SMEs are the backbone of European economy: they employ 2 out of 3 employees and produce 57 cents of every euro of value added. Some Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) suggest that attaining compliance with the GDPR for SMEs is fairly easy. Complying with the GDPR, however, poses distinctive challenges for SMEs – apart from lack of awareness, they can rarely afford professional legal advice. Therefore, SMEs have distinct GDPR related needs and merit special support from public authorities – DPAs. In view of this, the panel will first identify those distinct needs of SMEs and will then turn to discuss the ways in which public and private actors could help SMEs to move from a relatively good level of awareness to actual compliance with the GDPR.