Support to Economic Development at the Local Level in the Republic of Belarus

What is the project about?

The project  focuses on to local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and enterprises and aims at addressing socially important issues (EASIs). Within the framework of the project, EU, UNDP, Ministry of Economy and partners in Belarusian regions will continue cooperation started within the framework of EU Annual Action Programme(AAP) 2011 and 2013 "Support to Local and Regional Development in Belarus" (RELOAD) in order to create jobs and provide direct access to finance for SMEs and EASIs at the local level.

The project will allow to scale up a successful local component of RELOAD programme aimed at enhancing cooperation between local authorities and other stakeholders at the local level at different stages of planning and implementing territorial development, stimulating local initiatives and supporting infrastructure of SMEs and entrepreneurship, including their self-organization and enhancing the effectiveness of their activities (in at least 12 districts of the Republic of Belarus).

The project consists of 3 interrelated components:

1)  The development of long-term strategies at the local level dealing with formulation of approaches and concrete activities aimed at increasing employment, in particular through participatory analysis of opportunities and bottlenecks for economic development in the project districts as well as identification of the existing issues and development of potential solutions and definition of roles of all stakeholders;

2)  Buildingeco-systems” to support economic activities, including measures to improve legislative framework and build the stakeholders’ capacity with a focus on support to development of SMEs and EASIs;

3)  Providing access to new financial mechanisms at the local level to enable the development of SMEs and EASIs.

Expected results:

1)   Mechanisms are in place in at least 12 districts of the country which can unleash private initiative in order to provide solutions for socio-economic development including job creation at the local level with a focus on youth and vulnerable groups of the population (both men and women).

2)  The capacities of the specialists from administrations and organizations at the local level are enhanced.

3)  New jobs and income generation opportunities are created through the improved market positioning and incentivized productivity of SMEs.