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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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Turkey

Small Business Act country profile

Building on a solid track record and starting from a high base, Turkey has strengthened its SME-related policies since 2012, and provides an extensive range of support services. Despite an initial slowdown in GDP growth after the global financial crisis, Turkey has recovered and its businesses have proven fairly resilient to the crisis. Turkey has made noticeable efforts to implement its innovation strategy, putting in place substantial financial instruments and schemes to directly support innovative SMEs. Currently, Turkey is attempting to reduce delays in its bankruptcy system by introducing streamlining reforms such as eliminating multiple enforcement offices in the same location. The promotion of lifelong entrepreneurial learning has been supported by the establishment of a National Entrepreneurship Strategy and Action Plan. Despite encouraging signs of continued progress, Turkey still has cumbersome and costly registration procedures for businesses. Informal market activity remains high in part due to the burdensome bureaucratic system and the Action Plan of Strategy for Fight against Informal Economy 2011-2013 has yet to be renewed. Although access to finance has generally improved, Turkey still needs to establish a legal microfinance framework and to help improve the capacity of financial institutions to offer the sort of long-term funding options to SMEs which are currently often only available to large corporations.

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