EU to help small businesses in Greece access consultancy services

11 April 2018 3 min. read

With a new programme introduced in early March, EU financial agencies will support the growth and competitiveness of Greek small businesses with access to consultancy services. Lack of access to expert business advice has been identified as a barrier to sustainable growth in Greece.

With Greece slowly emerging from a deep financial crisis, the EU and its financial organisations are looking to help foster sustainable economic growth in the country. The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced the launch of a programme that will facilitate access to consultancy advisory services for Greek small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). The programme was also introduced in Romania and Bulgaria in previous months.

The advisory programme will be operated by the EBRD and supported by the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH). The Hub is a single point-of-entry for advisory services for EU investment projects. Funding for the project will come from the EU and EBRD co-financing.

The new programme is part of the Investment Plan for Europe (Juncker Plan), which aims to boost investment and create jobs through the better usage of new and existing financial resources. The plan also aims to remove obstacles to investment and provide assistance to investment projects.EU to help small businesses in Greece access consultancy servicesThe advisory programme intends to help build sustainable economic growth in Greek SMEs through the provision of tailored business advice from consulting firms. It will enable access to local and international consulting services that will improve the competitiveness of small Greek firmswith those with revenues of less than 50 million and under 250 employees eligible for the programme. The consultancies will be able to provide expert advice in strategy consultingfinancial managementoperations consultingmarketing, and international trade promotion. Details as to which consultancies are set to participate in the programme are as yet unknown.

Simon Barnes, Head of Advisory Services at the European Investment Bank (EIB), is optimistic about the impact the programme will have; “One key factor holding back sustainable economic growth in Greece is the limited availability of specialised SME advisory services. This exciting new initiative will tackle this particular challenge and help companies across Greece to expand, create jobs and reach their full potential.”

Claudio Viezzoli, EBRD Managing Director for SME Finance and Development, echoed the sentiment; “Adding advisory services to the EBRD’s offering in Greece will further strengthen the impact we are having on the local economy.”