Support for policy makers

WB EDIF houses a wide range of support services which work together with the financial instruments to enhance the emergence and growth of innovative and high-potential SMEs in the region.

Initiatives led by the EIB, EBRD, World Bank and OECD contribute to creating a favourable investment climate and sustainable market conditions to really allow SMEs to thrive

Read more on WB EDIF’s individual programmes below

WB EDIF Support Services

Advice for Small Businesses (ASB) - direct support for SMEs

Gaining access to finance itself is only one part of the puzzle for the growth and development of SMEs. Companies may need all kinds of support to help them pre – as well as post – investment phase; and this is true not only for start-ups but businesses in all stages of development. The EBRD has been deploying its Advice for Small Businesses for over 20 years with the help of EU funding and, since 2015, has deployed a specific pocket of funding linked directly to WB EDIF. Under this programme the EBRD arranges for local and international consultants to offer support under all aspects of enterprise management.

More about ASB

Intangible Assets & Intellectual Property - harness the value of your enterprise

A very important, but often not so obvious or manageable, aspect of an enterprise, is its intangible and intellectual property (IP) assets. And yet these assets can create significant value and opportunity for monetization for SMEs.
In recognition of the difficult pathway SMEs face when trying to consider or place value on their intangible assets, the EIB, in collaboration with UK based IP expert ClearViewIP, reviewed the current IP and intangibles situation in the Western Balkans and put together an Toolkit for SMEs which lays main considerations and provides direct assistance to help entrepreneurs harness their real value.

Access the SME Toolkit here

EU-REPARIS - transparent and reliable financial information

A notable barrier to growth and access to finance for enterprises is often the lack of reliable, transparent and standardised financial information. The EU-REPARIS programme which is run by the World Bank Group, and funded by the European Union via WB EDIF, exists to promote the importance of transparent financial reporting. It helps countries introduce frameworks that are in line with international good practice as well as EU requirements supporting integration with the European Union and its markets.

More about EU-REPARIS

Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) - the litmus test of success

With so many initiatives and programmes active across the region it is of particular importance to measure whether such improvements are positively impacting enterprises in a particular country or not. This is why WB EDIF targeted resources to the SME Policy Index programme of the OECD which is a benchmarking tool designed for emerging economies to assess SME policy frameworks and monitor progress in policy implementation over time and is framed around the ten principles of the Small Business Act for Europe.

More about SBA

Triple Helix - from ideas to market

In the Western Balkans, as in other regions, it is of core importance to unlock the innovative potential living in the halls of academia. By fostering ties with both the private and public domains which are capable (in different ways) of nurturing and supporting innovative ideas in order to make them bankable, then the true potential of academia can contribute more abundantly to the local economy. This is the core mission of the OECD’s Triple Helix programme, funded by the EU under WB EDIF. Triple Helix brings together government officials, academics, donors and private sector representatives and gives them the opportunity to learn about the latest innovative ideas currently being developed in the region.

More about Triple Helix

Investment Readiness - the path to success

Whilst many entrepreneurs have good ideas, what often stops them from turning these into successful enterprises are the necessary skills to fine-tune their concepts in order to attract funding from investors. The World Bank, under its Pioneers of the Balkans programme, funded by the European Union via WB EDIF, launched a dedicated programme via which almost 350 companies were invited
to participate in this programme aimed at preparing them to present their business in front of a jury panel consisting of business leaders, venture capital investors and experienced entrepreneurs from within the region and beyond. In gaining access to a training programme which prepared the entrepreneurs financial planning, product pitching, marketing strategy, and willingness to take equity financing, along with master classes, mentoring, and other assistance, these companies gained valuable know-how in what is needed to get an idea off the ground.
Owing to the success of the Pioneers of the Balakns in 2015, another competition shall be launched soon by the World Bank, watch this space.

More about Investment Readiness

WB EDIF SME studies & publications

Under the WB EDIF Platform, the Partners have been releasing regular reports on various areas such as SME Financing needs in the Western Balkans, Intellectual Property, Centres of Excellence and more.

Feel free to browse our WB EDIF Library to find out more

WB EDIF Partners

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