On Thursday, September 7, 2006 at 11:00 the EU-funded project “Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Support Services in Priority Regions” will host a press conference in the premises of UNIAN Information Agency (4 Kreschatik street, conference room, 2nd floor).

The purpose of the media meeting is to officially introduce and communicate the features of the project together with the action plan and regional activities to a wider audience.

The project aims to enhance the knowledge and skills of those involved in SME development – business consultants, advisors, trainers, educational institutions and public economic development departments – with emphasis on transferring best practices of other countries. Some highlighted features of the project are:

1) Dissemination of EU models and best practice in SME support;

2) A website “On the route to SME development” containing a “Virtual Business Development Services Market” – a database, unique for the Ukraine, which will enable Ukrainian SMEs to gain access to professional support services, business education programmes and business opportunities in Ukraine and abroad, accessible free of charge;

3) Regional support in training civil servants, consultants and companies with real growth potential.

Mr. Philip Santens, project Team Leader, Mrs. Natalya Korchakova, the Delegation of the European Commission to Ukraine Project Manager and Mr. Gennadiy Bilous, Deputy Head of the State Committee of Ukraine for Regulatory Policy and Entrepreneurship will speak with media representatives at the press conference.

The project started in May 2006 and is due to finish in December 2007.

The project is implemented by a consortium consisting of GFA Consulting Group of Germany (Lead Partner), PEM GmbH of Germany, the Polish Office for Economic Policy & Regional Development (EPRD) and the Ukrainian Institute for Rural Development (lRD). The State Committee of Ukraine for Regulatory Policy and Entrepreneurship is the main beneficiary of the project.