Entrepreneurs, micro and small-sized enterprises engaged in the production of food, furniture, textile and clothes, metal and wood processing, information technologies and other types of business will receive new equipment which will contribute to higher output, value chain of local suppliers, improvement of quality and product range, and most importantly to opening of new jobs.
“The European Union through the EU PRO programme supports the Government of Serbia in its efforts to improve the business environment, competitiveness of our companies and employment in underdeveloped parts of Serbia. These funds will contribute to improving productivity of the enterprises and the quality of their products as well as the employment, thus confirming the benefits of the European integration process, “Jadranka Joksimović, Minister for European Integration said.
“The European Union supports small and medium sized business that represent in Serbia, as in the EU, nearly 90 percent of companies. SMEs have a leading role in generating economic growth and creating new job opportunities. Through accession reforms, supported by IPA grants, we continuously support good business ideas, helping Serbian companies to develop their potential for further growth and job creation," Ambassador Sem Fabrizi, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, said.
As expected the new equipment, the awarded enterprises will employ 255 people in the first year, which is an increase of 25 percent when compared to the current number of employees. Additionally, the annual export of these enterprises will increase significantly by two million Euros in the first year and six million Euros in the course of three years. As foreseen by the public call, the enterprises will participate financially in the procurement of equipment with 1,120,472 Euros.
“The social impact these enterprises will have in their local communities is also important since they will implement corporate social responsibility activities aimed to help the vulnerable, children, as well as to provide support to organisations of sports and cultural manifestations or environment protection“, Olivera Kostić, EU PRO national programme manager said.
Within the Public Call for Proposals for Procurement of Equipment and Provision of Services for Entrepreneurs, Micro and Small Enterprises, EU PRO organised 14 info sessions that gathered 650 participants, and initially 468 applications were submitted. Total of 215 projects proposals were recommended for the second phase, and 191 of these submitted the full project proposals. After administrative and technical assessment as well as the field visits, total of 106 project have been approved for funding based on the expected results and effects, sustainability, social impact and expenditures. The list of approved projects is available here at the EU PRO website.