Ambassador Llesh Kola - Executive Manager in PERMIS in charge of the Working Group
SUPPORTING THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SME SECTOR IN THE BLACK SEA REGION
The mission of the BSEC Working Group on SMEs, established in 2001, is to help create an enabling business environment, to foster entrepreneurship and to promote cooperation among the SMEs in the region.
In its efforts, the Working Group is guided by the relevant provisions of the BSEC Charter and other BSEC Statutory Documents, the BSEC Economic Agenda Towards an Enhanced BSEC Partnership, the Resolutions, Decisions and Recommendations of the BSEC Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the Terms of Reference and the consecutive two-year Action Plans of the Working Group.
The key priorities of the Working Group, as defined by the “BSEC Economic Agenda Towards and Enhanced BSEC Partnership” are as follows:
The key priorities of the Working Group, as defined by the “” are as follows:
• Increasing the competitiveness of the SMEs by creating fair conditions at both national and regional levels and undertaking regular surveys on SMEs’ needs, priorities and problems in the BSEC Region.
• Developing BSEC programs aimed at promoting favorable conditions for local businesses and foreign investments; facilitating networking, exchange of experiences and know-how; organizing training for young entrepreneurs.
• Promoting and supporting access to finance to SMEs which produce green products and services.
• Improving the access of SMEs from the BSEC Member States to other markets, in particular by stimulating the export capacity of SMEs and promoting cross-border cooperation and business partnership with neighboring countries.
• Focusing on high technology, innovation, clusters, industrial-technology and software parks and business incubators as concrete instruments to facilitate SME start-ups in the Member States and to encourage entrepreneurship, competitiveness and cooperation with large companies in the BSEC Region.
• Developing a support system for innovation and technology at BSEC region, with the view to promoting cooperation among SMEs and the university environment, or research and development institutions.
• Promoting the e-business system in the BSEC Region and the use of the BSEC Innovation Data Bank, to be updated under the coordination of the BSEC PERMIS.
• Aggregating an information network of regional and Member States financial resources available to SMEs, accessible through the BSEC Innovation Data Bank.
• Promoting business to business contacts through “BSEC SME Expert Exchange” programme.
• Finalizing the establishment of the BSEC Quality Award for SMEs.
A) PROJECTS/INITIATIVES RELATED TO SMEs
• The BSEC Working Group on SMEs is currently working on a draft template of an electronic “Best Practices Booklet” which will compile the best practices of the BSEC Member States in promoting energy efficiency in SMEs.
• The Black Sea Trade and Investment Promotion Programme (BSTIP) - the first joint project between BSEC and the UNDP, launched in 2007 and co-financed by Greece, Turkey, BSEC and the UNDP, aims to develop trade and investment linkages among the BSEC Member States, with the direct participation of the business communities, through organizing sectoral business-to-business matchmaking events, therefore contributing to the business potential of the SMEs in intra-regional trade and investments.
• In order to promote business incubators as concrete instruments to facilitate SME start-ups in the BSEC Member States, the BSEC Permanent International Secretariat has conducted a research project on a BSEC model for establishing Business Incubators for SME Start-ups. More information
B) KEY DOCUMENTS
• TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE BSEC WORKING GROUP ON SMEs
• ACTION PLAN OF THE BSEC WORKING GROUP ON SMEs (1 January 2012 – 31 December 2013)
C) INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
• BSEC cooperates closely with the International Network for SMEs (INSME) which is a Sectoral Dialogue Partner of BSEC since 2006.
• • (1 January 2012 – 31 December 2013) • BSEC cooperates closely with the International Network for SMEs (INSME) which is a Sectoral Dialogue Partner of BSEC since 2006.
• Since 1997, more than 30 joint workshops on SME development have been organized together with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) in Turkey. Various publications have been produced based on the presentations and conclusions of these workshops. The outcomes of the workshops are recommended to be taken into account in the process of the implementation of the governmental policies on SMEs in the BSEC Member States.