The Memorandum of Understanding on the realization of the Serbian-German Program of Promotion of Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment was signed in Belgrade today, through which at least EUR 12.9 million should be provided in grants for the founding of 1,500 enterprises.
The memorandum, based on which Germany will provide support to the development of small and medium enterprises in Serbia, was signed by the director of the government's Office for Public Investment Management, Marko Blagojevic, and the director of the German development bank KfW in Serbia, Arne Goos.
The signing at the Government of Serbia was attended by Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and German Ambassador Axel Dittmann.
– This is an important program, developed through close cooperation of Serbia and Germany. This is a part of the German-Serbia initiative for the constant growth of the employment rate in Serbia – Dittmann said.
Brnabic said that the state wanted to support entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises, and create an environment with more initiatives for the founding of companies, so that people would create jobs and future for themselves.
She pointed out that two important problems were a cause for an insufficient number of enterprises – an insufficient availability of sources of finance and the risk of failure, even when there are favorable sources of finance, and said that both problems were being solved through the joint program of Serbia and Germany.
– On the one hand, we have favorable and accessible sources of finance, through commercial banks which will partner with the state and KfW, almost without risk, as the state will take almost all the risk on itself by creating guarantee facilities – Brnabic pointed out.
She said that the program would be meant for the widest range of activities – from trades, through service and production activities, to agriculture, and the program will be implemented by the Office for Public Investment Management and the Ministry of Economy.
Brnabic invited commercial banks to partner with the state, so as to secure a more dynamic economic sector and contribute to the economic growth and the creation of new jobs.
– I hope that this will be an incentive and a signal that the government is taking care of micro, small and medium enterprises and that we will have more jobs – Brnabic said and thanked Germany for its help and support.
Ambassador Dittmann pointed out that banks would get a guarantee framework for the provision of loans to companies, whereas companies would get help in the form of training and additional support.
– Good ideas are not enough, they must be realized as well. There are good jobs, but you can't enter the market without money – Dittmann said.