Friday, October 28 2016 15:02
Naira Badalian

SME sector is driving force of Armenian entire economy, Head of EBRD Regional Programmes says

SME sector is driving force of Armenian entire economy, Head of EBRD  Regional Programmes says

ArmInfo. Sector of small and  medium enterprises (SME) is driving force of Armenia's entire  economy, Jeff Ferry, Head of EBRD Regional Programmes, Advice for  Small Businesses, told ArmInfo's correspondent on the sidelines of  the "SME Finances", two-day trainings that kicked off on October 26. 

According to Ferry the EBRD Small Business Support (SBS) programme is  based on this principle. The program is aimed at development of  financial management of companies and improvement of organization of  accounting. According to the expert due to development of financial  management SMEs can hold more beneficial position for their further  expansion via possible issue of bonds, which is important for  attracting additional financial funds.  One of the program advantages  is that working with EBRD team of bankers the team of financial funds  accessibility helps Armenian small and medium businesses to attract  funds and increase financial accessibility.  Ferry noted that one can  find information about the EBRD consulting group's activities and  potential beneficiaries of the program on the website of the  organization or to apply to EBRD Office in Yerevan. In general, those  SMEs that have certain experience and history can benefit from the  program. We provide assistance to Armenian companies and those  companies, shareholders of which are Armenians, as the program goal  is to assist local companies", Ferry summarized. 

On October 26 two-day trainings on "SME Finances" kicked off in  Yerevan. The trainings are aimed at raising professional skills of  local consulting companies for providing more qualitative services to  small and medium enterprises. Tigran Aghabekyan, EBRD Small Business  Support National Programme Manager, stated at the opening of  trainings starting from 2003 consulting assistance was provided to  small and medium enterprises within 1200 projects, for the  implementation of which 9 mln EUR werre allocated. As a result of  this assistance they received around 133 mln EUR. Aghabekyan noted  that more than 94% of the projects were successful, while 70% of  enterprises registered 8% growth of turnover in average, 65% of  enterprises opened new job places. 

To recall, on October 24 Armenia and the EU announced the launch of  the EU4Business Week in Armenia. Running from 24 to 28 October 2016,  the EU4Business Week will highlight the EU support to small and  medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through series of events and include  other activities facilitating private-public dialogue for the benefit  of businesses both in the Eastern partner countries and in Armenia.   EU4Business works with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and  Development (OECD), the European Bank for Reconstruction and  Development (EBRD) and the European Training Foundation (ETF).

To note, the share of SME in Armenia's GDP totals 30%. According to  the latest data around 70 thousand SMEs operate in Armenia. At the  same time by the year-end 2015 the share of small and medium business  in Armenia's state budget incomes totaled 2.4%.


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