EU publishes 2022 EU4Business Report on SME Support in Eastern Partnership

Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia Moldova Ukraine
EU publishes 2022 EU4Business Report on SME Support in Eastern Partnership

The report published today shows an extra €2 billion income for small and medium-sized enterprises, which received support through the European Union’s EU4Business initiative in 2021. Over 78,000 companies in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine received assistance and managed to create over 66,000 new jobs.

Brussels, 17 October 2022 – The European Commission published its annual report on the EU4Business initiative, covering all EU support to SMEs in the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. The 2022 report provides detailed information of EU assistance across all three priority areas of the programme: access to finance, business development services and the business enabling environment. In 2021, the EU disbursed €140 million to support a total of nearly 78,000 SMEs, a third of which are owned by women. This resulted in over 66,000 new jobs and €2 billion in extra income generated by EU-supported SMEs in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Access to Finance

About 18,000 SMEs received financial support in the form of loans, totalling over €259 million, through national partner financial institutions. The average loan size was about €14,000. The EU4Business website gives insight into particular results in the access to finance area and showcases human stories of entrepreneurs who benefited from loans or grants, such as a modern plant from Ukraine producing industrial fans and Local Action Groups in Moldova.

Business Development Services

About €52 million was allocated to help EaP SMEs develop their professional skills in 2021, which is 38% of the total sum disbursed. Around 55,000 consultancy services were provided, and 600 business support organisations were trained. Support from EU4Business spans a variety of sectors, from helping craftswoman from Azerbaijan grow her business to boosting Georgian design companies’ export capacity.

Business-Enabling Environment

In addition, the EU disbursed about €25 million to improve the business environment. With this support, 227 government institutions, including policymakers, regulators, and enforcement agencies, were able to improve their capacity, and almost 600 laws, regulations, and procedures were reformed. Impressive stories stand behind these figures, such as an Armenia’s EBA working to improve the business environment.

About EU4Business

EU4Business is an umbrella initiative that includes all EU support to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. EU4Business supports SME growth by improving access to finance and business development services, and by promoting better business regulation.

Please find below:

For more information, please contact the EU4Business team:

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