EBRD and EU support Serbian small businesses with Banca Intesa Belgrade

By Bojana Gajic

EBRD partners with Banca Intesa Beograd to support women-led SMEs in Serbia

  • €15 million EBRD financing for investments to upgrade SMEs to EU standards
  • €1.5 million for women entrepreneurs
  • EU incentive investments to accompany loans

Small and medium-sized enterprises in Serbia will benefit from additional access to finance, thanks to a €16.5 million financing package that the EBRD is extending to Banca Intesa Belgrade (BIB), a long-standing partner of the Bank.

€15 million will be extended for on-lending to SMEs for investments that will implement EU standards and improve the competitiveness of local companies on domestic and international markets. In addition to loans, SMEs will also benefit from investment incentives from the European Union equalling 15 per cent of the loan amount, as well as from advice and know-how to introduce EU standards.

A further €1.5 million will be allocated exclusively for the support of women entrepreneurs. This financing is an extension to a previous €10 million credit line which aims to reach a greater number of Serbian businesswomen.

"It is our great pleasure to sign these two agreements with EBRD and continue our long-standing cooperation to support Serbia's economic development through securing affordable sources of finance. Small and medium-sized enterprises and female entrepreneurship have great potential to drive sustainable economic growth and to increase employment in our country, which is why Banca Intesa puts a special emphasis precisely on these segments of the economy", said Draginja Đurić, President of the Executive Board of Banca Intesa.

Zsuzsanna Hargitai, EBRD Regional Director for the Western Balkans, added: “We are pleased to continue our fruitful partnership with Banca Intesa and to provide further financial support to Serbian SMEs and entrepreneurs. This support comes as a comprehensive package of finance, incentives and advice to maximise the positive impact on Serbian small business and strengthen their growth potential.”

(left to right) Gabriele Pace, Deputy President of the Executive Board, Zsuzsanna Hargitai, EBRD Regional Director for the Western Balkans, Draginja Đurić, President of the Executive Board of Banca Intesa, Dragica Mihajlović, CFO of Banca Intesa, Snežana Topalović, Financial Institutions Manager, and Milos Lukić, Principal Banker, EBRD office in Serbia.

About Banca Intesa

Banca Intesa ad Beograd, member of Intesa Sanpaolo Group, is the leading bank on the local market, a reliable partner of 1.35 million clients, natural persons and legal entities. With a net balance sum of EUR 5.2 billion, EUR 3.7 billion in total deposits and EUR 3 billion in total loans, Banca Intesa is at the helm of the list of the most successful banks in Serbia. Owing to a developed business network comprised of 154 branches all over Serbia, the most developed network of ATMs and POS terminals, as well as a professional team of around 3,000 employees, the bank achieves stable results in all fields of operation, developing its activities in the retail, small business, corporate and local self-government segments.

About EBRD

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Serbia. The Bank has invested more than €5 billion across 238 projects in the country to date. The EBRD supports private sector development and the transformation towards a green economy, and invests in infrastructure to boost connectivity in the Western Balkans region.