Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the EU’s Eastern Partnership region have the potential to create jobs and drive economic growth. Obstacles such as limited access to finance, burdensome legislation and difficulties entering new markets are hindering their progress.
The European Union’s EU4Business Initiative ultimately serves SMEs as the beneficiaries of EU support in the Eastern Partnership countries — Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
EU4Business supports SMEs by improving access to finance, promoting better business regulations, upgrading services to business, and taking advantage of trade opportunities. In 2019, EU4Business supported SME growth through 116 projects whose budgets were worth a total of €787.33 million.
EU4Business interventions help generate and sustain jobs, stimulate higher SME growth, and expand SME exports.
In 2019, 78,995 SMEs were supported through the EU4Business Initiative, generating an extra €1.3 billion in income and 117,254 new jobs, growing their turnover by 16.1%, and increasing their exports by 5.9% as a result.
All EU support for SMEs is provided through organisations that operate as partners, working closely with the EU4Business Facility team. Altogether, 62 partners are currently implementing EU4Business projects and programmes, among them various international organizations such as the EBRD, EIB, KfW, OECD, World Bank, ITC, and UNDP, as well as international consultancies, governments and government agencies, and NGOs.
Communication is a key priority for EU4Business in Phase II. Our goals are to help promote and increase positive perceptions of the EU support to SMEs among stakeholders and build effective channels for coordination and information exchange among the EU, partners and projects for joint communication purposes.
EU4Business Facility is a team of consultants headquartered in Kyiv, Ukraine, that ensures regular tracking of EU4Business activities and assesses the impact of activities and results of projects under EU4Business programmes.