Stara Zagora Regional Economic Development Agency (SZREDA) has received approval for two more good practices from Bulgaria under the INNOGROW project, co-funded by INTERREG Europe. The number of localized good practices is one of the key objectives of the project to promote the exchange of useful experience in the regions of Europe. As a partner in the project, SZREDA has sent three good practices that facilitate the access of start-ups and small businesses to financial resources.
The two good practices that have been recognized as successful in other EU countries and regions are under the Bulgarian Development Bank's hat. These are the National Guarantee Fund and the Microfinance Institution "JOBS".
National Guarantee Fund was jointly established by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. The National Guarantee Fund was established in 2008 as part of the BBD Group. The Fund issues guarantees that supplement the collateral required by commercial banks for lending to the Bulgarian business. NGF facilitates access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises and helps reduce interest rates on loans. NGF support is indirect, through risk sharing schemes with funding institutions. Indirect support ensures high efficiency of inputs.
The main objective of the other good practice is to facilitate access to finance for micro and small enterprises, farmers, self-employed persons, craftsmen and others who develop or start a business on the territory of the country and reduce their "exclusivity" services. Start-up companies and micro-enterprises that could not obtain funding from other banks will be able to get funding up to € 50,000 from the Microfinance Institution "Jobs". The problem addressed by this practice is the inability of start-ups to get funding to start a business. For each of the IFI's products, there is an opportunity to finance "start-ups", as well as micro and small businesses without credit history.
The key players are IFI Jobs, regional representatives with whom MFI Jobs works and the "start-ups" themselves. Beneficiaries are start-ups and micro and small businesses that have no access to normal bank funding.
As a result of the identification and publication of the information, there is a real opportunity to successfully transfer the good practices leading from Bulgaria to the interest of other regions / countries in the EU.
The INNOGROW project (Regional Innovation Policies Driving Competitiveness and Growth of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Rural Areas) aims to provide regional support to engage small and medium-sized enterprises in the rural economy in the implementation of innovation. Usually small and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas have great difficulty in adopting and implementing innovations in order to increase their competitiveness. Regional policies should be geared towards and supporting the dissemination of innovative solutions and innovative business models that would lead to productivity gains and provides access to new markets.