National agency for development of small and medium enterprises (NADSME) has changed its name to the Slovak Business Agency (SBA), with effect from March 1, 2014. This change will be accompanied by the new concept of SME support in the Slovak Republic.
SBA has a vision to become the first choice for the Slovak enterprises when establishing and developing their businesses. NADSME has been supporting Slovak SMEs for over 20 years. It represents the oldest and key specialized institution in the area of SME development. Main stimulus behind the change was to provide complex and efficient services throughout whole life cycle of an entrepreneur. There were several reasons for the new SBA concept: lasting global and economic crisis, decreasing competitiveness of SMEs and their high mortality rate, diminishing entrepreneurship spirit and the need to implement the European Commission\'s agenda in the area of SMEs and the necessity to have a coordinated and complex entrepreneurship support.
SBA philosophy is to create a one-stop-shop centre where a person interested in doing business, enterprise in the initial stage of its development and/or existing SME can get information, advices, space to grow ,cooperate and various types of financing etc. Non-financial services of SBA will be divided into several basic forms such as services of accelerator, incubator and co-working. SME support will also consist from consulting and mentoring services which will enable to increase the survival rate of mainly new enterprises and will guarantee effective utilization of financial tools in the form of soft loans or capital financing. SBA would like to act as a part of the Enterprise Europe Network that has been initiated by the European Commission with aim to support entrepreneurship, innovations and research. SBA would like to build upon the previous knowledge in Bratislava and establish branches in other Slovak regions. The aim is not to build a new infrastructure but on the contrary, utilize existing infrastructure (such as universities, research and technological parks) and to involve other partners.
The aim is to reach synergies between public, private and academic sector, to ensure systematic support to existing and starting SMEs, to stimulate demand and offer between businesses and research and development sectors. Other part of the new philosophy for SME support is a legislative initiative in the form of the Small and medium enterprises support act which will create clear framework, name modalities and actors of the SME support and will introduce tools trough which the SBA will strive to improve business environment. It will concern for example implementation of the SME test, identifying and removing barriers for SMEs which create 99, 9% of all enterprises in the Slovak Republic. With this law, the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic, as the SMEs gestor aims to coordinate SME support politics more effectively and to widen implementation of the European principles embedded in the Small Business Act.
In this regards, it is necessary to mention that the Slovak Republic is the sole country within V4 that does not have such a law. More information at www.sbagency.sk