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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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Serbia

Small Business Act country profile

With its small internal market dominated by services and a still intrinsically consumption-driven economy, Serbia’s key policy priorities are economic competitiveness and export-led growth. Building on a well-developed institutional framework for SME policy with a forward-looking SME development strategy, Serbia has improved its operational environment for SMEs, particularly on company registration and e-government services. Serbia’s strong focus on SME training needs analysis represents a further major step forward. It has further progressed in promoting innovation within SMEs, allowing entrepreneurs being more actively involved in international collaboration programmes. Going forward, a key medium-term priority should be the establishment of a monitoring system tracking progress in the implementation of its SME policies and measuring their effectiveness on the ground. Access to finance for SMEs should be strengthened by broadening options for non-bank financing. The government further needs to address burdensome regulations in key areas such as permits and licences. Environmental policies for SMEs have not been implemented yet and SME policy is not yet considered as an integral part of environmental policies.

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