Danela Arsovska, President of the Macedonian Chambers of Commerce (MCC), as the Chair of the panel session on “SME Financing Opportunities for SMEs” at Macedonia2025 Summit stressed the importance of supporting entrepreneurs and SMEs which are the drivers of every economy.

In this regard, it is of great importance for all stakeholders in society to jointly improve access to finance, remove legal barriers, and create new opportunities for SMEs. This includes increasing the budget framework for direct support to companies, facilitating lending conditions by banks with an innovative approach already being adopted in Western European countries into regular practice, promoting global cloudfunding programs, innovative SME support centers, which can contribute to making the most of the different funds allocated to companies.

“In our country, there is no shortage of innovative ideas in the private sector and entrepreneurial spirit, but in recent years given the general conditions and political instability, there is a lack of motivation for realizing and systematically channeling the different types of support that companies could use. There is a need to ensure that those who have decided to develop their potential in Macedonia, realize innovative ideas and create new jobs, reduce the risk for investments. The growth and development of small and medium-sized enterprises is crucial for inclusive growth and raising the standard of living. To this end, it is necessary to prioritize 7 activities that will inevitably produce results, creating an environment for a favorable business environment and removing regulatory barriers, promoting entrepreneurship, access to new markets and internationalization, access to finance, increasing competitiveness. , as well as access to information on key funding sources, “said Arsovska.

She added that complementary implementation of existing ones along with new activities to create a more coherent framework could enable those small businesses that are starting to grow, not only to become competitive but to expand their activity internationally.

“There are a variety of models applied in certain countries in the EU and which have had a great effect, some of them being investing in entrepreneurs who have fallen into financial difficulties but have high potential, through debt refinancing and interest relief, in order to they are restructured in a timely manner, to prevent bankruptcy and avoid layoffs. Furthermore, support to small and innovative companies that want to expand their business internationally, and there are excellent examples from the region where there is complete deregulation and tax exemptions in the first years of starting a business, ”Arsovska said.

In Macedonia, small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of the economy with 99.7 percent of the total number of registered companies, similar to the EU, where on average about 99% of the business activities are SMEs. In the past five years, they have created about 85% of new jobs, key to ensuring economic growth, innovation and social integration.