The Serbian economy has grown slower this year than projected, and the growth will probably stand at 2%. Next year, it is expected to go up to 3.5%. Experts say that, in order to expedite this growth, we need different incentives primarily for small businesses since they are the driving force behind economic growth.
Hence, NALED has suggested for small business owners to be exempt from paying taxes and contributions during their first year of operations.
Almost one third of young people in Serbia, between the ages of 15 and 24, are jobless which is three times higher than the official unemployment rate in Serbia and double the European average. Also, getting a job is difficult, and they are very reluctant to start their own business.
“Less than 8% of the young people from the said age bracket are business owners or work for family companies. Almost 60% of young people have no desire to start their own company, and our society is not helping either”, says Goran Pitic, the head of the Fair Competition Council.
Although it is really not that expensive to set up a company in Serbia, but 180,000 dinars of incentives, which is how much new business owners are entitled to, cannot cover the cost of taxes, contributions and salaries during the first year of their operations.
“Our proposal is for the new business owners to be exempt from paying profit tax, and salary tax and contributions, and for the state to encourage more graduate students and high schoolers to start their own business”, Irena Djodjevic from the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED) says.
Nikola Altiparmakov from the Fiscal Council of Serbia says that the state shouldn’t limit itself to supporting young entrepreneurship only. “The fact remains that in order to become a business owner you need a lot of experience and know-how. If we are keen on stimulating private entrepreneurship, than there is no reason to limit it only to young people. We should provide an equal opportunity to people who have over 40 years of experience”, Altiparmakov suggests.
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