> SLOVAK BUSINESS AGENCY (SBA)

Is The Oldest Specialised Non-Profit Organization In Slovakia Offering Comprehensive Support To Small And Medium-Sized Businesses (SMEs).

SBA was founded in 1993 by a common initiative of the European Union and the Government of the Slovak Republic. Its founders are the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic, Entrepreneurs Association of Slovakia and Slovak Association of Crafts.

The mission of the SBA is to provide complex assistance to entrepreneurs, to support their business national, regional and local level and to strengthen the competitiveness of entrepreneurs within the EU common market and in non-EU markets.

OUR STORY
All services provided by the SBA are free of charge for clients. Future entrepreneurs or SMEs have a choice of different types of services depending on the form of assistance they need – professional seminars, multi-day courses, individual counselling, mentoring, incubator, coworking, participation in international events and courses, Creative Point technology workshop, process audit, etc… They can also receive financial support in the form of micro-loans. A special form of support is also mapping and analysing the business environment or the regulatory framework affecting entrepreneurship in Slovakia and presenting the results.

SUPPORT FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP (NON-ENTREPRENEURS)
Those interested in entrepreneurship can participate in dozens of events throughout the year all across Slovakia. The events are dedicated to interesting topics on getting started in entrepreneurship. They can request consultations with an expert on topics they need to address, be part of an Accelerator, get a place in Coworking, network with each other and with experts. Gain know-how from mentors that they can then use in the real business world.

Creatives will find their place in Creative Point. Every month, creative discussions and hands-on workshops are organised. Those interested will learn how to work with graphic software, create handmade things or operate new technologies.

The first step towards entrepreneurship is a visit to the Front Office Client Centres in regional towns in Slovakia, where expert staff will guide them and introduce them to the whole portfolio of services.

SUPPORT FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTREPRENEURS
Entrepreneurs may encounter various problems and challenges on their entrepreneurial journey that they need to overcome and move on. The SBA offers a range of events, seminars and workshops on current business topics. They can learn everything they don’t already know about entrepreneurship, meet people who have succeeded, listen to their stories, and gain knowledge from experienced lecturers. They can also attend international events at EU level or send their employees to attend training courses.

The Incubator – physical and virtual – also helps entrepreneurs under three years old to survive on the market. Each member of the physical incubator receives not only a venue for their business, but also a package of support services.

Entrepreneurs can also take advantage of the Creative Point and work on their business project in the creative workshop. Consultancy services are also very popular. After the application is approved, entrepreneurs get the opportunity to consult individually with an expert on selected topics for 10 or 80 hours. The consultancy is tailored to the needs of the client. The consultancy can also be used by those entrepreneurs who are interested in expanding and extending their business beyond the borders of Slovakia within the framework of support for internationalisation. Moreover, SBA is a member of the Enterprise Europe Network, the global network existing across the EU and beyond, which helps small businesses to make the most of the European marketplace.

A new feature this year is the launch of a service through which entrepreneurs can have a process audit carried out, which will enable them to analyse, evaluate and recommend improvements to a process or processes in a particular company.

SUPPORTING FAMILY BUSINESS
A successful service provided by the SBA is the support of family businesses. A popular part of this is free advice, information and expert assistance for family businesses dealing with succession and generational change, seeking to develop the potential of family business members, planning for the integration of professional management, and preparing for the transfer of ownership.

SUPPORTING START-UPS, INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY
Startup Sharks is an initiative to increase the chances of innovative and competitive business ideas and plans to succeed in the market.

Startup Sharks offers three types of services: a) arranging participation in a domestic or international event focused on innovation, technology and startups, b) providing mentoring in the development of an innovative product, c) internships in world-class science and technology centres.

SUPPORT FOR ENTREPRENEURIAL EDUCATION
Another innovation launched in 2021 is a grant scheme to support entrepreneurship education. The aim of this service is to reward projects aimed at building entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills in kindergarten pupils, students, graduates and teaching staff.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
As part of its financial assistance, the SBA provides micro-loans to entrepreneurs on very favourable terms. The aim is to address the problem of access to finance for small and start-up entrepreneurs.

Microloans are provided to finance investment and operating needs in amount of EUR 2,500 – 50,000.

The repayment period of the micro-loan is set at 6 months to 4 years, with start-up entrepreneurs in particular taking advantage of the benefit offered of deferring principal repayments for up to six months after taking out the loan.

SUPPORT FOR THE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
In supporting the creation of the business environment, the SBA focuses on its monitoring in the form of surveys and analyses. In this area, it also cooperates with international institutions such as the EC, the OECD and the World Bank. Another important activity of this agenda is the process of measuring the impact of proposed legislation on SMEs and evaluating alternative solutions to these proposals. The main objective of this action is to reduce the disproportionate regulatory burden on SMEs and to improve the business environment in Slovakia.

INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS
SBA is also very active in international projects aimed at the SMEs support under the authority of the EU. By participating in international projects we pursue bringing EU topics to Slovakia and their subsequent implementation within the framework of the Small Business Act for Europe initiative.

We are glad to help you with boosting and developing your business through our complex services or cooperation on our pilot international projects!

SLOVAK BUSINESS AGENCY (SBA)

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