Start of the campaign for the election for the best entrepreneur in 2008.
It is the second year in a row that Banca Intesa and Blic, a daily newspaper organize ‘Blic entrepreneur 2008’, the campaign for the election for the best entrepreneur of the year from the segment of small and middle size companies, as it was stated at the media conference held in business premises of Banca Intesa. As last year, jury of experts shall be engaged for the election for the best entrepreneur in Serbia, and the announcement of the winner as well as presentation of the prize of EUR 30.000 provided by Banca Intesa shall be held at the end of January next year.
At this year’s election, the jury of experts shall be led by clear and sound criteria as well: profitability, productivity and liquidity companies achieved throughout the previous business year, as well as the export results gained in 2008, and export potential, number of employees and newly hired staff in 2008, range of newly-launched products, introduction of technological innovations, implicit orientation towards protection and safeguard of environment and accomplished contribution to local community development.
The election for the best entrepreneur in Serbia in 2008 was also supported by Mr. Mlađan Dinkić, Minister of Economy and Regional Development, where he expressed his gratitude to the Serbian Government for this campaign. On this occasion the Minister added: ‘Industry of Small and Middle size companies hires a million and two thousand employees, and still not much is heard about them. These companies face numerous difficulties, such as combat with big companies and monopoly. In the year ahead, due to the world financial crises, their position shall be even harder and for that, it is my pleasure to be able to participate in this campaign with an aim to encourage their development”. He also highlighted that the loans from the Fund for development should not be increased, but it was expected to lower the reference interest rate by the European Central Bank, to help small and middle size companies.
‘Banking with small and middle size companies and entrepreneurs is of vital importance to us. Following the mission of its mother Group, Banca Intesa is pursuing to become the synonym for supporting this industry in Serbia. The proof of such business policy is the fact that we are one of the leading banks in granting loans to small and middle size companies, with total loan placements in this industry segment reaching EUR 865m‘, said Mr. Giancarlo Miranda, Deputy President of Executive Board of Banca Intesa.
Ms. Vesna Perić, Head of Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SIEPA) and president of the jury of experts, underlined the significance of this campaign as it encourages small and middle size companies to improve and diversity their business. ”The prize of EUR 30.000 is intended to draw the attention of the public eye to entrepreneurship being of utmost importance to the economic growth of the whole Serbian economy. It’s my great pleasure to see how well this activity fits into the SIEPA mission, that is the promotion of values and necessities of export, competitiveness and innovation of domestic products”, said Ms. Vesna Perić.
In cooperation with Blic, Banca Intesa supported the campaign for the election for the best entrepreneur 2007, last year. Mr. Srđan Pavlović, the owner of Obuca Pavle (Pavle footwear) from Bela Palanka was elected the best entrepreneur and awarded EUR 30.000. All the ten short-listed companies in 2007 in the meantime managed to expand and increase their business volume. The same as last year, the jury of experts shall this year as well nominate only those best, not only by reviewing their business results stated in documents but also by visiting those most successful, in order to convince themselves on how successfully they operate on site.