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29. March 2016.

The European Progress program issued a public call for grants awarded to young people from 34 municipalities of the southeastern and southwestern parts of Serbia for launching their businesses. The European Union and the Swiss Government will support this activity, which aims to encourage entrepreneurship among young people, with 180,000 euros.

Eligible to apply are unemployed young people between 18 and 30 years of age, who were at the time of publication of the call registered with the National Employment Office for at least three consecutive months and who have permanent residence and plan to start a business in one of the municipalities involved in the implementation of the European Progress program. 

“By encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit among young people through this public call, the European Union and the Government of Switzerland contribute to solving the problem of high unemployment in this segment of the population, "said Graeme Tyndall, the Manager of the European Progress program.

The program will support up to 20 start-up companies in the manufacturing, information technology and food or food-processing industries with up to 10,000 euros, a minimum of 2,500 euros per project. The European Progress program won’t provide any monetary grants, but will purchase, with the approved amount of funds, the machinery, equipment and other durable goods (including software) necessary for running a business. Following the final approval of the project proposal, and prior to procurement and delivery of the required equipment, machinery and durable goods, future young male and female entrepreneurs will start the registration process at the Agency for Business Registers.

“The evaluation of projects is a competitive two-phase process. The first phase involves the submission of the concept of business ideas, while the short-listed candidates will be required to attend a training course in entrepreneurship in the second phase. Only those who successfully complete the training course and achieve the pre-set objectives will be eligible to apply with complete project proposals, "said Ana Nedeljkovic, the Head of the European Progress’ Department for Good Governance and Social Inclusion.

For the purpose of familiarizing the applicants with the requirements of the competition, the European Progress program will, in April 2016, hold information sessions in the southeastern and southwestern parts of Serbia.

The competition will be open until May 11, 2016, while further information on the call, as well as detailed documentation necessary for applying, are available on the website of the European Progress program .

Source: European Progress and Coordination Body