Executive Director of BSMEPA, Dr. Boyko Takov: Our Leading Priority is Construction of a Long-term Concept for Promotion of SMEs
The vision for development of Bulgarian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMEPA) and the priorities in its activity in 2019 were presented today by the Executive Director of the Agency Dr. Boyko Takov at the first conference of Economist Magazine for Small and Medium-sized business, named SMART GROWTH.
The focus of the Agency’s activity is the efforts of the team to work closer and closer with Bulgarian enterprises by offering programs and promoting projects aimed to support their innovative and technological development.
BSMEPA prepares new application rules for for funding from the National Innovation Fund, which will make the program more transparent and more accessible. They are about to be published for public discussion, which is being done for the first time, Takov specified.
The Agency plans to create an export incubator on the territory of Sofia Tech Park, where, together with universities and employers organizations to generate ideas and train people who want to go to foreign markets, it became clear at the SMART GROWTH conference.
A new voucher scheme program for provision of information and communication (ICT) services is being prepared, said Boyko Takov. He specified that the rules for the new program, which will have a budget of BGN 9 million and will come under the Operational Program „Innovation and Competitiveness“, are currently set. The vouchers will be two types – small, 5 000 BGN without VAT, and large – 20 000 BGN without VAT. Vouchers will be used for cybersecurity, digitization and other services, Executive Director of BSMEPA explained. Its expectations are thus to support around 450 enterprises.
Dr. Takov presented the opportunities provided by BSMEPA in support of developing companies as well as the new financing instruments offered by the Fund of Funds and the EBRD. We will strive for the agency to be even more open to business and to participate in the process of relieving the administrative burdens on businesses.
The leading priority, according to Mr. Takov, is to build a long-term concept and vision for the Agency. Of course, this must be done with the support of the Ministry of Economy, our principal, because we are implementing state policy to promote small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
On behalf of the Ministry of Economy, Deputy Minister Lilia Ivanova confirmed that a new strategy for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises will be developed in the period from 2021 to 2027. Its main focus will be on access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises, said Mrs. Ivanova.
Some of the main goals of the strategy will be development of entrepreneurship, expansion of the market presence of small companies and their easier access to foreign markets. Special emphasis will be placed on the ecological focus of production, it became clear from the words of Ivanova. Emphasis will also be placed on the opportunities for digitization of small and medium-sized enterprises and the introduction of artificial intelligence and the development of the Internet of Things. The Office will make efforts to facilitate innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises. „The Ministry’s main focus is on facilitating access to new technologies in enterprises,“ Ivanova said.
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