SMEs Generate 90% of Employment in Bulgaria – NGO

Business | March 29, 2012, Thursday // 15:23|  views

Svetla Kostadinova, CEO of the Institute for Market Economy, has presented statistics indicating that SMEs make up 95% of the companies in Bulgaria. Photo by BGNES

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) create 90% of the employment in Bulgaria, according to Svetla Kostadinova, CEO of the Institute for Market Economy (IME).

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Kostadinova explained that SMEs accounted for around 95% of all companies in Bulgaria.

Micro firms with a staff of up to 9 people were the only ones to grow in number and to hire extra people during the crisis years, the IME Chief Executive announced.

She pointed out that the typical Bulgarian company was one of a mixed type with a staff of around two people.

Kostadinova noted that such companies were the most flexible to react to changing market conditions.

In 2011, over 90% of the polled representatives of SMEs said that the major portion of their operating funds came from family savings, from loans (2nd place) and , in a very small percentage, from funding under EU Operational Programs (3rd place).

During Thursday's press conference, Kostadinova drew attention to the fact that 95% of Bulgaria's SMEs were working for the local market, while a mere 5% were exporting products abroad.

She said that these companies were facing the challenge to expand their markets, including in countries outside the EU, and to get wider access to European funding.

Pollster Kancho Stoychev commented that SMEs were the backbone of each and every economy and were most neglected in Bulgaria.

"We have a tendency to favor foreign companies over local ones and to also disregard the success of Bulgarian business entities," he concluded.

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Tags: Svetla Kostadinova, Institute for Market Economy, small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs, employment


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