolutionary insurance product, designed by an SME (itself) for SMEs, which reconciles the advantages of simplicity and speed, with tailor-made customisation for whatever the sector of activity.
To talk about your company and your situation, contact a Baloise agent near you - see the Baloise website.