Measuring the Performance of SMEs for Evidence – Informed Economic Development Policies in Albania
Annual Review of Territorial Governance in the Western Balkans, I, 2019, 98-106
Without any doubt, Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) represent a driving force in economic development today. SMEs by the numbers dominate the world business stage, although their contribution varies among countries. In Albania, SMEs represents about 98% of total companies with a significant contribution of about 70% to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The structure and performance of the national economy is dependent on the economic performance of SMEs and the government has drafted several strategic programs that support the development of SMEs over time. The latest program, Business and investment development strategy for the period 2014- 2020 includes, for the first time, performance indicators that serve to monitor the achievement of strategic objectives for SME development. However, measuring the performance of SMEs and their ability to compete on national and international markets requires more comprehensive information. The analysis shows that although there has been a positive economic growth rate of the GDP over the last few years, the performance indicators of SMEs have shown a slightly negative trend, indirectly indicating the need for more support in order to increase their contribution in the national economy. Although the current results should be interpreted with caution, it’s time for economic policy to be based and informed not only on the volume data of SMEs, but also on their performance, as it is the latter that guarantees the sustainability of the economy.