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Access to finance




According to information from the Small Business Act (SBA) Fact Sheets, Croatia is still suffering from the effects of the economic crisis, which provoked a slump both in employment and in added value for the SME sector, as the government tried to nurture an effective economic recovery while moving towards EU membership. In previous years, Croatia performed better than regional averages as measured against the European Charter for Small Enterprises by the SME Policy Index by the OECD. However, Croatia’s accession to the EU means also that the government needs to further upgrade its SME policy, taking EU levels as its benchmark rather than regional performance, and to monitor the country’s lower-than-EU-average productivity in the tourism and construction sectors. Its main priority should be to improve the business environment by tackling administrative and judicial weaknesses. The main difficulties here lie in weak framework conditions for entrepreneurial activity, cumbersome administration with excessive regulation and costs of registration, and weak support for second-chance entrepreneurs. In particular, the government should resume the programme of regulatory simplification which it started with well-targeted measures in 2007, but which has stagnated since 2009. In this area, the predictability of the business environment could be improved by better enforcing the regulatory impact assessment, and increasing the transparency of decision-making, particularly at local level. Last, but not least, the country-wide trend of an expanding SME sector still masks important regional disparities in terms of entrepreneurial activity and entrepreneurship rates.

Key indicators on access to finance
SMAF gif - 17 KB [17 KB]

For details on SMAF index and methodology please click here.

Download data excel12book - 31 KB [31 KB]

Loans gif - 24 KB [24 KB]

Source: Chart compiled using ECB data

Note: Loan volumes and interest rate data for 2013 are to the period September 2013 only (due to data availability as at November 2013).

Download data excel12book - 31 KB [31 KB]


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