Did you know there were estimated to be 22.6 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the European Union (EU) in 2021? With their innovation potential and job creation, SMEs represent a key part of the European economy. SMEs also play a crucial role in the Montenegrin economy. Therefore, the EU supports development of SMEs in Montenegro, as well as enhancing innovation capacities and industry competitiveness in the country.

To support the business, economy and innovation sector in Montenegro, the EU sets aside considerable funds. It has invested €15.8 million so far, through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). Through different projects, the EU contributed to business modernization and internationalisation, and further development of the knowledge economy sector, by making its capacities stronger and more coordinated. In addition, it helped strengthen consumer protection and improve national administrative capacities for coordination and implementation in the field of competitiveness and innovation.

The EU will continue to provide its support to this sector. In the years to come, it will contribute to the increase of SMEs competitiveness and innovation capacities, with a focus on providing adequate advisory services to the private sector; supporting development of the Smart Specialization Strategy; and assisting women and young entrepreneurship’s development. Also, the EU assistance will be aimed at improving the business environment, innovation ecosystem and investment climate; promoting integration with the EU industrial value chains; and increasing competitiveness of Montenegrin economy, especially with a view to supporting post-Covid-19 economic recovery of Montenegro.