Official title of the project

Support to SME development

Project information

Improved environment and higher level of competitiveness for SMEs in Serbia
Region / City
Total budget of programme / project

7,865,000 EUR

EU Contribution: 6,181,000 EUR

National co-financing: 379,000

International Financial Institutions: 379,000 EUR

Other contribution: 1,305,000 EUR

Implementation period
2013. Jun - 2016. Jun
Expected results

Enterprise-level change and enhanced performance in assisted SMEs;

Best Practice and management models disseminated;

Sustainable infrastructure of local business advisory services strengthened and improved;

Institutional and capacity building of project beneficiaries for effective implementation and enforcement of prepared legislation;

Improved conditions for SMEs to use e-business;

Preparatory work and needs assessment completed to establish the G2B service bus and eInvoicing/eOrdering over G2B service bus;

Higher level of awareness for the use of e-business;



The Ministry of Finance and Economy

The Ministry of Foreign and Internal Trade and Telecommunications

Target Groups

Small and medium sized enterpreneurship

Citizens, households, public and private organisations


Summary of the project

The Government of Serbia aims to develop a strong domestic private sector, using it as the key to economic restoration. The small and medium enterprises account for 99.8% of the total number of enterprises with its business base relatively similar in structure to the EU-27, but skewed towards the smallest firms. The SME sector has a large influence on the performance of the Serbian economy accounting for more than 66% of all employees, 67% of its turnover and 57% of gross value-added. But, in spite of being vibrant and dynamic, the global economic crisis has significantly affected SMEs.  It is more difficult for these businesses to reduce their cost base as they are already small; they are individually less diversified in their economic activities; they have a weaker financial structure; they often have a low or no credit rating, limited access to specialised and technical services and are vulnerable to problems being experienced by large firms. However, the sector has potential to generate jobs even when large firms are shedding labour.

Programme/Project objectives

The overall objective is to enhance the competitiveness of Serbian economy through the strengthening of private sector and its performance

Specific objectives are:

-To improve SME performance  by providing quality professional support services;

-To improve e-business environment by strengthening legal and institutional framework

More details on project

World Bank 2012 – Strengthening Institutional Capacity for eGovernment

EBRD Business Advisory Services (BAS) programme funded by the government of the Netherlands

Assistance to the Competitiveness and Compatibility for the EU of Serbian SME (ACCESS) Programme implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Municipal economic development in the Danube Region (2007-2014) – This programme implemented by German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ)

Reforming vocational education implemented by German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ)

German business internship programme for the countries of the Western Balkans (2011-2013) regional project implemented by German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ)

Development of the Financial System in Rural Areas, a EUR 45.5 million grant-loan programme financially supported by German Development Bank (KfW)

Promotion of Municipal Investments in Energy Efficiency and Environmental Measures, EUR 23 million grant-loan programme financially supported by German Development Bank (KfW)

Italian Credit Facility to support Small and Medium Enterprises through local banking system and sustain the local development through Local Public Utilities in Serbia - a EUR 30 million grant-loan programme.