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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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Entrepreneurial learning and women's entrepreneurship (Dimension 1) in the Western Balkans and Turkey

Create an environment in which entrepreneurs and family businesses can thrive and entrepreneurship is rewarded (Small Business Act Principle 1)

Entrepreneurial learning and women’s entrepreneurship are important policy areas in the European Union’s 2020 strategy. Promoting entrepreneurship across the education system – particularly in schools – is a key part of building competitive, job-creating economies. Fully integrating women into the entrepreneurship drive will also boost the economy and jobs. For entrepreneurial learning, the assessment found a reinforced policy commitment in all the economies of the Western Balkans and Turkey to lifelong entrepreneurial learning but system-based monitoring and evaluation remains underdeveloped. The biggest challenge is in translating policy into the concrete reforms needed at school level to address entrepreneurship as a key competence – particularly the curriculum and teacher-training requirements. New developments within the European Union on the entrepreneurship key competence provide a further policy incentive for economies to pay entrepreneurial learning more concerted attention. Higher education’s engagement with and contribution to the Small Business Act assessment process remains underdeveloped. For women’s entrepreneurship, the main challenges are to increase awareness of the economic value of women’s entrepreneurship and to deploy effective policy partnership instruments and resources to achieve sustainable change in the medium term. Training and access to finance for women entrepreneurs need more co-ordination for better impact among women’s start-ups and growing firms.

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