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In June 2023, the EU4Business Facility completed its annual process of cataloguing the ongoing EU projects supporting SMEs in the Eastern Partnership countries, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

Key Portfolio Highlights:

  • The EU is supporting 110 projects with a substantial budget of 71 million through its EU4Business Initiative in a dedicated effort to empower SMEs.
  • EU4Business projects and programmes are carried out through a network of 62 esteemed partners, including a range of prominent international organizations, such as the EBRD, EIB, KfW, the OECD, the World Bank, ITC, UNDP, and many more.

The cumulative value of the EU4Business projects across five EaP countries spanning 2022 to June 2023 is as follows: 

  • 29 projects in Armenia (€135.22 million)
  • 38 projects in Azerbaijan (€102.58 million)
  • 45 projects in Georgia (€341.44 million)
  • 30 projects in Moldova (€131.72 million)
  • 42 projects in Ukraine (€245.76 million).

SMEs in EaP region hold the potential to generate employment and drive economic growth. Nonetheless, hurdles like limited access to finance, cumbersome legislation, and market entry challenges impede their progress. The EU support SMEs by improving access to finance, enhancing business development and trade opportunities, and advocating better business regulations, this results in job creation, increased SME growth, and boosted SME exports. EU4Business Initiative, in encompassing bilateral and regional EU programmes, help understanding EU support to private sector in the region in its entirety.

Following the cataloguing, a comprehensive assessment of EU4Business's impact on SME development in the EaP countries will be released in November 2023.

Check out the EU4Business portfolio as of June 2023:

Latest news
Dear Colleagues and Partners, we are very pleased to invite you to the high-level launch of the OECD SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner Countries 2024 on 27 February at 10:00 (Yerevan time).
Unlike large urban centres, rural areas in Armenia often lack jobs to offer to women, regardless of their age. The region of Shirak in the north-west of the country is one such case, where female unemployment rates remain high. This was the challenge addressed by ‘Lightning’, a local NGO, with a series of small but very concrete steps.
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The report published today shows an extra €2.5 billion income for small and medium-sized enterprises in Eastern Partnership region, which received support through the European Union’s EU4Business Initiative in 2022.

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