Ukraine sets up SME Development Office with EU support


Ukraine has launched the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Development Office, set up with the support of the European Union under its EU4Business initiative.

Operating as an advisory body within the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine (MEDT), the SME Development Office (SMEDO) is to become the main institution in charge of entrepreneurship promotion, acting as key engine for development of SME competitiveness in the country.

“The creation of SMEDO is a logical step in the government’s strategic focus on greater recognition of SMEs as vital driving force of economic growth in our country. 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,”said Stepan Kubiv, the First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine.

SMEs are the backbone of the economy and SME development is one of the EU main support areas in Ukraine. We welcome the strategic SME focus of the Ukrainian government influenced by the EU ‘Think Small First’ principle,” said Ambassador Hugues Mingarelli, Head of theEU Delegation to Ukraine. 

The key mandate of the SME Development Office is to develop targeted SME support programmes and to enhance entrepreneurial capacities and skills, facilitate access to finance and support development of the SME institutional infrastructure network. Additionally, SMEDO will help to coordinate SME policy implementation in the country, strengthen cooperation with donors, as well as provide access to information through a dedicated SME information portal.

SMEDO currently includes nine experts with a diverse set of skills and experience, based in two main units – ‘SME Policy Coordination and Infrastructure Support’ and ‘SME Promotion and Programming’.

The SME Development Office has been set up with funding support from the European Union through its FORBIZ project within the EU4Business Initiative.

Part of the EU4Business initiative, the EU-funded FORBIZ project supports Ukraine’s reform agenda and its economic recovery by proposing a systemic change to a more business-friendly environment with a particular focus on SMEs. The project seeks to steer a shift in policy towards greater recognition of SMEs and the vital role they play in economic recovery, while addressing the challenge of reducing regulatory burden and lessening risk for businesses.