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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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Montenegro

Small Business Act country profile

Montenegro has made some improvements in the institutional, regulatory and operational environment for SMEs since 2012, although SMEs still face challenges resulting from an uneven economic recovery. Its technical standards are now largely harmonised with the EU acquis, business registration requirements have been further eased and e-government services have expanded. Tax payment procedures have further been simplified and made available electronically, with the double benefit of increasing tax compliance and curtailing informal economy activity. The government has also made considerable efforts to harmonise entrepreneurial learning across different national strategies. It has established an institutional infrastructure and financial instruments to promote innovation in SMEs. However, although the country has relatively well-developed microfinance products, access to finance continues to be a major constraint for SMEs. Montenegro should now consider further steps to enhance access to finance: among them to facilitate the establishment of a private credit bureau and initiatives to enhance financial literacy. The government should increase its efforts to provide horizontal and targeted business support services, particularly in the key areas of supporting SME access to foreign markets and providing financial and nonfinancial support for innovation. Montenegro might also consider integrating the entrepreneurship key competence into the curricula.

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