SMEs are mostly owner-managed, often for years. The companies risk to loose knowledge and jobs, once that owner retires. This is happening at increasing speed in the BSR,where more and more owners retire without having transferred the business to the next generation.

Business transfers have a higher impact on the economic growth than start-ups. The future growth and sustainability of innovative companies in the BSRis severely limited byfailed business transfers. In all countries the number and qualification of potential successors must be improved. The majority of projects and measures focus on the creation of new firms,while the challenge of keeping firms running successfully is not covered. Therefore the aims of the project are to examine, further develop and design innovative and transferable models and tools for facilitating SME business transfers, make them widely available and implement them in companies.

The project has the following main objectives.

  • Strengthening institutional capacityof existing SMEpromotion institutions in terms of sustained promotion of business transfers in 9 BSRcountries.
  • Better endorsement of SMEbusiness transfers bypolicyand administrations and easier financing
  • Sustainable skills of entrepreneurship, increase of entrepreneurial qualifications and increasing the number of candidates willing to take over businesses
  • Promoting business transfers during project implementation and ensuring sustained continuation of the implemented measures on a broad basis in all BSRcountries.

To achieve these challenging goals, the following outputs are developed and implemented: • Sixbest practice models for SMEBusiness transfers, including blueprints for realisation

  • Sixbest practice financing models and newinnovative strategies for financing of the transfers
  • In four BSRcountries improvement of existing, in five BSRcountries building of newinstitutional capacities, including coaching of staff and three newtools to support transfers
  • In all countries creation and permanent operation of regional promotion structures
  • Tools and trainings to attract newentrepreneurs, qualification of future entrepreneurs with focus on take over of SMEs
  • Political strategyprogram with action plans for different target groups.

The focus of the project is the implementation of the outputs. Additionally, all outputs will be transferred for implementation to 68 institutions in all BSRcountries.

The increased capacities and institutionalised knowledge will achieve progressive change of SME business transfers in the BSR.Greatly improved models,well-organised transnational support structures, new financing methods and better qualified entrepreneurs,who are ready to take over businesses,will results in much higher success rates of companytransfers during the project and for years to come.