USAID LEV Program which started in early 2015 aims to improve the business environment for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and will unite efforts of business, government and civil society on their way to introduce economic reforms reforms and to ensure their effective implementation. Increasing institutional and advocacy capacity of civil society organizations and business associations working with SMEs will help to introduce efficient reforms. In order to address tasks of the regional level, the Program is conducting a competition to select five pilot oblasts. Cased on the contest results and negotiaions Ternopil oblast was selected as one of the target oblasts.
During a working meeting with leadership of the oblast including First Deputy Head of the Oblast Coucnil SerhiyTarashevsky, First Head of the Oblast State Administration Ivan Krysak, heads of departments of the oblast state administration and oblast council Ivan Krysak, in particular, mentioned: " Oblast is ready for close cooperation with the USAID LEV Program. SMEs development will help to form perspective communities in the regions. To achieve this we need to create favorable environment for business development. Only the joint efforts of government, civil society activists, experienced international representatives we are able to conduct effective reforms "
Durong the discussion representatives of the oblast council and oblast administration highlighted main obstacles to SME development in the region, in particular, a huge number of people leaving the region to work abroad, lack of interest and resources in SMEs to invest in their own development, and stressed the the need to improve the business environment and the importance of the reforms targeting SME sector.
In addition, USAID LEV Program team met representatives of business associations and in particular local entrepreneurs to present the objectives and activities of the Program and to receive feedback on the practical issues of the SMEs development and the most crucial and urgent problems which need to be solved in order to improve conditions for SME development. These recommendations, which Program team is collecting from entrepreneurs throughout the country, will be summarized and included in further work. Rgese recommendations will help to establish the legal, regulatory, and administrative measures for improvement of the business environment for SME in Ukraine and to provide support, at the central and local levels, for preparation, promotion, and implementation of effective legislation, regulation, and procedures based on the analysis of the major legal, regulatory, and administrative barriers which are among Program’s priorities on the national and regional levels.
During the meeting, the entrepreneurs raised many hot topics that reflect both problems of a sector of SMEs on the national level and local specifics. According to entrepreneurs, among the issues which need to be solved immediately are regulatory policy issues, access to funding and lack of the trust.