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23. August 2016.

Belgrade - Seventeen male and female entrepreneurs, as well as micro and small enterprises from the southeast and southwest Serbia, will enhance their production and create new jobs with the support of the European Union and the Government of Switzerland, which, through the European Progress development program, earmarked 253,880 euros for the activity aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the local economy.

The entrepreneurs, micro and small enterprises engaged in the manufacturing of food, clothing, metal products, wood processing and the engineering industry, will, through the European Progress Program, get the equipment or be provided with counseling services that will help increase their production, expand the market and introduce eco or technological innovations.

"The European Union and the Swiss Government supported small businesses in the municipalities covered by our program, since that sector is crucial for economic growth and increased employment. We supported good ideas and helped the companies that already operate and meet their tax obligations to develop the potential for further growth, "said Graeme Tyndall, the European Progress Program Manager.

During the public call for the improvement of the competitiveness of the private sector, the European Progress Program organized 20 info sessions that brought together nearly 300 participants, during which training courses in developing business plans were organized. One of the prerequisites for project selection was the willingness of male and female entrepreneurs to design and implement socially responsible activities that should contribute to the wider community.

"Apart from the obvious benefits to the communities in which the 17 awarded companies carry out their business operations, since over 40 new jobs will be created, male and female citizens will also see the impact of the undertaken CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities, such as the construction of   playgrounds, donation of the equipment to local schools and donation of the program beneficiaries’ products to the most vulnerable groups in the community, "said Olivera Kostic, the Head of the European Progress’ Sector for Improving Competitiveness.  

A list of the approved projects is available on the website of the European Progress Program.

Source: European Progress Program and Coordination Body