Development Agency of Serbia and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) sign the MoU on the cooperation and implementation of the 5ft in the row Project "Strengthening and Expanding the Mentoring Service for SMEs in the Western Balkans 2022-2025”.
The preparation phase of the project started earlier this year, in January, and by signing the MoU the two organizations have committed themselves officially to continue successful and years-long cooperation in offering support in strengthening the competitiveness of the micro, small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs in Serbia, as well as in the Western Balkans countries.
One of the main goals of the Mentoring Project is the regional branding of the mentoring service and creating a mutual online platform for knowledge and best practice case exchange. Furthermore, that would include the active participation of the SMEs when it comes to designing and upgrading the mentoring service by organizing special events, Mentor Awards, and mentoring Forums.
The project will focus on improving the existing mentoring service and structuring the implementation of the regional mentoring service system, development of the Master Trainer program, executing different trainings for mentors, master trainers, mentors’ certification, and development and implementation of KAIZEN tools.
The free of charge Mentoring Service programs have been successfully implemented in Serbia for years now. By the end of 2021, this service was provided to more than 3.000 enterprises. Good results and the positive impact the Program had on the enterprises and entrepreneurs led to the expansion of the Program and its activities to a regional level – countries of the Western Balkans such as Montenegro, Bosnia and Hercegovina, and North Macedonia.
Over the years the Project has created sustainable mentoring services for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and entrepreneurs, but also improved their business performances and helped them connect with the mentors.
Since its beginning, the Project “Strengthening and Expanding the Mentoring Service for SMEs in the Western Balkans” has been supported by the Ministry of the Economy of the Republic of Serbia.