The Commission supported national authorities in their efforts to boost the competitiveness of the economy by enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Entrepreneurship was identified as one of the main pillars of economic growth and prosperity in the country and listed in the national Action Plan for Growth.
The SRSS supported the elaboration of an overall policy for the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. The support measures consisted of:
- analytical input for the preparation of a policy document;
- support for the formulation of an action plan for social entrepreneurship;
- support for the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey;
- exchange of best practices on the digitisation of grant schemes; and
- financing of a study to improve the export performance of businesses, with recommendations on, i.a., capacity building activities for export-oriented businesses.
Support from the SRSS delivered the following results:
- a governance body of representatives from the public and private sectors was created to help implement the Policy Statement;
- over 50% of all actions in the policy statement on entrepreneurship have already been implemented;
- a law on social entrepreneurship was presented by the Government in January 2018. This was accompanied by an action plan to be implemented with funding from the European Social Fund.
- a StartUp Visa was set up as well as schemes for tax incentives for innovative firms;
- in 2016, the Member State joined the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM); and
- the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism signed an agreement with the EBRD on the provision of consulting and training activities to support export-oriented enterprises, amongst others.
The SRSS actions supported the creation of new businesses and new jobs in SMEs:
- the number of new businesses increased by 21% in 2016, compared to an increase of 1% in 2015; and
- the number of employees in SMEs increased by 5% in 2016.
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