EBRD Empowers Serbian SMEs with Millions in Loans Since 2019

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has been a driving force in fostering growth and development within Serbia, particularly in the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector. In a recent announcement, the EBRD revealed that it has disbursed €107 million (approximately $116 million) worth of loans to Serbian SMEs under the SME Competitiveness Programme since 2019.

The SME Competitiveness Programme serves as a vital avenue for SMEs to access EBRD loans and European Union grants, facilitated through local commercial banks. These financial resources are aimed at enabling SMEs to invest in business enhancements, aligning with EU standards, and bolstering competitiveness across various domains. Specifically, the programme targets improvements in energy efficiency and environmental protection, health and safety standards, as well as product safety and quality.

In addition to the substantial loan disbursements, the programme has also facilitated the distribution of €9.5 million in incentive grants from the European Union. This injection of financial support further amplifies the programme’s impact, enabling SMEs to embark on transformative initiatives and fortify their market positions.

One notable aspect of the SME Competitiveness Programme is its focus on promoting economic development beyond the capital city of Belgrade. Approximately 90% of the companies benefiting from the programme are situated outside Belgrade. This strategic approach addresses the prevalent challenge of limited access to financing in regions outside the capital, thereby fostering inclusive growth and economic resilience across Serbia.

The EBRD’s commitment to empowering SMEs and catalysing economic progress in Serbia underscores its pivotal role as a catalyst for sustainable development. By facilitating access to financial resources and fostering adherence to international standards, the EBRD continues to be a key partner in driving innovation, competitiveness, and prosperity within the Serbian SME ecosystem.