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SME Policy Index: Western Balkans and Turkey 2016

Assessing the Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe

image of SME Policy Index: Western Balkans and Turkey 2016

The SME Policy Index is a benchmarking tool designed for emerging economies to assess SME policy frameworks and monitor progress in policy implementation over time. The Index has been developed by the OECD in partnership with the European Commission (EC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the European Training Foundation (ETF) in 2006 for the Western Balkans. The South East European Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (SEECEL) joined as an additional partner in 2014. The SME Policy Index has since 2006 been applied in four regions and nine assessment rounds overall.



The SME Policy Index: Western Balkans and Turkey 2016 presents the results of the fourth assessment of the Small Business Act for Europe in the Western Balkans and, since 2012, Turkey. The assessment framework is structured around the ten principles of the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA). It provides a wide-range of pro-enterprise measures to guide the design and implementation of SME policies based on good practices promoted by the EU and the OECD.



The Index identifies strengths and weaknesses in policy design, implementation and monitoring. It allows for comparison across countries and measures convergence towards good practices and relevant policy standards. It aims to support governments in setting targets for SME policy development and to identify strategic priorities to further improve the business environment. It also helps to engage governments in policy dialogue and exchange good practices within the region and with OECD and EU members.

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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Small Business Act country profile

Bosnia and Herzegovina has made incremental progress since the 2012 assessment, but its business environment continues to be cumbersome and it still lags behind its regional neighbours in small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) policy development. The weak co-ordination between public institutions at state and entity levels not only leads to the creation of disconnected policies but also impedes their implementation. More positively, a new public procurement law was adopted in 2014. The signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union established access to EU public procurement markets. The country has made efforts to promote entrepreneurial skills with the introduction of a nationwide entrepreneurial learning strategy, and introducing entrepreneurial skills into school curricula. Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to face severe issues with bureaucratic procedures such as company registration and business licensing, which currently have to be performed twice, once in each respective entity, creating serious market distortions within the country. SMEs and start-ups would benefit from a strategic approach to innovation and financial instruments to promote it. Access to finance remains a major obstacle for SME development. These challenges, and others, highlight the growing need for increased policy co-ordination between the state and entities and the need to introduce a nationwide SME development strategy.

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