SME Policy Index: Western Balkans and Turkey 2019

Assessing the Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe

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Robust SME sectors are critical to the prosperity of the six Western Balkan economies and Turkey, accounting for over 70% of those employed in the business sector and generating 65% of value added in these seven economies. Yet their potential remains untapped, as SMEs across the region grapple with numerous challenges that hamper their growth and productivity. They are still under-represented in international trade, and their contributions to value-added remain comparatively low as they have difficulties in moving or expanding into high value-added activities.

This report provides a comprehensive overview of the implementation of the ten principles of the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) in the seven EU pre-accession economies over the period 2016-18. It monitors progress against similar assessments performed over the past decade and identifies the outstanding challenges affecting SMEs. It also provides targeted recommendations to remove barriers to SME development and unleashing their potential for driving inclusive economic growth.



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

This chapter assesses the role of education and training in developing a more entrepreneurial culture in the Western Balkans and Turkey, as well as the policies needed to allow women to make a more proportionate contribution to the entrepreneurial economy. It starts by outlining the assessment framework, then presents the analysis of Dimension 1’s two sub-dimensions: 1) entrepreneurial learning, which assesses the policy and institutional support environment, paying particular attention to developing the entrepreneurship key competence, including curriculum and teacher training requirements, and building on recent policy guidance in this area by the European Commission; and 2) women’s entrepreneurship, especially the cross-sectoral policy linkages (e.g. education, employment, economy) which are critical in ensuring more comprehensive and inclusive support for women’s entrepreneurship, as well as cross-stakeholder working arrangements. Each sub-dimension section makes specific recommendations for both policy areas in the Western Balkans and Turkey.


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