In Brief

Bulgaria and Romania Get EBRD SME Boost

Startup Diversity Teamwork Brainstorming Meeting Concept

The European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH), the EBRD and the European Union has launched a new programme committed to helping SMEs get better access to advice for sustainable growth. Tailored business advice will be made available to more than 240 SMEs across Bulgaria and Romania, as well as Greece. The expertise on offer will cover a wide range of areas including strategy, trade promotion, financial management, energy efficiency and marketing.

“The Investment Plan for Europe aims to stimulate growth and employment in Europe and small and medium-sized enterprises are a particular focus area,” said Corina Crețu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy. “Providing advisory support to investment on the ground is a key objective of the Investment Plan for Europe and therefore the cooperation between the EIAH and the EBRD in helping SMEs to grow is a significant and very welcome initiative.”

“We are particularly pleased to launch this programme in cooperation with the EBRD in the context of the EIAH,” said Simon Barnes, Head of Advisory Services, EIB. “EIAH is a joint EC and EIB initiative and an integral part of the second pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe and provides advisory services for investment projects in the EU. A particular aim of the EIAH is to develop a network of partners, at both local and international level, to offer complementary services by institutions that are best placed and equipped to do so. The cooperation with the EBRD reflects this approach and represents a significant step in meeting unsatisfied demand for advisory support in the SME sector.”

EBRD Managing Director for SME Finance and Development Claudio Viezzoli added: “Our advisory programme has had a strong impact in advancing businesses as we aim to help them become national and regional champions. We very much welcome this regional collaboration with the European Union and the EIAH, which will strengthen our joint impact on the ground.”

All companies with a turnover of less than €50 million and fewer than 250 employees are eligible for the programme, provided they are majority locally owned.