European Union supports EBRD small business programmes in the Eastern Partnership region

By EBRD  Press Office

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The European Union (EU) has pledged additional funds of €5 million to support the EBRD’s TurnAround Management (TAM) and Business Advisory Service (BAS) Programmes, which provide micro, small and medium-sized enterprises with direct assistance from experienced business advisers and consultants, helping them to adapt to the demands of a market economy. This brings the total EU contribution to the Eastern Partnership TAM-BAS programme to €10 million for the period 2010-13. The committed funds are sufficient to implement over 60 TAM and over 500 BAS projects in the region.

This technical assistance from the EU is earmarked for use in the Eastern Partnership countries, which include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The Eastern Partnership was launched in Prague in 2009. The main goal is to accelerate political association and further economic integration between the EU and its eastern neighbours and to support their political and socio-economic reforms.

The main beneficiaries of the TAM and BAS programmes will be small and medium-size enterprise (SMEs) businesses located in the Eastern Partnership countries. The Bank is also planning to engage relevant ministries, SME development agencies, investment promotion and regional enterprise agencies as well as regional chambers of commerce, which will play an important role in the successful and demand-led implementation of the TAM and BAS programmes.

The EBRD’s BAS Programme, launched in 1995, is designed to assist individual enterprises to engage with local consultants on specific projects with a rapid payback. Additionally, BAS carries out market development activities to develop the capacity of SMEs and local business advisory providers.

The objective of the TAM Programme, started by the Bank in 1993, is to help SMEs transform themselves through structural changes and the development of new business skills at senior management level. TAM’s advisory services are provided by experienced directors, industry experts and financial specialists.

The TAM and BAS supported projects aim to promote best business standards and to improve SME management skills such as planning, production, quality control and marketing, thereby making these businesses more competitive and able to attract external financing. Together with the development of local business consultancy skills, TAM and BAS contribute to the development of a sustainable market economy.

The BAS Programme in Azerbaijan was established in 2003. Over €4.5 million of donor funding has been committed in 615 BAS projects in Azerbaijan.

EU Contact: Mihaela Marcu

Tel: +322 29 65 857

EBRD contact in Azerbaijan: Lala Rzayeva

Tel: +994 12 497 6472

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