Philip Morris empowers entrepreneurship in Serbia

At this year's open call for the national program “Start Up for Your Business”, which was open from 17 October 2013 until 15 January 2014, 2.303 candidates applied from 153 municipalities in Serbia. In the past four years, thanks to the financial support of the company Philip Morris, the program suppored 278 small and family businesses, which still operate successfully, allowing in that way employment for more than 1,000 people. In the new, fifth cycle, support for 100 more businesses will be provided.

The selection process is currently ongoing and the preliminary results of the first round will be announced in the second half of March. In the second round of the selection committee will visit all the candidates who are shortlisted, in order to make a final decision on the selection of 100 new entrepreneurs. Those entrepreneurs will be provided with grants for equipment, business and vocational training and business mentoring from ENECAs economic experts. This kind of additional support has been proven to be the key to success, enabling in that way all the beneficiaries of the program to survive in the market.

"We are very satisfied because in this year's open call we received applications from 153 municipalities, compared to the previous cycle when we had applications from 121 municipalities in Serbia. This shows that the program “Start Up for Your Business” is expanding and that people believe that entrepreneurship provides a concrete, sustainable and long term solution for the high rate of unemployment, which is one of the crucial problems of society in our state. The fact we recorded a one hundred percent success (they are still working and expanding their businesses) for all so far supported 278 small businesses, definitely shows that we are on the right track. Creative entrepreneurial ideas are essential factor in future economic recovery of Serbia," Jelena Stevanovic Preradovic the company Philip Morris International declared.

Good results that the program “Start Up for Your Business” achieved in the past four years has showed how there can be a good practice and how support and collaboration among partners from different sectors is important. The National Employment Service, through its network of branches and offices, inform the unemployed about the program and gave them all the necessary assistance with the application process. More information about the program can be found at

2012. ENECA, Prijezdina 6/2, Niš, 18000, Republic of Serbia
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