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Private Sector Development

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A robust, innovative, and competitive private sector is essential for the socio-economic development of the Western Balkans and its regional integration. As in most transition economies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) suffer from low competitiveness, difficult access to financing, lack of skills, and poor integration into global supply chains. 

The focus is on improving access to financing and business support to SMEs through the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) and its four complementary pillars (SME Equity financing, SME Loan Guarantee, SME Lending, and Policy and advisory services). WB EDIF is a joint initiative of the EU, financial institutions, bilateral partners, regional organisations and public institutions in the Western Balkans. 

WB EDIF achieved results (2009 - 2020) 

  • €841m in financing available to SMEs 
  • €531m deployed via financing instruments to SMEs 
  • 5,905 SMEs financed and receiving support services
  • 133,492 jobs supported

The WBIF has also financed the EIB/European PPP Expertise Centre’s (EPEC) initiative that promotes work with key public-private partnership (PPP) bodies in the region in order to increase their capacity to identify, prepare and implement PPP projects. 

The Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans sets priorities for private sector development through Flagship 9 - Investing in the competitiveness of the private sector, and Flagship 10 - Youth guarantee.

Sweet success in Bosnia and Herzegovina. (c) EBRD

How innovation boosts sales in Serbia. (c) EBRD


Launch of the EU-funded EBRD SME Competitiveness Programme in Serbia

Building the Future of SMEs in the Western Balkans

How EDIF can help: BG Reklam, a Serbian SME Success Story

WB EDIF Guarantee Facility – New Funding Opportunities

€48 Million Pledged to the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility

Private Sector Development in Focus

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