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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the backbone of the country’s economy and generate about 80% of employment. Despite their economic importance, however, small businesses continue to face severe obstacles to their development. SMEs are underserved by local commercial financial institutions. Increased competition from European markets and elsewhere is pressuring local businesses and limiting their growth.
The SME Competitiveness Support Programme - Republic of North Macedonia was developed specifically to assist privately owned SMEs to meet the new regulations and to understand the improvement requirements in the field of environmental protection, occupational health and safety and product quality and safety. The programme runs from 2018 up to 2022.
Some 36 million euros are made available under this programme, of which 30 million are provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for loans to SMEs, while the EU provides 4.5 million euros for grants to the borrowers and additional 1.5 million euros for advisory services to SMEs for development of loan applications.
Interested private companies may find more information at a dedicated info portal https://web-sme-csp.com/republic-north-macedonia/en/