Official launch event of the Advice for Small Businesses Facility in Cyprus

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism (MECIT) today officially launched the new Advice for Small Businesses (ASB) Facility in the Republic of Cyprus. The launch event took place in Royal Hall, in the Old Town area of Nicosia, on Tuesday, 14 November 2017, bringing together representatives of donors, government, civil society organisations, local banks, business associations, local enterprises and consultants.

Over the next three years, the ASB Facility in Cyprus will provide over 160 local enterprises with access to professional expertise to grow their businesses, through advisory projects with local consultants and international advisers, alongside mentoring, coaching, and training courses. The Facility is supported by €2.15 million in funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can help diversify the economy and put Cyprus back on a path of solid growth. The island has a large number of vibrant SMEs that would benefit from better availability of long-term funding and working capital as well also from assistance in strengthening their efforts in marketing and product innovation.

Many small companies also need support for putting in place proper managerial and corporate governance structures as they grow. The EBRD has a wealth of experience in such assistance across its countries of operations and is looking forward to offering this expertise also to Cypriot businesses.

Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism of the Republic of Cyprus, said: “This is the first time Cypriot authorities are helping SMEs in the country access advisory services benefiting from the EBRD’s know-how”. The Minister invited local SMEs to apply for the Facility and “take advantage of this know-how in order for them to open up new markets, introduce new production lines, save energy, and meet their overall targets”.

Libor Krkoska, Head of the EBRD Resident Office, said: “We are very pleased to be launching this programme in partnership with the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism. The Facility will build on our successful experience so far in Cyprus, serving to strengthen the competitiveness of SMEs, enhance their export capacity, increase the use of – and improve the quality of – local business advisory services and promote inclusion. The SME sector in Cyprus has considerable potential and this is a significant step in introducing the right know-how to take those businesses further.”

The EBRD has been helping SMEs to access advisory services for more than 20 years, committing over €400 million of donor funds to assist nearly 20,000 small and medium-sized enterprises across all of its countries of operations. Over 77 per cent of the companies that have benefited have experienced an increase in their turnover and productivity; results for job creation and access to external finance have also been very positive.

For further information about the ASB Facility in Cyprus please contact the country team at +357 22395500. Information about the EBRD’s activities in Cyprus is also available here, while information about ASB advisory services in the country is here.