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Improving information to the business community — BIZIMPACT II


Private Sector Development

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The aim of this technical assistance Project is to further develop the capacity of policy makers and business organisations to identify analyse and communicate future impact of defined regulatory areas for business in Croatia thus supporting the business development environment for SMEs. The project will cover activities in line with the three turning principles of the EU Small Business Act (“Think Small First” principle, rigorously assess the impact of forthcoming legislative and administrative initiatives on SMEs – “SME test”). The project scope is building up economic impact assessment including EU principles for SMEs, improving consultation processes and mechanisms, ensuring provision of information, public-private dialogue, communication strategy approach, training and communication of partner institutions as well as business actors and associations. The main Beneficiaries of the Project are the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts (MEC), Croatian Agency for SMEs (HAMAG), Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts (HOK) and Croatian Employers’ Association (HUP). The project will work with other relevant organisations involved in supporting SME business development, including other governmental ministries / agencies, the counties, business development service providers, as well as donor-funded projects and international organisations active in related fields. The Project consists of four components, with the overall objective of improving information, communication and Impact Assessment capabilities in Croatia.


Component 1: Economic Impact Assessment for SMEs:

        Component 1 aims to advance the Economic Impact System in Croatia to comply to the specific requirements of the economic environment with special emphasis on SME. Activities:

  •         Methodology and Manual on Economic IA for SMEs has been drafted, incorporating case studies on experiences in the UK, Estonia, and the European Commission;
  •         Development of an Information Base on Croatian and international providers of expert knowledge on EIA for SMEs Expertise;
  •         Development of an Information Base on EIA for SMEs;
  •         Training and Assistance on EIA for SMEs: two training sessions were held for MINPO, GLO and its stakeholders and other ministries and competent bodies on carrying out EIA for SMEs. Further trainings were carried out for representatives of business support institutions and businesses themselves as well as NGOs (6×1 day of trainings);
  •         Set-up of a Virtual Centre of Excellence (VCoE) on EIA for SMEs;
  •         Qualitative survey on e-consultation and recommendations (Report drafted on “e-Consultation Review and Recommendations”);
  •         Training and Coaching on VCoE on EIA for SMEs (target group: MINPO;
  •         Two Study Tours on VCoE / EIA for SMEs for representatives of ministries and agencies have been completed: 1) Estonia; 2) Ireland;
  •         Awareness-raising Conferences on EIA and Consultation Processes.


Component 2: Public-private dialogue and consultation:

        Component 2 aims to further develop consultation processes / Public Private Dialogue with business community within the context of economic IA. Activities:

  •         Review and evaluation of public-private dialogue relevant to economic IA;
  •         Development of recommendations and implementation of improvements in public-private dialogue relevant to consultation process for economic IA, e.g. through the newly established SME Forum;
  •         Development of consultation process and mechanisms in line with economic IA and development of accompanied manual;
  •         Development of the “SME test” (see Component 1, Activity 1.1 EIA for SMEs Manual) and Croatian Business Test Panel in line with the EU best practices and standards: the SME test has been integrated into the VCoE and the EIA for SMEs Manual;
  •         e-Consultation tools and mechanisms: have been integrated with the VCoE and the Croatian Business Test Panel.


Component 3: Dissemination and Awareness-raising:

        Component 3 focuses on review, update, printing and dissemination of existing Mini Guides on legislative areas of importance to SMEs and publication of new versions of the Mini Guides in coordinative work with relevant state bodies. New Mini guides will be the result of business community/project partner’s interest survey on the sample of 100 SMEs representing micro, small and medium businesses which will define legislative areas of their interest and then new Mini guides will be created, publicized and disseminated. Internal capacity of the four partner institutions should be strengthened by training in all determined legislative areas covered by the project.

  •         Review, update and dissemination of existing Mini Guides (7 fields including 1) industrial product standards; 2) food safety; 3) public procurement; 4) state aid / competition policy; 5) intellectual property rights; 6) consumer protection; 7) environmental protection);
  •         Development and Publication of New Mini Guides in 8 fields (1) geographical origin; 2) quality and risk management; 3) labour law; 4) energy efficiency; 5) business transfer; 6) value added tax; 7) licencing and permits; 8) food safety annexes);
  •         Training in Legislative Areas covered by Mini Guides: SMEs and SME stakeholders are targeted in three regions and will be trained in the legislative areas covered by the Mini Guides;
  •         Assessment of project beneficiaries/partners websites;
  •         Establishment of a newsletter and e-newsletter.


Component 4: Develop Information Campaign Capacities:

        Component 4 – Development of beneficiaries/partners (HAMAG, HGK, HOK, HUP) capacities in information campaigns, including development of Communication Strategies and Action plans and development of accompanied manual related to the awareness raising campaigns and activities of project in regard to significance, tools and mechanisms and importance of consultation processes. Activities:

  •         Development of Communication Strategies and Action plans and development of manual related to the awareness-raising campaigns and activities of project for HAMAG-BICRO, HGK, HOK, HUP and HCZP;
  •         Preparation and implementation of proper channels for communications and communication campaigns (incl. training courses in communication skills for staff of relevant institutions);
  •         Organisation of national visibility events (project launch event; events to present revised and new Mini Guides; final closure event);
  •         Organisation of regional information campaigns in Croatia NUTS II regions on EIA for SMEs; opportunities (including e-tools) for involving SMEs in the public-private dialogue; revised and new Mini Guides);
  •         Organisation of 6 regional visibility events in Croatia NUTS II regions;
  •         Promotion of project activities and achievements;
  •         Survey(s) on business environment: two surveys completed on Business Information Needs and SME Access to Finance.