EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Lithuania: ERM comparative analytical report on Public support instruments to support self-employment and job creation in one-person and micro enterprises

  • Observatory: EMCC
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 12 January 2012



About
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Author:
Rasa Zabarauskaite, Inga Blaziene
Institution:

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

There is a number of policy measures in place in Lithuania to promote self-employment and creation of additional jobs in micro enterprises. However, there have never been any special measures applied to support hiring the first employee. The following strategic SMB development trends can be identified as having prevalence in Lithuania within the last decade: improvement of legal, economic and information environment, development and strengthening of financial support for SMB, building of a SMB-favourable service system and development of SMB service infrastructure. After the financial recession the discussions mainly focused on the issues of business credits, stimulation of exports, SMB taxation, social insurance contribution policy and efficiency of SMB support policy.

1. Overall policy context

1.1. General policy approach in the area of self-employment, one-person and micro enterprises at the national level

1.1.1. Has there been a policy focus/debate on the specific challenges facing entrepreneurship as tool for job creation before the global recession? If so, since when and for how long?

Table 1: Presence of policy focus/debate on entrepreneurship as facilitation for job creation before the crisis
 

Yes, continuously since (Please indicate year)

Yes, on and off in the last 10 years

(Please indicate ‘X’ where it applies)

Yes, has been in focus, but since xx it is no longer part of the policy focus (Please indicate year)

No, it has never had policy focus before the recession

(Please indicate ‘X’ where it applies)

Self-employment  

X

   
Hiring the first employee      

X

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises

X (2008)

     

1.1.2. What is the main focus in policy documents or strategies in relation to public or social partner based support instruments for fostering self-employment or job creation in one-person and micro enterprises? (Please indicate ‘X’, multiple answers possible)

Table 2: Main focus in the policy documents or strategies
 

Entrepreneurship (Business development in general)

Job creation (Employment)

Growth (Competitiveness)

It has never had policy focus

Self-employment

X

X

   
Hiring the first employee      

X

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises

X

X

X

 

1.1.3. Please elaborate on the answer given above (with a focus on those developments aimed at employment creation and growth) and indicate if the financial recession has caused a change of focus:

With the start of negotiations for Lithuania’s membership in the EU in 2000, SMB policy of the Lithuanian Government was focused on the improvement of legal and economic environment, enhancement of financial opportunities and development of a business information system in Lithuania. At the beginning of 2003, a new Law on Small and Medium-Sized Business Development came into force wherewith criteria of small and medium-sized enterprises were put in line with EU recommendations.

The following strategic trends of SMB development have been prevailing over the last decade in Lithuania: improvement of legal, economic and information environment, development and strengthening of financial support for SMB, building of a SMB-favourable service system and development of SMB service infrastructure.

The below instruments can be identified as the most important for their impact on SMB development within the last decade:

• Resolution No. 887 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (LRV) of 11 July 2001 On Small and Medium-Sized Business Development establishing INVEGA company and defining its functions to grant micro-credits to SMEs and issue guarantees to credit institutions for SME loans;


  • Resolution No. 1175 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 19 July 2002 On Small and Medium-Sized Business Development Strategy until the Year 2004 and Small and Medium-Sized Business Development Measures for 2002-2004. This Resolution approved strategic objectives for SMB development (ensure prioritised development of the SMB sector, promote integration of the SMB sector to the EU economic space) and set forth measures for their implementation (among such measures we may mention ‘Creation and implementation of the model encouraging cooperation among small, medium and large enterprises’, ‘Provision of guarantees for the banks’ credits for SMB’, ‘Permanent analysis of conditions of SMB activities’, etc.).
  • Order No 4-75 of the Minister of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania On the Funding of Service Institutions for Small and Medium-Sized Business. This Order established the procedure for allocating funds to service-for-business programmes of networking agencies and the procedure for establishing and developing the network agencies.
  • Resolution No. 1104 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 19 October 2005 On Strategic Directions for Small and Medium Business Development until 2008 and the Measures for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises in 2005-2008. The Resolution approved the priorities of support for small and medium business (among such priorities we may mention improvement of legal and economic conditions of SMB, improvement of financial support for SMB; promotion of entrepreneurship in regions, etc.).
  • The 14th Programme of the LRV (18 July 2006) providing for support and promotion of SMB, improvement of sector’s taxation system, entrepreneurship training, implementation of new measures of support for business.
  • The 15th LRV Programme (9 December 2008) providing for the following key SMB promoting measures: easing conditions to receive credit resources, establishing reduced profit tax rates, implementing a system of payment credits, accelerating the use of EU funds for business, simplifying business start-up and bankruptcy procedures.

Table 3: The policy content and significance of the financial recession
Self-employment
Elaboration of content (please describe and also indicate whether it is treated explicitly/implicitly)

Although self-employed people have been on and off the agenda for the last 10 years in the country, attention to the self-employment initiatives in Lithuania increased at the beginning of 2009. The increased attention was related to the expectations that a more significant increase in the number of self-employed people would have positive effects on employment creation and accordingly – on unemployment (and poverty) reduction in Lithuania.

Change due to the financial recession

Please tick:

Yes: √

No: □

After the financial recession the discussions mainly focused on the issues of business credits, stimulation of exports, small and medium business (SMB) taxation, social insurance contribution policy and efficiency of SMB support policy.

Hiring the first employee
Elaboration of content (please describe and also indicate whether it is treated explicitly/implicitly)

It has never had policy focus

Change due to the financial recession

Please tick:

Yes: □

No: √

If ‘Yes’, please elaborate:

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises
Elaboration of content (please describe and also indicate whether it is treated explicitly/implicitly)

It should be noted that most of the SMB support measures and instruments were aimed at increasing the competitiveness of enterprises and protecting them from bankruptcy rather than hiring additional employees or creating additional jobs.

Change due to the financial recession

Please tick:

Yes: √

No: □

Since 2008, in the face of the financial recession followed by a growing number of bankruptcies and decreasing employment in the country, the focus on micro enterprises, as a part of SMB, has increased significantly. Tax incentives and new financial support mechanisms for micro and small enterprises have been introduced in Lithuania.

1.2. Disincentives for self-employment and job creation

1.2.1 Have public measures (e.g. with the aim to increase public revenue or cut public spending) led to disincentives for self-employment or job creation in one-person or micro enterprises before the financial recession?(Please briefly describe the major developments/initiatives (max. 300 words)

In a period from 2004 to 2008, the number of self-employed people was decreasing every year in Lithuania from 227,000 self-employed individuals in 2004 down to as few as 140,000 in 2008. The share of the self-employed shrank from 16.1% to 9.3% of the total number of the employed within the period at issue. Although no special surveys have been conducted in the country to address the above-mentioned trends and their causes, presumably such a situation was determined not by certain measures implemented by the LRV, but rather by unattractiveness of self-employment. We can identify several reasons which led to disincentives for self-employment:


  1. Rapid wage growth. During the period of economic growth in Lithuania, wages of workers under employment contracts kept growing 20% per year; this was a strong stimulus for self-employed individuals to move to contracted employment.
  2. Social insecurity (poor social guarantees). Until 2009, self-employed people were not insured for social benefits in case of sickness leave, maternity (paternity) leave, accidents at work and/or occupational diseases. That means they were not eligible for sickness, accident, pregnancy, birth-giving or child care social insurance benefits.
  3. Low income – for the majority of self-employed people this type of employment fails to ensure a sufficient level of income due to low pay. For this reason, self-employment was more often taken as a second job rather than the sole employment.
  4. Poor working conditions – only a very small part of the self-employed enjoy high quality of jobs in Lithuania.
  5. Relatively heavy tax and administrative burden. A study conducted by the Ministry of Economy (UM) has revealed that a heavy administrative burden and complicated income taxation system represent the main obstacles faced in engaging in individual business activities in Lithuania.

Within the last decade, increase in prices for electricity and fuel has also considerably affected Lithuanian enterprises (both small-sized and large ones). According to the National Audit Office of Lithuania (VK), electricity price to commercial users in Lithuania increased by about 26% in such a short period as from 2004 to 2007, while fuel prices rose by more than one third from 2005 to 2011.

1.2.2 Have public measures (e.g. with the aim to increase public revenue or cut public spending) led to disincentives for self-employment or job creation in one-person or micro enterprises as a result of the financial recession?(Please describe – max. 300 words)

At the beginning of 2009, the financial crisis resulted in a major increase in overall tax burdens on some categories of self-employed people. For example, new 9% and 31% social insurance contributions were introduced for authors and performers (with effect from 1 January 2011) in addition to 15% personal income tax which was already due to them until 2009. Before 2009, individuals working under business certificates were only covered with pension insurance on a compulsory basis. In order to reduce the deficit of the State Social Insurance Fund’s budget, compulsory pension social insurance for the basic and supplementary parts of pension as well as social insurance in case of sickness and maternity were additionally introduced for these persons from 1 January 2009.

Other political measures that had negative implications for SMB development (including self-employed people and micro enterprises) include:


  • Increase in a standard VAT rate from 19% to 21% with effect from September 2009 and cancellation of all previously valid VAT reductions (for medicinal products, books, hotel activities) except for the reduced rate for heat energy.
  • The excise tax on diesel fuel was increased by 20% from January 2009.

1.3. Representation of/lobbying for self-employed and micro enterprises

Are self-employed and micro enterprises in your national context explicitly or implicitly (e.g. entrepreneurs or SMEs in general) represented by the following types of organisations (e.g. for lobbying, defending their interest etc.)?

Table 4: Representation of self-employed and micro enterprises
 

Self-employed

Micro enterprises

Employers’ organisations

Yes, implicitly (Lithuanian Business Employers’ Confederation (LVDK), target group – SMEs)

Yes, explicitly (Lithuanian Association of Small Businessmen and Traders (LSVPA)

Yes, implicitly (LVDK), target group – SMEs)

Employees’ organisation

Yes, implicitly (Trade union ‘Solidarumas’ of small and medium businessmen, target group – SMEs)

Yes, implicitly (Trade union ‘Solidarumas’ of small and medium businessmen, target group – SMEs)

Yes, implicitly – all national level trade unions – Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation (LPSK), Lithuanian Labour Federation, Lithuanian Trade Union ‘Solidarumas’ (LPS ‘Solidarumas’). target groups – all employees.

Not-for-profit organisations

Yes, implicitly (over 30 business information centres all over Lithuania, target group – SMEs, natural persons acting or starting up their activities under business certificates or individual activity certificates).

Yes, implicitly (Paslaugų ir gaminių kontaktinis centras ‘Verslo vartai’, target group – entities operating in the territory of Lithuania; natural persons acting or starting up their activities under business certificates or individual activity certificates)

Yes, implicitly (over 30 business information centres all over Lithuania, target group – SMEs, natural persons acting or starting up their activities under business certificates or individual activity certificates).

Yes, implicitly (Paslaugų ir gaminių kontaktinis centras ‘Verslo vartai’, target group – entities operating in the territory of Lithuania; natural persons acting or starting up their activities under business certificates or individual activity certificates).

Yes, implicitly (Lithuanian Innovation Centre), target group – entities operating in the territory of Lithuania; Lithuanian research institutions, associated business structures and business support organisations).

Others

Yes, implicitly (Small and Medium Business Department at the UM, target group – SMEs)

Yes, implicitly (Small and Medium-sized Business Council, target group – SMEs)

Yes, implicitly (Verslumo skatinimo fondas, target group – micro and small enterprises; natural persons starting up business activities; social enterprises).

Yes, implicitly (Small and Medium Business Department at the UM, target group – SMEs)

Yes, implicitly (Small and Medium-sized Business Council, target group – SMEs)

Yes, implicitly (Verslumo skatinimo fondas, target group – micro and small enterprises; natural persons starting up business activities; social enterprises).

2. Identification and description of relevant recent support instruments

2.1. Selection of region(s) when total coverage of the entire regional and local level is too comprehensive

Table 5: Administrative level/region(s) covered for the following research (max. 50 words per region)

Administrative level relevant for the rest of the questionnaire

National level

If a specific regional/local are is selected, please provide the following information

Name of region

 
Motivation for selecting this region  

Facts about the region e.g.

- Geographic location

- No. of inhabitants

- Business structure (sector, size)

- Labour market

- Specific characteristics if applicable

 

2.2. Brief overview of recent instruments to foster self-employment or job creation in one-person and micro enterprises

2.2.1. Please provide a brief description (max. 800 words) of public or social partner based instruments recently initiated (2008 onwards) to support self-employment and job creation in one-person or micro enterprises.

Table 6: List of recent instruments

Title

Pelno mokesčio mikro įmonėms sumažinimas

Profit tax reduction for micro enterprises

Aim/objective

To facilitate activities of micro enterprises, create conditions for enterprises to assign more funds for business development and establishment of new jobs.

Description of support

With effect from 1 January 2010, the profit tax was reduced from 13% to 5% for micro enterprises with the average number of employees not exceeding 10 and income per tax period not exceeding LTL 500,000.

Target group

Micro enterprises

Initiator and other actors involved

Ministry of Finance (FM)

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Indefinite; initiated partly due to the recession

Title

Pajamų iš individualios veiklos mokesčio sumažinimas

Tax reduction for income from individual activities

Aim/objective

Encouraging people to engage in self-employed activities

Description of support

The rate of income tax of individuals applicable to people who engage in individual activities was reduced from 15% to 5%.

Target group

Natural persons engaged in individual activities.

Initiator and other actors involved

FM

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Indefinite; initiated partly due to the recession

Title

Pelno mokesčio legvatos įmonėms, investuojančioms į naujas technologijas

Profit tax reductions for enterprises investing in new technologies

Aim/objective

To promote investments in fixed assets intended for manufacturing of innovative products and/or delivery of innovative services or increasing their production capacities.

Description of support

In 2009, profit tax reductions were introduced for enterprises investing in state-of-the-art technologies (fixed assets intended for manufacturing of new or supplementary products or implementation of new production (or service delivery) processes, etc.). Taxable profit due per tax period may be reduced for such enterprises by up to 50%.

Target group

Enterprises implementing investment projects and registered in the procedure prescribed by the legislation of the Republic of Lithuania

Initiator and other actors involved

FM

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Taxable profits may be reduced only in respect of expenditure suffered during tax periods from 2009 to 2013; initiated partly due to the recession

Title

Inovacinių čekių įmonėms teikimas

Innovation vouchers for enterprises

Aim/objective

Encouraging enterprises to use scientific solutions and create new products, technologies and services demanded on the market.

Description of support

Since 2010, micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises pursuing implementation of innovations have been enabled to apply for innovation vouchers. Currently there are two types of innovation vouchers approved: vouchers worth LTL 10,000 and LTL 20,000. The first-type vouchers will be funded 100% and the second one – 75%. The vouchers might be used to cover expenses for a) applied scientific research, b) experimental (technical) development; c) preparation of technical feasibility studies.

Target group

Micro, small and medium enterprises registered in the procedure prescribed by the legislation of the Republic of Lithuania

Initiator and other actors involved

UM

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Indefinite; initiated partly due to the recession

Title

‘Verslumo skatinimo’ fondo įkūrimas

Establishment of the Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund

Aim/objective

To create conditions for micro and small enterprises as well as natural persons to start up and/or develop own business, to promote entrepreneurship, self-employment and creation of new jobs.

Description of support

Within the framework of implementing the measure ‘Promoting Entrepreneurship’ under the Operational Programme for Human Resources Development, the Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund was established on 30 December 2009 for granting loans to micro and small enterprises, business start-ups and social enterprises. Granting of loans under the measure is combined with training and consulting of business start-ups as well as assistance in drawing up and implementing business plans.

Target group

Micro and small enterprises

Business start-ups (natural persons)

Social enterprises

Initiator and other actors involved

Ministry of Social Security and Labour (SADM)

FM

The guarantee institution INVEGA

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Until 31 December, 2015; initiated partly due to the recession

Title

Priemonės ‘Parama verslo kūrimui ir plėtrai’ įgyvendinimas

Implementation of measure ‘Support for Business Creation and Development’

Aim/objective

To promote the entrepreneurship of rural residents, youth and women in particular; to develop small rural businesses; to strengthen the viability of existing micro-enterprises and encourage their modernisation.

Description of support

Implementation of measure ‘Support for Business Creation and Development’ under the Lithuanian Rural Development Programme for 2007–2013 started in March 2008. The measure is intended to support projects aimed at fostering traditional crafts in rural regions of the country (creation and development of traditional craft centres) and promoting non-agricultural activities (product manufacturing and service delivery).

Target group

Micro enterprises

Natural persons acting or starting up their activities under business certificates or individual activity certificates

Initiator and other actors involved

Ministry of Agriculture (ZUM)

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Year 2008-2013; initiated partly due to the recession

Title

Naujos teisinės formos juridinio asmens – mažosios bendrijos – įteisinimas

Legalisation of a new legal person’s form – small partnership

Aim/objective

To accelerate the start-up of small businesses by enabling rapid integration, efficient functioning and competing in the market at minimum cost.

Description of support

With a view to creating conditions for a new form of small business to appear in Lithuania, the Ministry of Economy has already drafted a law on a new legal person – small partnership. This initiative is aimed at simplifying the procedure for establishing small enterprises, its management structure and other conditions of transacting business activities.

Target group

Natural persons willing to start up family business or set up a micro enterprise

Initiator and other actors involved

UM

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Indefinite; the measure is going to be implemented in order to minimise costs of running the small enterprise and ease administration burden

2.2.2. In-depth description of ‘Good Practices’

Table 7: Description of ‘Good Practice’ examples of recent support instruments

Name of the programme/instrument

In national language and English

‘Verslumo skatinimo’ fondo įkūrimas

Establishment of the Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund

Is the instrument explicitly addressing any of the following: Self-employment Hiring the first employee Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises
Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant X   X
Operational level Local Regional National
Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant     X

Rationale/motivation for the instrument

(please describe)

Tightening of loan granting conditions by Lithuanian banks resulted in the shortage of turnover funds being faced by more and more enterprises (particularly small ones). This facilitated the establishment of a special fund for granting loans to enterprises on easy terms.

Purpose and aims for the instrument (please describe)

To promote the establishment of new enterprises and create conditions for starting up business for micro and small enterprises as well as natural persons, also, for social enterprises’ business development by delivering training, business consulting services and micro-crediting on easy terms to business start-ups. It is expected to create about 1,000 new jobs throughout the entire period of measure implementation (till 31 December 2015).

Initiator
Please ‘X’      
Other stakeholders actively involved in implementation (please name them and describe their roles)

The measure is implemented through the Lithuanian Central Credit Unions and the consortium of 57 credit unions.

Target groups        
Please describe the target groups (sector, age, level of education, gender)

Micro and small enterprises

Business start-ups (natural persons)

Social enterprises

Funding        
Please describe the funding of the instrument/programme (national and European sources, budget available)

Funds for the Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund are allocated under financial engineering measure ‘Promoting Entrepreneurship’ of the Operational Programme for Human Resources Development administered by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour. The measure is financed by the European Social Fund.

Activities    
Please describe the activities of the programme or institutional initiative as detailed as possible
  • of guarantees to small and medium businesses
  • of low-interest loans
  • services

Results (Effectiveness)      
Please describe the results e.g. number of beneficiaries, advised enterprises

In 2010, 449 guarantees were issued from the Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund for loans aimed at funding SMB projects. Successful implementation of the projects is expected to create nearly 600 new jobs.

As of May 2011, 71 loans were granted from the Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund for the total amount exceeding LTL 3.8 million (€ 1.1 million). Combined with funds of credit unions (10%), the amount of business loans totals to be at LTL 4.2 million (€ 1.2 million). An average loan amount is around LTL 60,000 (€ 17,400).

Challenges in order to reach the objectives e.g. for the organisation offering the instrument, the entrepreneurs (Please describe); and if available how these have been overcome

n.a.

Assessments of the effectiveness e.g. investments made in order to reach the objectives of the programme (outcome vs. investment) (Please base this assessment on evaluations when possible)

It is expected to grant loans for LTL 50 million (€ 14.5 million) till 2015.

Outcomes (Efficiency)  
Increasing self-employment, growth and employment e.g. number of start-up and/or jobs created etc. (please describe, preferably based on evaluations, otherwise on experts’ assessment)

Most of the above described instruments are rather new and currently there is no evaluation on their efficiency.

This instrument was selected as ‘Good practice’ because it provides for SMB the most relevant services – possibility to receive resources to run a business (by the guarantees or low-interest loans) and consultation in a complex way.

Please provide link to evaluation documents if possible

Independent auditor opinion, annual report and financial statements for the year ending on 31 December 2010 of UAB Investicijų ir Verslo Garantijos – http://www.invega.lt/content/blogcategory/10/19/, http://www.ukmin.lt/lt/svv/parama/verslumo%20skatinimo%20fondo%20ataskaita%20iki%202011%2005%2001.pdf

Example 2:

Name of the programme/instrument

In national language and English

Inovacinių čekių įmonėms teikimas

Innovation vouchers for enterprises

Is the instrument explicitly addressing any of the following: Self-employment Hiring the first employee Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises
Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant     X
Operational level Local Regional National
Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant     X

Rationale/motivation for the instrument

(please describe)

In Lithuania, cooperation between science/research and business, particularly within SMB, remains to be very poor; this is why SMB usually creates low added-value products. Innovation vouchers were developed in order to change the existing situation.

Purpose and aims for the instrument (please describe)

Encouraging enterprises to use scientific solutions and create new products, technologies and services demanded on the market.

Initiator
Please ‘X’      
Other stakeholders actively involved in implementation (please name them and describe their roles)

Mokslo inovacijų ir technologijų agentūra (MITA) – budgetary institution administering the innovation voucher scheme.

Target groups        
Please describe the target groups (sector, age, level of education, gender)

Micro, small and medium enterprises registered in the procedure prescribed by the legislation of the Republic of Lithuania

Funding        
Please describe the funding of the instrument/programme (national and European sources, budget available)

Since 2010, micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises pursuing the implementation of innovations have been enabled to apply for innovation vouchers. Currently there are two types of innovation vouchers approved: vouchers worth LTL 10,000 (€ 2,900) and LTL 20,000 (€ 5,800). The first-type vouchers will be funded by 100% and the second one by 75%. The measure is allocated LTL 1,000,000 (€ 290,000) per year. The main source of funding – allocations from the budget of the Republic of Lithuania.

Activities    
Please describe the activities of the programme or institutional initiative as detailed as possible

Innovation vouchers are aimed at ensuring cooperation between business and research institutions, accelerate know-how transfer from science to business and commercialisation of innovative ideas and research outcomes. Businesses are encouraged to make use of scientific achievements and newest research, while research institutions are facilitated to center their activities on business needs and commercialised research.

The following activities are eligible for funding under the innovation voucher scheme:

1. Applied (industrial) research

2. Research and development

3. Preparation of feasibility studies

Results (Effectiveness)      
Please describe the results e.g. number of beneficiaries, advised enterprises

In 2010, 87 enterprises received innovation vouchers.

In 2011 it is planned to spend LTL 1 million (€ 290,000) for innovation vouchers.

Challenges in order to reach the objectives e.g. for the organisation offering the instrument, the entrepreneurs (Please describe); and if available how these have been overcome

It is quite difficult to assess the challenges faced in order to reach the objectives, as there actually is no information on the practical application of the measure in Lithuania. At the beginning of 2011, the Lithuanian Society of Young Researchers (LJMS) applied to the UM and MITA calling to review the measure implementation mechanism and drawing attention to system gaps that raise doubts as to the transparency of such implementation and impartiality of controlling authorities. According to the LJMS, it is not clear what criteria have been used for selecting institutions to provide services to enterprises; in order to improve efficiency of the usage of funds, it is necessary to create equal opportunities to deliver services for both private and public research institutions of whatsoever legal form.

Assessments of the effectiveness e.g. investments made in order to reach the objectives of the programme (outcome vs. investment) (Please base this assessment on evaluations when possible)

Today it is difficult to come up with assessments of the outcomes of the measure. However, we can say that SMEs demonstrated high activity in applying for support in innovation vouchers – just in few days after the call was published, the number of received applications exceeded the funds intended to be allocated for the measure.

Outcomes (Efficiency)  
Increasing self-employment, growth and employment e.g. number of start-up and/or jobs created etc. (please describe, preferably based on evaluations, otherwise on experts’ assessment)

There is no information or any research conducted in Lithuania and giving grounds to evaluate or assess the outcomes (efficiency) of the measure.

Please provide link to evaluation documents if possible

n.a.

3. Annex: Update on recent self-employment study

Table 8: Additional information on specific instruments to the EEO national report on self-employment:

Title of the instrument

 
Additional information  
Table 9: Please add any other comments to the EEO national report on self-employment:
 
Table 10: Please indicate ‘X’ if you have no additional information to the EEO national report on self-employment:

Please indicate ‘X’ if you have no additional information to provide

X

Commentary

The information presented above and information in the EEO report imply great attention being paid and a number of measures being implemented in Lithuania for the support and development of the small and medium businesses. However, it should be noted that administration of most of these measures is quite complicated; persons willing to receive support or access information have to overcome a number of administrative barriers that intrinsically reduce the accessibility to and efficiency of the measures. There still is quite a big variety of forms and opportunities for small business development in Lithuania. This often determines certain differences in tax and administrative burdens on businesses transacted under different forms of business. In turn, it leads to unequal conditions to compete. It is quite probable that a recently developed new business form – small partnership – will solve the problems and more or less balance conditions for small business in Lithuania.

Rasa Zabarauskaite, Inga Blaziene, Institute of Labour and Social Research



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