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Business Forum: SME SECTOR & RESOURCES Alastair Churchward

What are SMEs • Examples • Small Shops (such as a bakery or butchers) • Hairdressers • Tradesmen (Electricians, Roofers, Plumbers, etc…) • Lawyers • Accountants • Restaurants • Guest Houses • Photographers • Small-scale Manufacturing • Online Business (such as web design and programming, etc…)

Size Classifications US











Importance of SMEs • 99% of employers in US and EU • Stimulate local economy by doing business with other local SMEs • Local SMEs tend to supply local products • Preserve the uniqueness of community • Owners know their clients which builds a sense of community • New ideas and technology

Challenges for SMEs • Weak Strategic Planning • Lack of access information • Lack of access to capital • Competition • Cost control • Building customer base

Small Business Associations • Example • Doraville, Georgia • Local government changed commercial zoning laws with out consulting businesses • Diverse business owners came together to address issueMarket owners, shopping center owners, car dealerships, real estate owners, local bank • Worked with local government to modify zoning laws • Currently host networking events, created a dining and shopping guide for the City, and designed an annual celebration of the City

Small Business Associations • Formed by members from the local business community to: – – – – –

share information discuss challenges promote shared interests create long term plan for local economic development communicate with local government

Opstina Delcevo • Access to information • Assistance with applications and forms • Resources for your business • Planning information • Communicate problems or issues

Resources for SMEs

• European Enterprise Network • Small Business Act for Europe • Improving the business environment • Promoting Entrepreneurship • Access to markets • Facts and figures • Good practices in SME policy • Public consultation


Resources for SMEs • Center for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development • Key implementing partner for USAID • Entrepreneurial Training Growth Program • Access to Finance Training Program • Develop New Markets Training Program • CEED Network • Consulting


Resources for SMEs • Economic Chamber of Macedonia • Information • Links to Trade Associations • Business Offers and Demands • Online Services

Resources for SMEs • Western Balkan SME Platform • In the process of being approved • €141 million • The Platform will have two funds: one for private equity and another for venture capital. There will be also a guarantee facility and a technical cooperation facility.

Resources for SMEs • Foundation for Management & Industrial Research • Economic development • Environment • Research and innovations • Society

Resources for SMEs • European Commission Leader+ Program • Designed to help rural actors consider the long-term potential of their local region. • Encouraging the implementation of integrated, high-quality and original strategies for sustainable development • Partnership and networks of exchange of experience • Project Database with program information and contact details


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