The MSMEs Grants Project is funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Kosovo. It will be implemented by IOM during the period of February 2014 – August 2016 with a total budget of 4 million Euro. The purpose MSMEs Grants Project is to address the difficulties experienced by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Kosovo in obtaining funding for development from usual sources of finance, such as banks and microfinance organizations, while the Government itself has faced challenges due to limited financial and human resources to provide alternative financing programmes to small businesses, similar to those existing in the EU.
The overall objective of the action is to contribute to strengthening the local economy and reduce trade deficit in Kosovo by improving the capacities of Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) to upscale production in an efficient and sustainable way in line with European Standards and practices. Through the present action, selected MSMEs will improve production, economic impact, and competitiveness in line with European Union (EU) standards.
The project activities include the following main interventions:
- Launch of call for proposals for micro, small and medium enterprises;
- Evaluation and selection of submitted proposals as well as signature of contracts with selected enterprises;
- Disburse grants to selected micro enterprises;
- Disburse grants to selected SMEs;
- Monitor implementation of awarded grants;
- Audit grants implemented by awarded SMEs;
- Preparation and launch of a report including lessons learnt and recommendations at a project’s final event.
The Call for Proposals for enterprises was launched in April with a vast interest from Kosovo central and local authorities, private entrepreneurs, business associations and media. As a follow up of the official launching event, IOM Kosovo organized eight Technical Info Sessions around Kosovo, in cooperation with the Regional Development Agencies, which gathered over 1 000 participants. The purpose of these technical info sessions was to provide the interested businesses detailed information on the criteria and the procedure of the open call for proposals.
The significant interest in the call was reflected also by the amount of applications submitted by enterprises on May 30th which reached the impressive number of 784 applications. Following the submission of applications, IOM started performing the administrative check of the proposals to verify their compliance with the criteria of the call. As a result, over 70% of the submitted applications resulted compliant at the administrative check and passed to the next phase of evaluation is on-going.