The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently announced some of the 2016 results of its work to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through its Small Business Initiative.
“A thriving SME sector is vital for
economic growth,” EBRD Director for Financial Products, SME Finance and
Development Group Charlotte Ruhe said in a press release. “SMEs are important for innovation, economic
integration and regional development. SMEs also contribute considerably to
employment, in particular in regions where there are not large corporations.”
In 2016, the Small Business Initiative made
more than $172.8 million available to small businesses in the EBRD region,
with funding coming from the European Union, the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund
and other global nations and funds. Last year, there was $1.29 billion in EBRD financing
for SMEs, and more than 2,300 small entrepreneurs received guidance and advice
to address challenges and promote strong governance.
“In many of the countries where the EBRD
works, the SME sector is not reaching its full potential,” Ruhe said. “The
contribution to GDP made by SMEs lags behind OECD averages and individual
businesses are stifled because they cannot access the tools they need to
develop and grow. That why the work we do with support from our donors remains
EBRD supports SMEs with Small Business Initiative
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