There are a total of 36 business incubators in Serbia with 543 start-ups. 19 incubators provide business support, while the remaining 17 promote self-employment.
Ana Djordjevic is a young entrepreneur. Together with three other colleagues, she runs the InSono Company, which is working on two innovative products. Their smart microphone, if installed in a smart home system, can hear and recognize every sound, and even close the windows if it detects the sound of rain. The second patent will allow factories to test product quality with the help of sound. InSono has been developing ambitious ideas for just over a year at the Startup Centre in Niš, and it hopes to grow its business from there.
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The majority of business incubator tenants are IT companies and the digital industry. According to EUBID, a project that supports the development of incubators, about 60% of the users of incubation services belong to this sector. They are mainly concentrated in the big cities – Belgrade, Nis and Novi Sad.
In smaller cities, incubation services are used by young entrepreneurs in woodworking and furniture manufacturing, toolmaking, and crafts and services, according to the EUBID analysis. There is a strong need to improve the range of services that business incubators provide to their customers in order to ensure their further growth and development and thus increase their survival rate in the market in the first year of operations, which is the biggest challenge. Of the 36 incubators, 19 support innovative business start-ups, the remaining 17 provide support for the self-employed.
The Nis Centre operates at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering.
“We use their workspace and additional services such as accounting, legal advice and management,” explains Ana Djordjevic and adds:” Lectures by various experts are also held there, which is very useful for the Centre in terms of learning and establishing new contacts with potential members. It is important that everything happens at the Faculty which also has a workshop we can use. The idea is to start working in the incubator, develop the business and then move to the Science and Technology Park.”
The EUBID has launched the project titled “European Union support for the development of business incubators” in collaboration with the Serbian Ministry of Economy. Its aim is to contribute, over the next two years, to the development of business incubators so that they can provide the best possible services to young entrepreneurs in the sector. The project is funded by the European Union with 1.5 million euro.
(Vecernje Novosti, 26.08.2019)
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