Daily newspaper "Blic" has started campaign for selection of the best entrepreneur in Serbia in 2007 from the circle of small and mid-sized enterprises. The jury has already shortlisted 50 best enterprises and the best entrepreneur will be selected in January. The winner will get 30,000 EUR from the patron of the campaign, that is, Banca Intesa.
The campaign has been backed by the Government of Serbia and several government institutions, among which are Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SIEPA), Chamber of Commerce of Serbia and SME Agency.
Deputy Prime Minister Božidar Ðelić had only the words of praise for "Blic’s" campaign and said that there were 200,000 employed entrepreneurs in Serbia.
- This campaign should show that there are not only tycoons and the poor, but also people who manage to earn more money than the other exclusively because of their work and talent – said Ðelić and added that the country would also be helping entrepreneurs in the future.
According to the latest data, about 60% of employees in Serbia work in approximately 96,000 small and mid-sized enterprises. Vladimir Ilić, the State Secretary for Employment and one of the members of the jury, said that about 3 billion RSD would be set aside from the budget for purpose of employment, while people from SME Agency say that the budget for year 2008 includes 2.2 billion RSD for start-up loans.
The jury for selection of the best entrepreneur consists of: President Vesna Perić, CEO of SIEPA, Dejan Trifunović from Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, Silvio Pedraci from Banca Intesa, Vladimir Ilić, the State Secretary for Employment, Snežana Filipović from the Agency for Small and Mid-sized Enterprises, Mijat Lakićević, editor-in-chief of "Ekonomist magazin" and Miloš Zlatić, editor of "Blic".
On the basis of financial indices, the jury shortlisted 50 companies from total of 1,000 selected enterprises. At the beginning of the next year, the best 10 of these 50 companies will be selected and three best entrepreneurs, one of whom will be final winner. The award in amount of 30,000 EUR will be given to the winner to use it either in some of the existing or in some new business project.