New European programme offers advisory services to SMEs

The European Investment Advisory Hub, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union on Wednesday jointly presented a new programme aimed to support small- and medium-sized enterprises to receive advisory services that will support their sustainable growth.

The initiative is part of the Investment Plan for Europe, which focuses on promoting investments to create job positions and growth through a smarter use of new and existing financing resources, lifting hurdles in investments and offer technical support to investment plans. The programme will support at least 240 SMEs in Greece, Bulgaria and Romania in the next two years, through offering advisory services adapted to the needs of each enterprise. These services will support access to local and international advisors who will help them become more competititve and to grow. Greek enterprises will benefit directly from the programme, which offers advisory services in a wide range of fields such as strategy, business operations, financial management, marketing strategy and export promotion.

EBRD will be the manager of the programme, supported by the European Investment Advisory Hub, using funds from the EU and the EBRD.

George Markopouliotis, head of the European Commission Representation in Athens, said Greece has benefited significantly from the European Investment Plan, which was expected to bring investments worth 8.2 billion euros to the country.

Simon Barnes, head of European Investment Bank’s Advisory Services, added that a basic factor hindering sustainable economic growth in Greece was limited availability of specialised advisory services to Greek SMEs.

Claudio Viezzoli, EBRD’s CEO in Financing and Development of SMEs, said the additional of advisory services in EBRD’s work in Greece will further strengthen the impact the bank has on the local economy.

SMEs with an annual turnover of up to 50 million euros and a workforce of up to 250 people are eligible to participate in the programme.