Edited by Friederike Welter and David Smallbone
Chapter 8: From Making the State to Institutionalizing Entrepreneurship Policy in Slovenia
Miroslav Rebernik and Barbara Bradač INTRODUCTION Slovenia, once the most developed and industrialized western part of underdeveloped socialist Yugoslavia, severed its ties with socialism and Yugoslavia in 1991. By starting its independent life as a state, this country – with a population of two million people – had to make two main transitions: the transition into an independent country and the transition from socialism to capitalism. During the transition process, the privatization of socialist companies was pivotal because, aside from craft units, the majority of companies in the newly born country were state owned. At the dawn of this new era, the economy was characterized as a ‘socialist black hole’ (Vahčič and Petrin 1990, p. 69) because of the almost complete absence of small companies in the range of 10 to 100 employees. By restructuring the Slovenian economy, this black hole was filled from the top down with spin-offs and the remnants of bankrupted large companies as well as from the bottom up with growing micro and small companies contributing to employment. This chapter will introduce a brief overview of entrepreneurship development since 1990 before proceeding with a more detailed insight into the development of entrepreneurship policy and how it was institutionalized. According to the main tasks policy makers followed, this discussion will consider three characteristic periods. The first, between 1991 and 1996, was a period of establishing all the necessary institutions and subsequently introducing the legislation forming the national state and a fully fledged market economy. The second period, between...
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