Open call for granting non-refundable cash incentives and approval of loans with the aim of incentivizing the development of women’s entrepreneurship was published on 28 August as part of Program for incentivising the development of entrepreneurship through financial assistance for women’s entrepreneurship (Program).
The total available funds for the implementation of this Program amount to RSD 600 million. The following categories may submit their application:
- women entrepreneurs; and
- micro and small companies, whose founder and legal representative is a woman; and
- micro and small companies which have multiple founders, and a share in the ownership of one or more women is minimum 50% and whose at least one legal representative is a woman.
These entities can qualify for financial support in the form of:
- non-refundable cash grants consisting 40% of the value of investment (or up to 50% of the value of investment for business entities which belong to local governments placed in the third or fourth group of development); and
- loans from the Development Fund of the Republic of Serbia (which will serve for financing of the remaining investment amount) with a repayment period of up to five years, within which there is a grace period of up to one year, and a annual interest rate of 1.5% with a bank guarantee or 2.5% annually with other forms of security and with a currency clause.
The total amount of approved funds per request cannot be less than RSD 400,000, nor more than RSD 6 million for: (i) entities registered in the Business Registers Agency (BRA) not later than 31 December 2020, and which do not have a minimum of five employees as of 31 December 2022, on indefinite or fixed term employment basis, as well as (ii) entities registered in the BRA from 1 January 2021, onwards. For amounts up to RSD 12 million, entities that are registered in the BRA by 31 December 2020, and have a minimum of five employees as of 31 December 2022, in fixed-term and/or indefinite-term employment basis, are eligible to apply.
Investments that can be financed include:
- purchase of machinery/equipment/tools, new computer equipment and software, and vehicles (including electric mopeds) used for the transport of own products, raw materials, and other means of transport involved in the production process and service provision (new or used, not older than five years);
- regular maintenance and/or adaptation of business and/or production space up to an amount of RSD 1 million;
- purchase of business/production space for business entities registered in the BRA by 31 December 2020, and employing a minimum of five employees as of 31 December 2022 (including the entrepreneur herself, regardless of the basis on which she is insured); and
- operating costs, which can account for up to 25% of the total investment structure for which the funds are sought.
Documentation regarding open call and information on submitting requests are available at the link https://preduzetnistvo.gov.rs/programi/bespovratna-sredstva/konkurs-za-zensko-preduzetnistvo/.
The open call is open until the amount of requested non-refundable funds exceeds 35% of the available funds for the implementation of the Program, which is the average percentage of rejected and withdrawn requests in previous years.
The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.
By Milena Jaksic Papac, Partner, and Katarina Tomic, Senior Associate, Karanovic & Partners