Small Business Initiative Central Asia, Phase I

The Small Business Initiative (SBI) seeks to increase access of SMEs to financial and advisory services, and to simplify their business environment. This will be achieved by providing an integrated support package consisting of financing, business advisory services and policy dialogue. SMEs should thereby become a driver of growth and increase their respective share in GDP and employment. A particular focus is put on economic inclusion, this being equality of opportunities (specifically youth, gender and disadvantaged regions). The SBI is implemented by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Paese/Regione Periodo Budget
01.06.2016 - 30.06.2022
CHF  4’342’800

The SME sector is widely recognised as an engine of economic growth. These businesses create employment opportunities for both skilled and unskilled workers. Even though SMEs play a crucial role as a source of employment, their contribution to GDP is relatively low compared to the OECD average of 55%. This untapped economic potential results from a variety of obstacles to SMEs' growth, broadly falling into the categories of limited access to finance, inadaquate business skills and a challenging business environment.


The overall goal of the SBI is to create a vibrant SME sector, thereby fostering access to economic opportunities and jobs.

Effetti a medio termine

Improved access to finance for SMEs through enhancing capacity and innovation of partner financial institutions.

Strengthened role of SMEs through improving their competitiveness and innovation.

Improved business environment for SMEs through enhancing the institutional framework.


Risultati principali attesi:  

Financial institutions are provided with financing for on-lending to SMEs and are equipped with the knowledge for SME financing to achieve independent SME financing in the long run.

SMEs are supported with business advise and / or direct financing.

SME support institutions are strenghtened and the business environment for SMEs is improved.

Direzione/Ufficio responsabile SECO
Credito Cooperazione allo sviluppo
Budget Fase in corso Budget Svizzera CHF    4’342’800 Budget svizzero attualmente già speso CHF    0 Budget inclusi partner del progetto CHF    9’975’000
Fasi del progetto Fase 2 01.12.2022 - 30.11.2027   (Fase in corso)

Fase 1 01.06.2016 - 30.06.2022   (Active)