We are pleased to announce the U.S. Agency for International Development has selected ACDI/VOCA to implement the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Activity in Serbia. This five-year activity, which begins in April 2022, marks ACDI/VOCA’s reentry into Serbia after 15 years.
To implement the SME Activity, we will partner with two Serbian-based organizations and one U.S.-based small business. Together, the ACDI/VOCA consortium will strengthen local market systems and regional networks that empower local Serbians to spur enterprise growth through integration into high-value markets. This shift from a national, sectoral focus to a regional one will strengthen networks of enterprises, financial institutions, public sector agencies, and others.
We will use a facilitative approach to put our partners and participants in the lead. CEVES, an independent Serbian “think-and-do-tank,” will serve as the consortium’s knowledge management partner, supporting early analysis, ongoing learning, and programmatic impact evaluations.
The Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation, a Serbian NGO that focuses on economic growth, particularly for women and youth, will build upon their extensive relationships with local government and the private sector and extend the reach of their microloan revolving funds through the Activity.
The U.S.-based firm J.E. Austin Associates will provide technical support for the business enabling environment and nonagricultural sectors.
Over five years, the ACDI/VOCA consortium aims to support at least 1,000 Serbian enterprises, generating $50 million in new investment and creating at least 1,200 new jobs to be filled by 50 percent women and 40 percent youth in the agricultural and food and equipment and machinery sectors. We will also engage a wide range of local partners in both the public and private sectors through the $3.2 million Transformational Partnership & Innovation Fund.
As Serbian enterprises modernize and gain the skills, capacity, and financing needed to thrive, local livelihoods will improve, especially among youth targeted by the Activity.
Learn more about our work in Serbia.