Current development of rural areas of Slovakia is not fully reflecting the measures taken at the level of the European Union. Contrary, the differences between the territories seem to be deepening. When analysing the critical factors, job creation together with unemployment seem to be among the most pressing ones. The academics believe that the local entrepreneurship and development of small and medium size enterprises (SME) in rural areas have significant impact on accelerating the development of these communities, yet, only limited measures are taken to support them. Therefore, the main objective of the paper is to analyze the institutional framework for support of local SME within implementation of the LEADER approach as a direct instrument of the rural development policy. The emphasis was put on the last programming period (2007 – 2013) and the conditions set for the current programming period (2014 – 2020).
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