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Slovenia Business Week no. 47/2004: Entrepreneurs Pleased with Major Improvements in Ten Years

As the Slovenian Association of Entrepreneurs at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia celebrates its 10th anniversary, its president Marta Turk told a ceremony on Wednesday, 10 November that the situation of small-sized companies has improved considerably over the past decade.

Ten years ago, small companies had hardly any access to financial sources and loans were expensive. In recent years though, banks changed their attitude towards entrepreneurs and the government set up the Small Business Development Fund, according to Turk.

In other encouraging trends highlighted by Turk, rare small companies were using e-mail six years ago, while practically all companies are using it now and have their own website, many of them in English.

Moreover, according to Turk, small companies have started to enter foreign markets, are joining international clusters and are looking for joint ventures on foreign markets.

While the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry numbered 28,000 member companies in 1994, the figure stands at 50,000 this year.

As to the future goals of the association, Turk said that the association needs a representative in Brussels, who would be tasked with lobbying and providing information to entrepreneurs.

Also attending the ceremony, Erwan Fouere, head of the European Commission representation office in Slovenia, highlighted that entrepreneurs should make more profit of the country's geographical position, which represents a passage to Southeastern Europe.

He also advised the entrepreneurs to create new jobs in the parts of the country with a high unemployment rate, and called on the government to cut the red tape in the small business legislation.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: STA