Reducing Regional Disparities: SME’s Support Funding Distribution and Effects in the Regions
The research was conducted in the context of shifting the focus of regional policies from supporting the development of all regions towards the reduction of inter and intraregional disparities. A second contextual element is the stronger recognition of the research potential to build more knowledge for the continuous improvement of the policy making.
The paper aims at providing a model for linking the regional policy objectives, instruments, implementation methods and practice with the effects produced in the regions to inform future policies and address better the new challenges raised by the economic development disparities and social inequalities.
The research was focused on the eight development regions of Romania and the SMEs support funding provided through the Regional Operational Programme 2017-2013, using an extensive database with more than 2 100 beneficiaries of funding including data on the development projects implemented as well as on their business performance before and after the project implementation. The research looks at regional differences of the distribution of funding, typology of interventions and their effects as well their links with specific features of the regional disparities before and after the programme implementation. Most relevant factors influencing the impact of the funding on the business performance were analysed, including sizes of the business, location, sector, sizes of the funding.
The research highlights the need to adapt the approaches and instruments to the multi-dimensional problem of regional disparities using empirical evidence provided through multidisciplinary research.
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