The state uses active policies to help create a more favourable environment for the establishment and development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. In the forthcoming period, new programmes of support and awareness raising will be designed for entrepreneurs on support measures at the national and local levels.
This was the message from the panel discussion “Programmes of support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises”, organized within the “Top 100 in Montenegro” project, which is being implemented this year for the second time. This exceptional project designed to improve and promote the Montenegrin economy was initiated by BI Consulting in partnership with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economy, supported by the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro and with the general sponsorship of Societe Generale Bank Montenegro.
Panel: “Programmes of support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises”
Mr. Radosav Babić, director general of the Directorate for Investments, Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Management of EU Funds in the Ministry of Economy, has said that this government department is implementing the Program for Enhancing the Competitiveness of the Economy this year, aimed at establishment of competitive, export-oriented and innovative business entities.
“Bearing in mind the needs of business people, application procedures have been simplified and procedures for support approval have been accelerated. Allocated budget funds, which will be awarded in the form of grants, amount to EUR 1.64 million,” Babić has said.
He has added that the line Ministry also provides non-financial support through presentation of businessmen at international trade fairs, business meetings and conferences, networking activities, as well as advisory and educational support.
“In the days to come, we will work on promoting digitalization and internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises by designing new support programme, as well as on enhancing entrepreneurs’ awareness about support measures at the national and local level by printing and distributing information leaflets,” Babić has announced.
He has said that the number of small and medium-sized enterprises increased by 9.4 percent in 2018 compared to the year before, and by 38 percent compared to 2011, while the number of employees increased by six percent in 2018 compared to the previous year.
“We have many successful examples of small and medium-sized enterprises that started or improved their businesses as a result of the support programmes that the Ministry of Economy has implemented so far, and which are recognized today not only on the local, but also on the regional and international market,” Babić has said.
Mr Nemanja Katnić, state secretary at the Ministry of Finance, has said that the Government of Montenegro and the department from which he comes from have continuously, through the reform, supported creation of a more favourable environment for the establishment and development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
“The emphasis is put on simplifying procedures, lowering the costs of doing business, encouraging efficiency, competitiveness, availability of institutions and information, all for the purpose of better and easier predictability of the business framework in Montenegro,” Katnić has explained.
He believes that an adequate formula for successful development of entrepreneurship includes provision of financial resources, in the form of budget allocations, provision of favourable financial means and loans, as well as EU grants.
Nina Drakić, director of Sector for research and analysis of the Montenegrin Chamber of Economy of Montenegro, has said that the association is implementing a series of support programmes for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises through promotion, training, business networking and publishing documents aimed at improving competitiveness of enterprises.
“The most important promotional programmes include Good from Montenegro, Buy Domestic, Homemade Flavours, issuance of Excellent SME Certificates, and different fairs. In addition, we also implement training programmes, provide business arbitration and dispute resolution services, and support the economy through implementation of projects,” Drakić has said.
Nenad Novović, Amplitudo company executive manager, has said that the company has recognized the measures implemented by the state in order to support innovation and competitiveness for small and medium-sized enterprises “as the most active segment of our business community”.
“This is especially important for the IT sector which, within the digital transformation, has already started to develop export-oriented products and services, which in the long run can also have positive impact on the entire structure, as well as on the sustainability of the Montenegrin economy,” Novović has said.
Samo Jovićević, director of the corporate sector and deputy executive manager of the Societe Generale Bank Montenegro, has said that this bank supports every good business idea, any prudential micro, small or medium-sized enterprise and helps them to bring an investment to its completion.
“The Societe Generale Bank Montenegro finances these clients within its everyday business operations, but especially within projects such as IPARD and other similar calls for support. We are ready to invest additional efforts in order to develop their activities and businesses,” Jovićević has said.
He believes that, in the forthcoming period, the economy and banks will pay special attention to the use of other EU funds that, as he has explained, can have a significantly impact on further development of small and medium-sized businesses in Montenegro and dynamize other investments.
“Depending on the trends in demand and market needs, which we certainly believe will grow in the upcoming period, the bank will adjust its activities and provide support to any reasonable project, especially in those sectors and industries that are of key importance for Montenegro,” Jovićević has concluded.