The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor views small and medium-sized businesses as an important source of economic growth and the creation of economically stable employment. Small and medium-sized businesses are defined as businesses employing 1-100 employees.
The main advantages of these businesses are innovation, flexibility, and rapid establishment at low cost and dispersion of risk. They provide employment solutions for specific groups such as women, demobilized soldiers and new immigrants. They nonetheless suffer from obstacles in management, funding, and access to information and bureaucracy, which make it difficult for them to develop unhindered, and operate in the free market. The Ministry works to remove these obstacles.
The Small and Medium Businesses Agency in Israel
The Small and Medium Businesses Agency in Israel was established at the initiative of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. The intent was to create a body, which would formulate policy for promoting small and medium-sized businesses, and assist entrepreneurs, as well as serve as the focus for activity in this field and coordinate the work of various bodies active in this area. The main objective of the Agency is to assist entrepreneurs in surmounting the obstacles and difficulties facing them.
Functions of the Agency:
To initiate and implement government policy to assist small and medium-sized businesses.
To create and operate programs of assistance for these businesses.
To coordinate between all the organizations involved in promoting this sector.
To establish local and regional centers for encouraging small and medium-sized businesses.
To introduce legislation pertaining to small and medium-sized businesses.
To implement guidance, public relations and educational programs for the management of small and medium-sized businesses.
To fulfill research and surveys on the sector and to establish useful databases.
To create additional funds and vehicles of assistance.
To lobby both publicly and privately to eliminate obstacles facing entrepreneurs.
To locate and encourage entrepreneurial potential among specific segments of the population, such as minorities.
To create a positive and supportive growth environment for small and medium-sized businesses.
The Agency is active in the following areas:
Centers for Assistance and Promotion of Small Businesses
Field offices scattered throughout the country carry out the Agency'sfieldwork. These offices offer business people and entrepreneurs a variety of services to assist them in establishing, managing and expanding businesses and to help prevent closures.
Small and medium business people and entrepreneurs can receive the following types of assistance at these offices: information and direction, ongoing professional consultation, referrals to sources of funding, courses, workshops and seminars.
The Funds for Promoting Small Businesses
These funds assist in the establishment and expansion of small businesses in all sectors of the economy. Within this framework the State guarantees loans to small businesses as a means of encouraging banks to grant loans to these businesses and to overcome the problem of insufficient collateral. In lieu of collateral, businesses are required to draw up detailed business plans.
The scattered is also active in other areas including: research, introduction of the ISO 9000 regulations in small and medium-sized businesses, Project Spark for creative management and growth in small and medium-sized businesses, etc.
For further information:The Small and Medium Businesses Agency
The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor
5 Bank Israel St., P.O.B 3166,Jerusalem, 91036Tel: 02-6662376Fax: 02-6662284E-Mail: email@example.com