Competitiveness, Innovation and SMEs Support


Small and Medium Size companies (SMEs) are the backbone of any modern economy and therefore crucial for development of Serbia. Since private business was neglected for decades, the competitiveness of our companies is significantly lagging behind the EU average. Therefore, the aim of the EU funded support is to increase the competitiveness of Serbian economy that will result in job creation and sustainable growth of standard of the citizens.

The total EU funds utilized in this area from 2001 amounts to €78 million (€58 million in technical assistance and grants and €20 million in credit lines to SMEs).

Priorities of the EU support to the private sector development included: institution and capacity building in the area of national policy, promotion of private sector/advocacy, consultancy, training and support to Foreign Direct Investments and export promotion, turn-around-management, investment readiness, innovation promotion, business environment, financial support through credit lines, etc.

There are numerous successful examples of Serbian SMEs which started their business with EU financial
support; under the umbrella of Serbia Innovation Fund project, a number of start-ups found its place at the market, not only in the country, but also in the region and abroad. That was the case of Strawberry Tree solar panels, awarded in Brussels and in San Francisco and in use in the whole Western Balkans region.

The focus of the ongoing support of the EU is innovation at company level, commercialization of research and development and support to technology transfer that will eventually increase the competitiveness of Serbian enterprises and prepare them for the EU and global market.

Future EU funded support, beside further development of competitiveness will be provided for design and implementation of the new financial instruments for the SMEs. Easier access to finance should lead to creation of new business or expansion of existing ones, develop new products and expand market access.

For more information:

Delegation of the EU to the Republic of Serbia
Tel: +381 (0)11 30 83 200