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. Over 78,000 companies in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine received assistance and managed to create over 83,000 new jobs.
Brussels, 15 December 2023 – The European Commission published its annual report on the EU4Business Initiative, encompassing all EU support to SMEs in the five Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. The 2023 report provides detailed information of EU assistance across all three priority areas: access to finance, business development services and the business enabling environment. In 2022, the EU disbursed €125.4 million to support a total of nearly 78,000 SMEs, 40% of which are owned by women. This resulted in over 83,000 new jobs and €2.5 billion in extra income generated by EU-supported SMEs in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Access to Finance
About 30,000 SMEs received financial support in the form of loans, totalling over €530 million, through national partner financial institutions. The average loan size was about €18,000. The EU4Business website gives insight into particular results in the access to finance area and showcases human stories of entrepreneurs who benefited from loans or grants, such as a curtain producer from Azerbaijan and family business dedicated to experiential tourism from Moldova.
Business Development Services
About €33.7 million was allocated to help EaP SMEs develop their professional skills in 2022, which is 27% of the total sum disbursed. Around 38,000 consultancy services were provided, and 1,200 business support organisations were trained. Support from EU4Business spans a variety of sectors, from supporting an online teaching platform in Armenia to a fashion entrepreneur reviving old, environmentally friendly dyeing tradition in Georgia.
In addition, the EU disbursed about €26 million to improve the business environment. With this support, over 3,000 government institutions, including policymakers, regulators, and enforcement agencies, were able to improve their capacity, and over 321 laws, regulations, and procedures were reformed. Impressive stories stand behind these figures, such as producers of Ukrainian cheese going for growth.
EU4Business is an umbrella initiative, encompassing all EU support to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. EU supports SME growth by improving access to finance and business development services, and by promoting better business regulation. Read more: https://eu4business.eu/
Please find below:
- Full PDF version of EU4Business Annual Report 2023
- Citizens’ Summary for the Eastern Partnership 2023
For more information, please contact the EU4Business team:
- Olga Seleznova, Head of Communications, EU4Business Facility