Georgia: assessing progress in implementing SME reform

SBA Public-Private Working Group

The Public-Private Working Group on the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) will meet in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on 7 June, in a meeting organised by the OECD in the framework of the EU-funded project ‘EU4Business: From Policies to Action’.

In the context of the project, the OECD carries out an SBA Assessment in all the countries of the Eastern Partnership region, monitoring progress in the implementation of the ten principles of the Small Business Act for Europe, and measures convergence towards EU practices and standards. 

The SBA is an overarching framework for the EU policy on SMEs. It aims to improve the approach to entrepreneurship in Europe, simplify the regulatory and policy environment for SMEs, and remove the remaining barriers to their development.

The meeting on 7 June provides an opportunity for the government to present an overview of the progress achieved on implementing the recommendations provided in the last SBA assessment cycle (2015-16). It will also allow private sector representatives and key stakeholders to comment on recent developments and reform effectiveness. The OECD will present the updated methodology and framework for discussion, as well as the overall assessment process and the timeline.

The SBA Public-Private Working Group will bring together SME policy stakeholders. This includes government representatives from the line ministries (i.e. Ministries of Economy, Education, Labour) and government agencies (i.e. SME agency, innovation agency), as well as representatives from the private sector, academia and other international organisations.

The current SBA assessment cycle touches on the following five pillars, measuring SBA convergence: 

  • Responsive government: Bankruptcy and second chance; Regulatory framework for SME policy making; Operational environment for SMEs 
  • Access to finance 
  • Access to markets: Public procurement; Standards and technical regulations; Internationalisation of SMEs 
  • Entrepreneurship & human capital: Entrepreneurial learning and women’s entrepreneurship; Enterprise skills 
  • Innovation & productivity: Support services for SMEs and start-ups; Innovation policy for SMEs; SMEs in a green economy 

As part of the multi-country project EU4Business: From Policies to Action, the OECD is assisting the Georgian government in assessing the implementation of its SME Development Strategy 2016-2020, identifying outstanding issues for developing the SME sector, and improving the monitoring system to better assess the results of the strategy's implementation. The objective of the project is to build capacity in Georgia’s institutions to implement and monitor its SME Development Strategy.