Enterprise development and innovation in the Western Balkans


Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (EDIF)

Second Meeting of the Western Balkan EDIF Platform Advisory Group, Athens, 14 June 2013.

At this high level meeting, the Investment Compact reported on the reforms chosen as the top priorities to improve the environment for innovative and high growth SMEs in the Western Balkans:

  • Investment readiness for entrepreneurs
  • Innovation policy
  • Regulatory and legal framework for venture capital funds
  • Simplifying business license procedures

About the Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility

Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Western Balkan economies, however their development is hindered by a lack of access to finance and a limited capacity to innovate.

To support the development of SMEs – particularly innovative and high-growth SMEs (IHGSMEs) – Western Balkan economies, in partnership with the OECD, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank Group and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, are planning to launch the Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (EDIF) in 2013.  A key objective of the EDIF will be to enable firms to access needed financing by providing direct financial assistance from equity funds and establishing credit guarantees to reduce investor risk.

The EDIF will also work closely with Western Balkan governments to build policy maker capacity in successfully designing and implementing policy reforms for IHGSMEs. The OECD Investment Compact for South East Europe has led the preparatory work for this pillar by identifying country-specific reforms that will enhance the regulatory framework for high-potential firms and foster the development of venture capital financing in the region.

This reform prioritisation work, which started in March 2012, involved a review of key SME policy and business climate reforms in the region, a donor mapping exercise, a company survey, and stakeholder roundtables in every economy of the region. Each government then identified three priority reforms to be implemented over the next five years with the support of the EDIF.


EDIF Workshop, Paris, 25-26 March 2013 - Agenda

This workshop, attended by senior government officials and business leaders from the region, defined the reform commitments, with attendees agreeing upon the regional projects that will be implemented under EDIF. The workshop built on the knowledge gained from the OECD’s preparatory work in 2012 on the prioristisation of policy reforms.

Launch Event and the First Meeting of the Western Balkans EDIF Platform Advisory Group, Paris, 5 December 2012
At this event, beneficiaries were asked to make: a financial commitment to co-finance the financial components of EDIF, and a commitment to the reforms prioritised in the preparatory phase of the project. These reforms will be implemented under the policy pillar of EDIF

For further information, please contact Jakob Fexer

Policy Assessment Expert Meeting, Paris, 5 July 2012

The OECD policy assessments, structured around 13 thematic areas relevant for innovative and high growth SMEs (IHGSMEs), were discussed at this meeting in order to prioritise the reforms for each Western Balkan economy.

South East Europe Investment Compact



European Commission

European Investment Bank Group

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development



For further information, contact Jakob Fexer (Jakob.Fexer@oecd.org)


With the support of the
European Union


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