INFORMATION SOCIETY > BELARUSTheWorldWide Webat the service of        small businessE-government can do more.In Europe it ...
The World Wide Web at the service of small business   p. 2ENPI Info Centre – Feature no. 40                               ...
The World Wide Web at the service of small business   p. 3ENPI Info Centre – Feature no. 40                               ...
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Ft40 east belarus en

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Ft40 east belarus en

  1. 1. INFORMATION SOCIETY > BELARUSTheWorldWide Webat the service of small businessE-government can do more.In Europe it has long been accepted www.enpi-info.euthat what is necessary for success in business isnot only a good idea and initial capital, but also availability of information onmarket rules. The EU-supported Egoprise project – promoting e-government as a toolto improve quality of services for medium and small business – helps create a systemin which enterprises have access to all the necessary information in electronic format,and do not suffer from administrative barriers. This project is part of the EuropeanTerritorial Cooperation, more exactly of the Baltic Sea Region Programme fortransnational cooperation. It involves 22 partners from Germany, Denmark, Latvia,Lithuania, Sweden, Finland and Estonia, and its overall budget is 2.5 million EUR.In 2010 Belarus also joined in.Text by Tatyana Korovenkova Minsk – “The whole idea is about minimizing administrative procedures. As shown by international experience, business enterprises often fail because it is very difficult to find a way through too many and too different State regulations. E-government is a tool to improve the quality of services provided by public authorities for small and medium-sized enterprises.” Michael Doroshevich is an expert from Belarus. For him,This publication doesnot represent the it is essential that the government understands the purpose of the initiative. And heofficial view of the EC goes even further: “It is vital that the government realizes how important it is to stayor the EU institutions. in contact with the people. It is not enough to provide enterprises withThe EC accepts no ENPI Info Centre – Feature no. 40 information, or an opportunity to pay taxes, via an electronic system. This is a series of features onresponsibility or liabilitywhatsoever with regard It is also necessary to be aware of their opinions, to understand what projects funded by the EU’s Regionalto its content. they need and want”. Programme, prepared by journalists The overall aim of EGOPRISE – an initiative supported by the EU – is to and photographers on the ground or the ENPI Info Centre. turn public administrations in rural areas into more business oriented © 2011 ENPI Info Centre / EU
  2. 2. The World Wide Web at the service of small business p. 2ENPI Info Centre – Feature no. 40 service suppliers. The idea is to relieve small and medium enterprises from adminis- trative burdens and to improve their access to information and qualified staff. In the end, the final consequence should be an increased attractiveness of rural areas as places in which to live, work and invest. Remote regions made attractive for business In Belarus – as in many other countries – companies and their customers face a lot of problems when they try to start up and develop their own business. This is why the Strategy for Developing Information Society was adopted by the Belarusian govern-N Michael Doroshevich ment: for authorities, the establishment of an e-government is today a priority, and that is where the EGOPRISE project comes in as an important instrument to bring this concept into life. Igor Gancharyonok, Deputy Rector for Studies at the Academy of Public Administra- tion – the EGOPRISE local partner – says the aims of the project are best expressed by the famous Belarusian motto ‘The State is there for the people’. “We addressed“It is not enough the development of small and medium business in the region – he says – and in thisto provide sector, the emphasis was put on rural districts. It is international cooperation in thisenterprises with field that enables us to optimize procedures, to attract labour and to make remoteinformation, or regions attractive for business,” Ganchryonok notes.an opportunity The idea of an e-government was suggested as early as the mid-nineties. It was at N Igor Gancharyonokto pay taxes, via that time that experts started discussing means to provide electronic informationan electronic and public services for individuals and legal entities, using information technolo-system. It is also gies. However, even now many experts think that only Singapore and Estonia havenecessary to be an e-government that is up to the mark.aware of their “Even today, we think of an e-government as a way of managing public administra-opinions, to tion as a whole in an information-oriented society,” says Gancharyonock. “But theunderstand what e-government concept is about changing the principles of public administration: itthey need and is an opportunity to transform it.”want” An opportunity to transform public administration Implementing EGOPRISE requires quite a lot of effort. In an initial phase, the idea is to identify the weak points in the flow of public information. Then procedures will be suggested to improve these information flows through technical instruments. Besides, a multi-language Internet resource is going to be developed for business registration, to enable businessmen to start new businesses in partner countries “E-government is without leaving their own offices. a tool to improveN The idea of an The project will help create computer interfaces to enable users to obtain informa- the quality ofe-government was suggested tion relevant to their interests. For instance, each Executive committee in Belarusas early as the mid-nineties. services providedE-governements enable to has its own website. Information from these sites should be more readily available by publicoptimize procedures and to to end users. How? For example, an advertisement is put up about a new servicemake remote regions more authoritiesattractive for business. provided by the regional executive committee, offering a new benefit or new jobs. for small and This information should not only “hang” on medium-sized the site, but it should be loaded into the enterprises” electronic system that is available to all en- trepreneurs. Only in this case will it appear on every user’s screen. Attracting employers and employees from other countries Not only does EGOPRISE improve work- flows and develop interoperable e-govern- ment solutions; it also aims at simplifying
  3. 3. The World Wide Web at the service of small business p. 3ENPI Info Centre – Feature no. 40 the employment process of (foreign) labour for small and medium sized enterprises. In fact, the international nature of the project makes it possible to attract potential “Our task is to employers and employees from other countries. “So far the idea of a labour force train competent operating across the borders has not been very popular in Belarus – continues and highly Gancharyonok -but this is a common practice in Europe. And we will have to attract qualified human resources to regions where there is a shortage of workers.” administrators. “We study the European experience and try to get it across to our state officials,” The more Belarus continues Gancharyonok, adding that the EGOPRISE project offers a unique chance takes part in such for both Academy teaching staff and students, among whom are state officials and projects, the more entrepreneurs from different Belarusian regions. it will benefit” “Our task is to train competent and highly quali- fied administrators,” concludes Gancharyonok. Michael Doroshevich shares his view. “The more Belarus takes part in such projects, the more it will benefit,” he says. N The e-government concept is about changing the principles of public administration. Egoprise The overall aim of Egoprise is to turn public administrations in rural Baltic Sea Region areas to more business oriented service suppliers, to relieve small & medium enterprises from administrative burdens, to improve their access to information & qualified staff and as a consequence to increase attractiveness of rural areas as places to live, work & invest in. www.egoprise.euParticipating countries ObjectiveLatvia, Estonia, Egoprise improves workflows & develops interoperable e-gov. solutions in order to: make publicLituania, Belarus, administrations more service oriented for enterprises; to simplify the employment process of (foreign)Finland, Germany, labour for small and medium enterprises; to provide easier entrance into public & business networks forSweden, Denmark. such enterprises.Timeframe Find out more2009-2013 Project information http://eu.baltic.net/Project_Database.5308.html?&&contentid=29&contentaction=single Baltic Sea Region Programme http://eu.baltic.netBudget€ 2,546,000 The ENPI Info Centre is an EU-funded Regional Information and Communication project highlighting the partnership between the EU and Neighbouring countries. The project isENPI info centre managed by Action Global Communications. www.enpi-info.eu

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