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.


Enterprise skills (Dimension 8a) in the Western Balkans and Turkey

This chapter assesses policies in the Western Balkans and Turkey to promote the skills SMEs need, from starting up and throughout their growth phases. It starts by providing an overview of the assessment framework and progress since the last assessment in 2016. It then presents an analysis of Dimension 8a’s three thematic blocks: 1) planning and design, which assesses policies in the areas of skills intelligence; 2) implementation, which focuses on training for start-ups, responding to the skills required of digital and green economies, and smart specialisation; and 3) monitoring and evaluation, which considers whether economies ensure their SME skills policies are working and keeping up with market needs. The chapter concludes with key recommendations to help the region’s policy makers to tackle the challenges identified and provide their SMEs with the skilled human capital they need.


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