SME HUB represents a unique endeavor to achieve significant changes in the entire Serbian economy by strengthening one of its fundamental pillars – the small and medium-sized enterprises sector, in the context of its ability to collaborate with global market players and large domestic companies. Based on the needs of multinational and large domestic companies, SME HUB selects potential suppliers and provides support in establishing collaborations. On the other hand, small and medium-sized enterprises will have a unique opportunity, through the project, to leverage their potential and further develop themselves to become competitive in the global market and create opportunities for business expansion.
This project started in early July 2023 with a mission to directly impact the stimulation of the domestic economy, as the transformation of Serbian companies potentially opens doors to exports through partnerships with multinational companies, which have often been importing semi-finished products or components for their production from abroad. Domestic entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to modernize their business, build internal capacities, and thereby gain the ability to become international suppliers and make a significant contribution to the Serbian economy.
“Through SME HUB, we are opening doors for small and medium-sized enterprises to become suppliers to multinational companies operating in Serbia. We believe in the strength of Serbian companies and their ability to provide high-quality products. This is an ideal opportunity to support domestic entrepreneurs together with other relevant partners and improve economic development,” emphasized Aleksandar Goračinov, the project director. He added that SME HUB would work with selected Serbian companies that have the capacities, quality, and expertise to supply their products to large multinational companies. This, according to Goračinov, will create opportunities for new job openings and improve competitiveness in the market.
This means that Serbian manufacturing companies, based on specifically defined needs of multinational or large domestic companies, will have the opportunity to apply for participation in the project through the project’s website. Through a selection process using predefined criteria, the companies that meet the requirements for the transformation process will be chosen. Depending on complexity, the business transformation will take a maximum of 24 months, after which Serbian companies potentially qualify as suppliers. Small and medium-sized enterprises that will have the opportunity to participate in this project must have been engaged in production activities for a minimum of 3 years, have between 15 and 250 employees, and have a minimum of 51 percent Serbian ownership.
“SME HUB, through this endeavor, is building long-term partnerships that, by connecting local companies with multinational companies, enable the exchange of knowledge, technology, and best practices, which will undoubtedly result in modernization and improvement of business processes. In this way, we directly stimulate the growth and development of Serbian manufacturers,” said Aleksandar Goračinov, Director of SME HUB, and added that the significant contribution from the government and numerous incentives have created a positive business climate recognized by global giants. “SME HUB will further support their business by finding suitable local suppliers, which we believe exist in the Serbian market,” he emphasized.
The SME HUB Project is the result of a public-private partnership between the Swiss Government, represented by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Serbian company ICT HUB.