SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner Countries 2020

Assessing the Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe

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The SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner Countries 2020 – Assessing the Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe is a unique benchmarking tool to assess and monitor progress in the design and implementation of SME policies against EU and international best practice. It is structured around the ten principles of the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA), which provide a wide range of pro-enterprise measures to guide the design and implementation of SME policies. This report marks the third edition in this series, following assessments in 2012 and 2016. It provides a comprehensive overview of the state of play in the implementation of the ten SBA principles, and monitors progress made since 2016. It also identifies remaining challenges affecting SMEs in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries and provides recommendations to address them based on EU and international good practice examples. The 2020 edition also features a novelty: An assessment of three new dimensions going beyond core SME policy (competition, contract enforcement and business integrity) looking at key structural reform priorities that are critical to establishing a level playing field for enterprises of all sizes and ownership types.

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Pillar E – Innovation and Business Support

Substantial productivity gaps persist between SMEs and large companies in the Eastern Partner region. Targeted policies should therefore be implemented to foster a productive, innovative, and green SME sector. Pillar E assesses the reforms implemented by governments to support SMEs in overcoming challenges to productivity and promoting innovation.All EaP countries have made progress in the Business development services dimension as all governments have incorporated BDS provision into relevant strategic frameworks. They have also advanced in the Innovation policy dimension with dedicated national strategies adopted, awaiting governmental approval, or underway. However, the focus on SMEs is still limited and monitoring tools remain underutilised. The EaP countries have also made some progress in the Green economy dimension, as policies that support the greening of SMEs have been introduced, albeit with varying degrees of detail.Further challenges involve the development of incentives for private BDS expansion, the promotion of formal and informal channels for science-industry interactions, and the strengthening of green SME policies by linking them to concrete action plans with measurable targets and timeframes, as well as raising awareness among SMEs of the benefits of adopting green practices.



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