Ukraine has successfully launched a Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Development Office, within the framework of EU-funded FORBIZ project, supported by the EU4Business Initiative.
The SME Development Office (SMEDO) will exercise the development of support programmes for select small and medium-sized enterprises. Acting as an advisory body within the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, SMEDO will also assist in the coordination of SME policy implementation, enhance the accessibility of the SME institutional infrastructure network to finance and support development and strengthen entrepreneurial capacities and skills. Moreover, a SME information portal will provide access to information.
The First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv welcomed the establishment of SMEDO, highlighting the strategic importance of greater recognition of SMEs, vital driving forces of economic betterment in Ukraine. “We are also certain that the office will play a key role in boosting the domestic and international competitiveness of Ukrainian SMEs and entrepreneurs. We expect to see the concrete benefits for SMEs already in 2019,” he said.
Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Ambassador Hugues Mingarelli also positively received the setting up of SMEDO. “SMEs are the backbone of the economy and SME development is one of the EU main support areas in Ukraine,” he further noted.
The SME Development Office currently comprises of nine experts with distinct experiences and skills. The experts are based in two major units, SME Promotion and Programming and SME Policy Coordination and Infrastructure Support.
The EU-funded FORBIZ project supports Ukraine in the improvement of business environment, mainly by stimulating entrepreneurship and SMEs, assisting in development of effective regulations, and reinforcing consultations between the state and the business community. The project is implemented as a part of EU4Business Initiative, an EU programme aiming to support SMEs in the Eastern Partnership countries.