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  • SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES IN BULGARIA

    2002 – 2003

    REPORT BY THE AGENCY FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES

    SOFIA, 2004

  • This report was prepared by experts of the Center for Economic Development under assignment by the Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.

    This report was financed by the United States Agency for International Development.

    The views in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the United States Agency for International Development.

    © Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, 2004 Sofia 1000, 1, Sv.Nedelja Sq., phone: 359 2 981 66 00; fax: +359 2 986 18 99

    e-mail: office@asme.bg; Internet: www.asme.bg

    Center for Economic Development Sofia 1468, 1, Balsha St., Bl. 9; phone: + 359 2 953 42 04; fax: +359 2 953 36 44

    e-mail: ced@ced.bg; Internet: www.ced.bg

    ISBN 954-9821-34-X

    Design and prepress: Factor Advertising Ltd. Print: Spektar Ltd.

  • REPORT BY THE AGENCY FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES 3

    CONTENTS

    LIST OF TABLES .............................................................................................................................................................................5

    LIST OF FIGURES ...........................................................................................................................................................................7

    SUMMARY ........................................................................................................................................................................................8

    INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................................................................. 11

    Chapter one CONDITION OF THE SME SECTOR IN BULGARIA. SME ROLE IN THE ECONOMY OF THE COUNTRY OVER THE PERIOD 2001 – 2002 .................................................................................................................................................13 1. Macro-economic environment for SME development ..................................................................................................................13 2. SME importance for the economy of the country ........................................................................................................................15 3. SME importance for the non-financial sector of the economy .....................................................................................................17 4. General characteristics of private SMEs .....................................................................................................................................20 5. SMEs by sectors ..........................................................................................................................................................................22 6. SMEs by planning regions ...........................................................................................................................................................23 7. Participation of SMEs in foreign trade .........................................................................................................................................25 8. Direct foreign investments in SMEs .............................................................................................................................................29

    Chapter two INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR SME DEVELOPMENT ......................................................................................................34 1. European Integration and SMEs .................................................................................................................................................34

    1.1. European Charter for Small Enterprises ............................................................................................................................34 1.2. European Programmes in Support of SMEs ......................................................................................................................35

    2. General Characteristics of the National Policy on SME Development ........................................................................................38 3. SME Act/Act on Promotion of Entrepreneurship ..........................................................................................................................39 4. National Organizations in Support to SMEs ................................................................................................................................40

    Chapter three ADMINISTRATIVE AND REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT FOR SME DEVELOPMENT ...............................................................44 1. Regulatory regimes and administrative reform ...........................................................................................................................44

    1.1. Regulatory regimes ............................................................................................................................................................44 1.2. Administrative reform and support to SMEs .....................................................................................................................47 1.3. One-stop shop service .......................................................................................................................................................47

    2. Protection of competition .............................................................................................................................................................49 3. Regulation of bankruptcy proceedings ......................................................................................................................................50 4. Settlement of business disputes ..................................................................................................................................................50 5. SME access to public procurement .............................................................................................................................................52 6. Corruption environment ...............................................................................................................................................................54

  • 4 SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZED ENTERPRISES IN BULGARIA 2002 - 2003

    Chapter four ACCESS OF SMEs TO FINANCING .............................................................................................................................................55 1. Bank Financing of SMEs .............................................................................................................................................................55 2. Alternative Sources of Financing for SMEs .................................................................................................................................62

    2.1. Capital Market and Venture Capital Funds .......................................................................................................................63 2.2. Leasing ..............................................................................................................................................................................64 2.3. Guarantee Facilities ...........................................................................................................................................................65 2.4. Government, Non-government and International Programmes .........................................................................................66

    Chapter five INFORMATION SUPPLY AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT TO SMEs. USE OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY ....................................70 1. Information supply and support to SMEs ....................................................................................................................................70

    1.1. Institutions and organizations improving the information supply ......................................................................................70 1.2. The role of business incubators for improving SME business conditions and supporting start-up companies .................72

    2. Use of information and telecommunication technologies ...........................................................................................................75 2.1. Advantages of information and telecommunication technologies for SME development ..................................................75 2.2. Importance of SMEs in the sector of information and communication technologies .........................................................77 2.3. The E-government and SMEs ...........................................................................................................................................79

    Chapter six INTERNAL FACTORS FOR SME DEVELOPMENT .......................................................................................................................82 1. Sources for development of internal factors ................................................................................................................................82 2. Analysis of the condition of intracompany factors ......................................................................................................................82

    2.1. Management, marketing and innovation policy of SMEs ...................................................................................................82 2.2. Capital formation an

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