On 12 November 2020 the World Bank, European Union, Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility, and Deloitte officially launched PowerUP program – Capacity Building for Early Stage Firms in the Western Balkans.

The program is designed for SMEs and start-ups and it aims to boost their business growth and strengthen resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic. Out of several hundred applications, 250 innovative companies with bold ideas and great potential to grow and thrive were selected to continue their journey in the PowerUP program.  During the online Launch event, participating companies had the opportunity to learn more about the next steps of the program and meet the program organizers and implementers.

Over 400 firms applied for the PowerUP program.  More than 40% of the applicants had to be turned away, but organizers hope to be able to reach out to those firms for future support. We congratulate the selected 37 firms from Albania, 79 firms from Bosnia and Herzegovina, 23 firms from Kosovo, 21 firms from Montenegro, 31 firms from North Macedonia, and 58 firms from Serbia. Our colleagues at Deloitte Consulting will deliver tailored workshops and mentoring sessions over the course of the next few months.