Joint USAID-Serbian Gov’t Project Helps SMEs In South And SW Serbia Thrive

On March 28, the U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Government of Serbia celebrated the accomplishments of the recently completed Private Sector Development (PSD) project. PSD was a $4 million activity that helped businesses and entrepreneurs in the south and southwest Serbia develop and grow. The project was a direct partnership between USAID and the Development Agency of Serbia.

“Our partnership with USAID resulted in a significant improvement in the economies of the targeted regions, the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and new business-to-business connections,” said Mr Radoš Gazdić, Acting Director of the Development Agency of Serbia.

“Through our partnership, we provided 184 SMEs and eight business associations and clusters with services such as entrepreneurship training, individual coaching and mentoring, business-to-business connections, grants to purchase equipment, and opportunities to attend international trade fairs. These activities expanded business and resulted in the creation of 500 permanent jobs in 12 municipalities in south and southwest Serbia,” said USAID Mission Director Azza-el-Abd.

Other accomplishments of the Private Sector Development project include: 

  • Entrepreneurship training was provided to 380 beneficiaries, of whom 180 were women and youth;
  • Seventy-one youth- and women-owned SMEs received grants to purchase more than $761,000 of equipment—helping them to grow and be more competitive;
  • Eighty SMEs travelled participated in 16 international trade fairs–leading to sales contracts worth approximately $670,000;
  • Eighty-two client SMEs adopted new international standards—enabling their products to enter new markets.