EU4Business SME support programmes in focus at event in Moldova

The event highlighted the impact of SME support programmes

The EU4Business initiative with the support of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Moldova has brought together representatives of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Moldovan Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure, the Organisation for Development of the SME Sector (ODIMM) and Commercial Banks of the Republic of Moldova.

The event aimed at assessing the progress of support programmes that ensure access to finance for the Moldovan business community.

During the roundtable, ODIMM interim general manager Petru Gurgurov made a review of the support tools available for SMEs and the results obtained so far.

Petru Gurgurov highlighted the Loan Guarantee Fund (FGC), a state instrument managed by ODIMM, which provides access to finance for SMEs by issuing financial guarantees to assure loans requested by entrepreneurs. “In 2017 there was an increase in the 76.12% financial guarantee portfolio, which made it possible to attract financial resources worth about 231 million lei. The financial guarantees issued by FGC-ODIMM have contributed to the maintenance of about 1,000 employees," said Petru Gurgurov.

The Interim Director of ODIMM also pointed to another SME support tool managed by ODIMM, the EU-funded PARE 1+1 Programme for migrant workers or first-degree relatives who want to invest in starting or expanding a business. Gurgurov said the total amount of grants awarded under the programme amounted to about 215.8 million lei and the investments in the economy are 697.9 million lei, with each leu granted generating about 3.23 lei of investments in the economy. At the same time, the programme has supported the creation of 3,170 jobs.

In his presentation, Gurgurov also highlighted the EBRD Women in Business programme launched in Moldova in 2016, and offering financial and non-financial support for women's business development, "The Women in Business Programme has registered 659 participating women, 408 trained women, and 179 newly created companies, which provide a total of 192 jobs."

At the end of the event, the key actors involved in the EU4Business initiative reviewed the challenges and factors that contribute to the success of SME support programmes. The recommendations and suggestions discussed at the event will be presented in the Annual Report prepared for the EU4Business General Assembly in Brussels on 20-21 June 2018.