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EBRD offers support to small businesses

EBRD offers support to small businesses

 April 11, 2019

Showing its support for women and men running small businesses, the EBRD has rolled out a programme where small companies in the Republic of North Macedonia will be able to improve their competitiveness. The new programme includes credit lines, investment incentives and technical assistance.

“We are pleased that the SME Competitiveness Support programme is now also available to SMEs in North Macedonia. Better access to finance and advisory services will enable businesses to improve their performance and competitiveness," says Anca Ioana Ionescu, EBRD Head in the North Macedonia.

Bettering production, processes and products

The EBRD is giving a €30 million loan to local banks for on-lending to commercial borrowers. The funds include €4.5 million worth of technical assistance and incentive grants from the EU.

Small businesses can use the funds to better their production capacities, processes and product quality with an introduction of EU standards in environmental protection, product safety and quality.

"Through this project the access to financial assets for SMEs is significantly improved, providing new resources for the development and the investments of the companies. SMEs will have at their disposal funds of €30 million, out of which €4.5 million are grants," adds Koco Angjusev, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, who is responsible for economic affairs and coordination with the economic sectors.

“This financial boost is attractive and modelled to the needs of the SMEs, which can get up to 15% grant from the requested loan. This is the additional direct aid and a benefit of the EU and NATO integrations."

Providing technical and financial support

In North Macedonia, small businesses are the core of the national economy and make up around 80 per cent of employment. Although they are economically important, small businesses still have major obstacles to their development and often struggle to access knowledge and finance.

“Diversifying access to finance by a combination of traditional bank lending, incentives and transfer of 'know-how' in smaller companies is needed to unlock the full entrepreneurial potential in the country. The end result will be more competitive SMEs with fuller employment and greater opportunities for the business growth," says Janmaat Freek, Head of Operations, EU Delegation, North Macedonia.

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