EFSE Meeting 2019 gathers international financiers to support SMEs in SEE Region

Christoph Tiskens EFSE

Nearly 300 representatives of international and regional financial institutions, investors, central banks, and major European donors have gathered in Belgrade, Serbia, today for the biannual conference of the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE).

Under the banner of “Cultivating Entrepreneurship”, the EFSE Meeting 2019 addresses how the financial ecosystem can advance and innovate to close gaps in financial inclusion and expand access to crucial resources for micro and small enterprises.

Elvira Lefting
Elvira Lefting, Managing Director, Finance in Motion, Germany

The conference seeks to present and exchange concrete solutions for the challenges faced by this key sector of the economy in Southeast Europe and the European Eastern Neighbourhood Region.

Panellists from banks and microfinance providers will share best practices for offering responsible financing suited to the needs of entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses and discuss the alternative financial and non-financial solutions driving innovation in the market.

Volker J. Oel, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Volker J. Oel, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Special focus is also placed on financing for agricultural businesses, as well as on leveraging the advantages offered by financial technologies in keeping both institutions and entrepreneurs successful and competitive in the long term.

Joining the gathering of fund investors, sector regulators, financial service providers, and business support organizations are entrepreneurs themselves financed by EFSE’s partners. Their participation in panels and discussions aims to provide direct insights into the needs of local businesses for development that creates employment opportunities and income generation.

Dragana Stanić, Vice Governor, National Bank of Serbia
Dragana Stanić, Vice Governor, National Bank of Serbia

An “Entrepreneurship Fair” to be held during EFSE Board Chairperson Christoph Tiskens remarked: “Micro and small enterprises are the mainstay of the economy in EFSE’s regions. By bringing together the key stakeholders who can support entrepreneurs’ development and give them access to opportunities, we help nourish economic growth from the roots up.”

EFSE was established in 2005 by German development bank KfW with the support of the European Union, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation, and other public and private investors.

In the years since, the impact investment fund has mobilized nearly EUR 3 billion for responsible investments in 16 countries, unleashing close to 1 million sub-loans totalling EUR 7 billion for micro and small enterprises and private households.

KfW Serbia Welcomes Christoph Tiskens, KfW’s Director for SE Europe and Turkey

KfW Serbia welcomed Christoph Tiskens who is visiting Belgrade for the biannual conference of the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE).