Small and medium enterprises represent 97% of all businesses in Asia and contribute to the region GDP from 20% to 50%. According to an independent evaluation by the Asian Development Bank – ADB (INSME Member)on its 5.3 $ billion spent to support SMEs from 2005 to 2017, poor access to finance and market value chains, and a difficult business environment are the main barriers hindering a full exploitation of SMEs potential, in particular of those led by women.
The evaluation was conducted on five countries: Mongolia, Vietnam, India, Fiji and Armenia. In particular ADB’s intervention in Armenia was focused on women entrepreneurship and had good results in terms of business establishment but also showed that the main problem related to the initiative is that often men register their business in name of women to access loans and this prevents an increase of women entrepreneurship.
According to Karen Gevorgyan, Deputy Executive Director of the Armenian Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Development National Center if ADB is planning a second stage of this support initiative it would be advisable to focus more on the quality of women entrepreneurship and not on the quantity and to dedicate more attention to the growth of existing businesses despite that to the creation of new ones.
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