“The policy in support of small and medium-sized enterprises is fully in line with European policy in this area. A comprehensive approach based on horizontal measures has been adopted, with priority being given to promoting the competitiveness of enterprises, internationalization, digitalization and the transition to a circular economy.” This was said by Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry Irina Shtonova at the opening of the meeting of the Consultative Council for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises, which was held today at the Ministry of Economy and Industry.
A brief overview of the Annual Programme of the National Strategy for Small and Medium Enterprises 2021-2027 and the relevant measures and activities to be implemented in the six priority areas in 2023 was presented during the meeting. The implementation of the measures will contribute to facilitating access to finance and opening up additional sources of finance for SMEs, promoting entrepreneurship, entering external markets, improving the digital skills of employees, accelerating the transition to a circular economy, etc. A report was presented on measures implemented to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to overcome the consequences of the COVID 19 pandemic, in connection with an audit carried out by the Audit Office.
The Bulgarian SME Ambassador — Ms Milena Angelova presented her activities within the European “SME Ambassadors Network”, presenting the priorities of the Network for 2024 and the opportunities for Bulgaria to be more active in the dialogue on the creation of European policies and instruments that concern SMEs.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the five nationally representative business organizations, the Executive Agency for SME Promotion, the Bulgarian Investment Agency, the Bulgarian Development Bank, the Institute for Economic Research at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, line ministries and others.
During the meeting the business representatives raised key issues, including reducing the administrative burden, improving the business climate, overcoming the lack of qualified staff and raising skills, as vital in the context of improving the conditions for SMEs in Bulgaria.
In Bulgaria, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for 74.4% of employment and 58.1% of value added in the economy, according to 2022 data. The policy in support of SMEs is implemented through the National Strategy for Small and Medium Enterprises 2021-2027, adopted by Decision 281 of the Council of Ministers of 1 April 2021. The measures are implemented in cooperation with a number of institutions and partners, including the Ministry of Innovation and Growth through the Competitiveness and Innovation in Enterprises Programme 2021-2027, the Executive Agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises, the Bulgarian Development Bank, the Financial Instruments Manager Fund, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Patent Office, Bulgarian Export Insurance Agency, Public Procurement Agency.