USAID works to strengthen and expand the private sector in Belarus by improving the business enabling environment, increasing the capacity of private sector actors, developing business support organizations, and expanding access to finance. USAID’s support for the private sector focuses on entrepreneurs and micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). USAID gives special attention to advancing innovations and developing start-ups.
Improving Business Regulations and the National Quality Infrastructure (BR/NQI)
The BR/NQI project is a multi-donor effort co-funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) since 2010. The activities focus on reducing the regulatory burden on businesses and improving the competitiveness of Belarusian companies on the international market. Currently, the project contributes to developing the MSMEs support strategy; simplifying administrative procedures for businesses; improving the national certification and standardization system in accordance with international standards; and simplifying export and import procedures.
Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW)
Since 2011, USAID has partnered with the Center for Business Communications BEL.BIZ to organize GEW in Belarus, an annual worldwide event to promote values of entrepreneurship and innovations. This major entrepreneurship forum taking place in 160 countries attracts millions of participants, including aspiring and mature entrepreneurs, investors, local and international experts, government officials, and youth. GEW is a unique experience exchange platform that encourages new initiatives and supports economic reforms for startup development. Annually over 1,000 participants attend USAID-supported GEW events in Belarus and over 2,000 join them online.
Supporting Start-ups and Early Stage Small Business Development
USAID in partnership with BEL.BIZ develops start-up support infrastructure. The project activities include business training and international experience exchange. TechMinsk - a bootcamp for young entrepreneurs - is one of the main training programs. In three years, over 200 participants from 90 startups graduated TechMinsk. Projects of TechMinsk alumni have already attracted over $7 million in investments. USAID support will continue to contribute to including Belarusian IT entrepreneurs into the global startup ecosystem.
In 2016, USAID started a partnership with the IPM Business School and the Society for Innovative Business Support (SIBS) to advance entrepreneurship training, including startup schools and entrepreneurship competitions in the regions of Belarus.
For over a decade, USAID has assisted the development of both academic and non-formal business education in Belarus by supporting the adoption of international business education standards, professional exchanges, modern curricula and innovative formats, including distant learning courses.
Increasing Access to Finance for the Rural Population in Belarus
USAID in partnership with the Republican Microfinance Center aims to broaden economic opportunities for rural populations through raising financial literacy, strengthening entrepreneurial skills, improving access to microfinance for entrepreneurship purposes, promoting improved policies and regulations for microfinance in Belarus and advancing international best practices. The project is implemented throughout the country, with a particular focus on rural areas and small cities in the Minsk and Brest regions. Over 2,000 representatives of rural microenterprises with entrepreneurship development potential improved their financial literacy. Approximately 900 persons improved their knowledge in rural entrepreneurship and agricultural technologies.
Last updated: November 08, 2016