10 years of small business support | EUNewsletter

10 years of small business support

3 June 2013
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On 14 May 2013 the Small Business Support initiative (SBS) of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) celebrated its 10th anniversary in Armenia. SBS is a project funded by the European Union and implemented by the EBRD. The EBRD supports economic development in Armenia by stimulating change in enterprise among small businesses which have high growth potential.
The anniversary event was attended by representatives of the government institutions, donor agencies, and small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).
Traian Hristea, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Valeri Razlog, Head of the EBRD Resident Office in Armenia, and Jaap Sprey, Head of the Regional Programme of the EBRD Small Business Support Team, welcomed the guests.
Hristea stressed that developing SMEs remained an EU priority: ‘SMEs are a key target of our cooperation with partner countries and it is one of the specific areas of the Eastern Partnership through its multilateral platform, as well as through its own specific initiatives. The EU is currently supporting two flagship initiatives to help Armenian SMEs. The first one is our contribution to the EBRD SME Finance Facility; the second is the SBS initiative’.

Within the framework of EBRD, the Business Advisory Service (BAS) supports individual enterprises by engaging local consultants on specific consultancy projects, helping companies to overcome specific issues and constraints enabling them to meet their growth and production potential.

In its 10 years of operation in the country, BAS Armenia has undertaken more than 930 projects, engaging over 130 SMEs. 60% of the companies with which BAS has worked are located in rural areas outside main urban areas. More than 90% of enterprises reported an increase in turnover and employee productivity, while in more than half of the companies there was a significant increase in the number of employees.

Razlog noted that the business sector of Armenia was developing fast: ‘Armenian statistics show that more than 90% of companies are SMEs. 40% of the GDP of the country is created by the SME sector – they also provide 80% of employment. Obviously, the SME sector is of crucial importance to EBRD’.

10 years of small business support

On 14 May 2013 the Small Business Support initiative (SBS) of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) celebrated its 10th anniversary in Armenia. SBS is a project funded by the European Union and implemented by the EBRD. The EBRD supports economic development in Armenia by stimulating change in enterprise among small businesses which have high growth potential. The anniversary event was attended by representatives of the government institutions, donor agencies, and small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). Traian Hristea, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Valeri Razlog, Head of the EBRD Resident Office in Armenia, and Jaap Sprey, Head of the Regional Programme of the EBRD Small Business Support Team, welcomed the guests. Hristea stressed that developing SMEs remained an EU priority: ‘SMEs are a key target of our cooperation with partner countries and it is one of the specific areas of the Eastern Partnership through its multilateral platform, as well as through its own specific initiatives. The EU is currently supporting two flagship initiatives to help Armenian SMEs. The first one is our contribution to the EBRD SME Finance Facility; the second is the SBS initiative’. Within the framework of EBRD, the Business Advisory Service (BAS) supports individual enterprises by engaging local consultants on specific consultancy projects, helping companies to overcome specific issues and constraints enabling them to meet their growth and production potential. In its 10 years of operation in the country, BAS Armenia has undertaken more than 930 projects, engaging over 130 SMEs. 60% of the companies with which BAS has worked are located in rural areas outside main urban areas. More than 90% of enterprises reported an increase in turnover and employee productivity, while in more than half of the companies there was a significant increase in the number of employees. Razlog noted that the business sector of Armenia was developing fast: ‘Armenian statistics show that more than 90% of companies are SMEs. 40% of the GDP of the country is created by the SME sector – they also provide 80% of employment. Obviously, the SME sector is of crucial importance to EBRD’.