Posted on 31 May, 2021 by Naida Camdzic and Veronika Kobzysta

GFA Consulting Group, the lead company of a consortium with Berlin Economics and GIZ International Services, officially closed an EU flagship business support initiative in Ukraine, the EU SURE FORBIZ as part of the EU4Business Initiative on 20 May, 2021.
For five years, FORBIZ contributed to sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Ukraine, enhanced employment opportunities, regional prosperity and national cohesion. The results of the project, which guided the work of the Better Regulation Delivery Office and SME Development Office, were summarized on May 19, 2021.

The regulatory and SME policy framework strengthened by FORBIZ will become a building block for further state and international donor efforts to improve the business environment in Ukraine. Chloé Allio, Head of the Economic Cooperation, Energy, Infrastructure and Environment Operations Section of the EU Delegation to Ukraine states “Through the EU4Business initiative, the European Union helps SMEs to get better access to finance, markets and skills, and aims to improve the overall business environment in the country. The work of FORBIZ was instrumental in the recent business environment and SME policy changes, and bringing the SME interests to the forefront of the Government policy-making. We will continue to support further steps towards better regulatory and operational environment for SMEs in Ukraine, in which SMEs can flourish and reveal their full potential”.

The FORBIZ project closure coincides with the Ukraine government’s announcement of the creation of the Office for Entrepreneurship and Export Development (EEPO), which represents a milestone in the institutionalization of the project’s support efforts and the government’s services related to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The new office will build on the work of the Export Promotion Office, and will also integrate the SME Development Office (SMEDO), which was supported by FORBIZ until now and served as an advisory body to the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture. SMEDO’s piloting efforts to improve state services for SMEs will be further developed within the enlarged office. Related services offered through twelve SME support points and ten Business Innovation Centers included, inter alia, entrepreneurs’ improved access to information through the SME Info-Portal, access to affordable financial resources through the government’s 5-7-9% lending program, or factoring services to participate in public procurement.

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Project in brief

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