Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the basis of all European economies. In Serbia, they are recognized as a key factor in economic development. However, small businesses in Serbia still do not have adequate access to the funds necessary for growth – alternative sources of financing such as microcredit institutions, “crowdfunding”, convertible credit arrangements, financing through debt instruments, equity financing… At the same time, small businesses also lack knowledge of existing opportunities and instruments.
The main goal of the project “Open about money and business” is to facilitate access to finance for SMEs by strengthening their networks, improving their ability to articulate specific needs and advocating for potential solutions in public and with government and financial institutions.
Within the project, a research was conducted on the needs of micro, small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs in terms of financing, as well as lectures and discussions in 8 cities in Serbia. The main topic of the discussions was access to funding sources with a focus on alternative funding sources. Participants had the opportunity to hear information about potential sources of funding and how microcredit institutions operate, but also to share their own experiences related to this topic (from which funds they started their own business, experiences in using commercial loans and the degree of interest in microcredit institutions).
In addition, 10 testimonials of entrepreneurs were created and distributed in order to present the main problems related to access to funding sources with potential solutions in order to raise the
consciousness related to this topic.
The project “Open about money and business” was implemented in cooperation with USAID’s Economic Development Cooperation Project.