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.

Pays/région Période 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.

Effets à moyen terme

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.


Principaux résultats attendus:  

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.

Direction/office fédéral responsable SECO
Crédit Coopération au développement
Budget Phase en cours Budget de la Suisse CHF    4’342’800 Budget suisse déjà attribué CHF    0 Budget y compris partenaires de projet CHF    9’975’000
Phases du projet Phase 2 01.12.2022 - 30.11.2027   (Phase en cours)

Phase 1 01.06.2016 - 30.06.2022   (Active)