COSME: Funds soon available for SMEs

An agreement with a Serbian bank which will disburse the funds from the European assistance programme – COSME – intended for small and medium enterprises expected to be signed by the end of this year, said the assistant to the Serbian Economy Minister, Katarina Obradovic Jovanovic.

COSME is an EU program aimed at boosting the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises, and the budget planned for the 2014-2020 period is EUR 2.3 billion. Serbia joined the programme in November 2015.

Katarina Obradovic Jovanovic reminded that Serbia had access to the programme, for which it paid EUR 800,000 of membership a year. She said that there were no defined quotas for countries in the programme and that the money was withdrawn through loans at local banks where projects were submitted to.

– There are no quotas for invidivual countries. The amount SMEs from a certain country can withdraw is dependent on how many good projects they have, how much interest there is and how prepared they are to meet the requirements – said Katarina Obradovic Jovanovic.

She said that 60% of COSME funds were available to local financial institutions whereas 40% was used as support to the European Entrepreneurship Network, clusters, preparation of analyses and  reports, or for organization of workshops which the EU deemed necessary.

– What’s good is that Serbia’s membership in COSME gives the country access to all those eventswhere important experiences and know-how are exchanged and the latest trends introduced – said Obradovic Jovanovic.

COSME aims to facilitate access to funding and markets to SMEs, stimulate entrepreneurship and create favourable conditions for opening companies and creating jobs.

(eKapija, 22.10.2016)

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