EBRD supports Cypriot small enterprises raising competitiveness

By Axel  Reiserer

EBRD supports Cypriot small enterprises raising competitiveness

Bank launches Small Business Support Programme in Cyprus

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is launching its Small Business Support (SBS) Programme in Cyprus as part of its effort to support small businesses and help them improve their performance and growth.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can help diversify the economy and put Cyprus back on a path of solid growth. The island has a large number of vibrant SMEs that would benefit from better availability of long term funding and working capital as well also from assistance in strengthening their marketing and product innovation efforts.

Many small companies also need support for putting in place proper managerial and corporate governance structures as they grow. The EBRD has a wealth of experience in such assistance across its countries of operations and is looking forward to offering this expertise to Cypriot businesses.

The overarching objective of the EBRD’s Small Business Support programme in Cyprus is to make local SMEs more competitive in a globalising economy and assist them with the introduction of new and diverse products and processes. The programme provides SMEs with direct assistance by experienced business advisors and local consultants, helping them to adapt to the demands of a modern market economy.

The SBS programme in Cyprus is funded by the EBRD Special Shareholder Fund for a period of two years to the amount of €780,000.

The EBRD has successfully managed the SBS Programme for more than 20 years, committing over €230 million of donor funds to assist nearly 14,000 small and medium enterprises in 35 countries. The vast majority of the companies that have benefited from the programme experienced an increase in their turnover and productivity whereas results are equally impressive as far as job creation and access to external finance are concerned.

To mark the start of activities the EBRD has organised an event in Famagusta Gate, Nicosia which has brought together representatives of donors, the authorities, civil society organisations, local banks, business associations, local enterprises and consultants. Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism of the Republic of Cyprus, opened the event with a keynote speech.

For the EBRD, speeches were delivered by Libor Krkoška, Head of the Nicosia Resident Office, and Jaap Sprey, Head of the SBS Regional Programme.

For further information about the SBS Programme in Cyprus please contact Gavriella Kantouna at kantoung@ebrd.com or +357 22395500.

Information about the EBRD activities in Cyprus is also available at http://www.ebrd.com/ebrd-in-cyprus.html, while information about SBS advisory services is at www.ebrd.com/knowhow.