EBRD launches SME online platform with legal and business guidance

By Axel  Reiserer

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  • EBRD launching online “hands on” guidance to help micro and small enterprises
  • Platform provides expert advice on various topics including legal and financial matters
  • Additional tailored guidance developed for Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is launching an online resource with legal and business guidance to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to enhance their response to new challenges following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new website offers expert guidance to help owners and managers deal with suppliers, customers and employees, steer operational and financial challenges and navigate a restructuring process. The platform also provides businesses with legal guidance in corporate, employment and insolvency law, areas in which small business have strong demand for know-how and information.

Launched by the EBRD as part of its enhanced support for SMEs in the context of the coronavirus crisis, the website is structured around six modules or entry points:

  1. Developing your business strategy
  2. Managing your people successfully
  3. Running your business successfully
  4. Taking your business online
  5. Keeping your business’s finances healthy
  6. Restructuring your business finances.

Templates and cases studies support the guidance and help users to apply concepts in their day-to-day operations. The information is freely available in English and Russian and designed for use by every economy where the EBRD operates. No registration is required to use the site.

Catherine Bridge Zoller, Senior Counsel at the EBRD Legal Transition Team, said “This project is a response to what we see as a gap in many countries in terms of freely available, centralised online information for SMEs. The guidance on our website is a resource that can help businesses across the EBRD regions remain resilient in difficult times.”  

The website also contains three separate country pages for Moldova and Ukraine that offer country-specific advice in local language. The country pages of the project are funded with aid from the UK Government through the Good Governance Fund.

The new online guide complements the EBRD’s efforts to help SMEs navigate through the current crisis and strengthen their resilience. Current initiatives include the EBRD Know How Academy as well as advisory support provided under the Small Business Initiative and through the network of EBRD-supported Investment Councils.

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