EU support for improving the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises

May 18 2022 | Belgrade

EU support for improving the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises

The European Union (EU) will support 16 projects through the EU PRO Plus programme, implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of European Integration, aimed at improving the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises operating in the regions of Šumadija and Western Serbia and Eastern and Southern Serbia.

These projects supported by the EU with over 670,000 Euros will be implemented by regional development agencies, business centers and incubators, science and technology park, youth entrepreneurship centers and other associations. The activities will help enterprises enter new markets, introduce standards but also recover faster from negative effects caused by the Covid-19.

"To achieve sustainable regional development of the country, it is important to have a strong and resilient sector of small and medium enterprises that are the foundation of every national economy since they generate employment at the local level. With the support of the European Union, business support organisations will work on improving the business, knowledge and capacity of entrepreneurs, strengthening their market capacity, as well as improving the quality of their products and services," said Jadranka Joksimovic, Minister of European Integration. As Joksimović stated, such engagement and cooperation of all local and regional actors, including regional development agencies and regional chambers of commerce in development programmes such as EU PRO Plus, are necessary to achieve good results.

"European Union support for improving competitiveness and strengthening Serbian enterprise should help them enter the European market, which simultaneously provides great business opportunities and requires meeting high standards and readiness for competition. These projects will significantly improve the business of small enterprises in the processing, agricultural and other industries, as well as in those areas of the economy that are particularly affected by Covid-19 as catering and tourism. It is especially important that the projects will work on digitalisation and greening of small business in Serbia, which improves competitiveness but also resilience to possible future crises", said Ambassador Emanuele Giaufret, Head of the European Union Delegation to Serbia.

Out of 45 project proposals submitted for the Public Call, which was opened from 3 December 3 2021 to 2 February 2022, the EU PRO Plus Programme Steering Committee according to administrative, programme and technical evaluation of applications approved 16 projects for funding.

The list of approved projects is available here on the EU PRO Plus website.