All initiatives coming from the European Union (EU) are also reflected in the Montenegrin market, which is why we strive to prepare our companies for what they expect and one way is to use various EU support programs, concluded the workshop 'Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Growth.'
The Ministry of Economy, in cooperation with Business Start-Up Center Bar and within the project Enterprise Europe Network, Scale.up, organized a workshop where the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs project was presented. The project is intended for potential and existing entrepreneurs (who have been doing business for no more than three years) to take the opportunity to go to practical training in some of the renowned foreign companies, where partial costs of stay and professional development abroad are covered from the project budget.
'Research shows that enterprises in Montenegro want to grow and further develop the necessary new skills and new knowledge, as well as have access to finances, which is provided through various EU support programs. The opportunities these programs offer are really great, with which we will help them,' said Director General for Investment, Small and Medium Enterprises Development and Managing EU Fund, Radosav Babić.
He added that the EU Horizon 2020 program focuses on excellence in research and innovation, addressing social challenges (increasing the number of jobs, labor productivity) and increasing the competitiveness of industry with special focus on the SME sector.
'Horizon 2020 is characterized by a wider approach, covering the entire innovation cycle, from the conceptual and feasibly stage, through research, development and testing, to commercialization and market launch,' said Babić.
He introduced the participants of the workshop with the work of the Ministry of Economy, that is, the recently established Directorate whose establishment has established a one-stop approach to enterprises, as well as all the support programs implemented by the Ministry.
Director of the Business Start/Up Center from Bar, Ivana Tomašević said that a study was conducted in the EU that showed the highest contribution to GDP is just growing scale-up companies - companies that are in the phase of recruitment, gaining additional profits and creating new jobs.
'The first activity carried out in Montenegro was to identify these companies, which are the areas of growing enterprises in Montenegro. The second activity is cooperation with local stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Science, entrepreneurial centers to create a single economic system to support scale-up companies, as the research has shown that they need different support from the support needed for the start-up companies,' said Tomašević.
The third activity, she added, is to improve the capacity for growth, through training and mentoring programs, while the fourth is to provide support in preparing the applications themselves.
Head of the Directorate for Enhancing Entrepreneurship through International Projects, Lilijana Belada said that recently a new program was adopted in the European Union that will follow after Horizon 2020.
'It is a Horizon Europe program that will cover the period from 2021 to 2028 and within which the most resources will be available for research and innovation,' Belada said and invited workshop participants to find all the information about this and other European research programs at www.euroinfo.me.
The representatives of Switty d.o.o. from Belgrade, who won the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 1, as well as the double winner of 'Seal of Excellence' issued by the European Commission within SME Instrument Phase 2, presented their experience in successfully preparing their application for the SMEs Horizon 2020 program.