Official launch of the PowerUP program

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.


WB EDIF PAG held virtually on 10 June 2020

The “WB EDIF PAG” took place virtually as a session of the WBIF Steering Committee, hosted by the Federal Ministry of Finance of Austria. The PAG discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic from a regional perspective, and the response package launched by the EU institutions and IFIs in the frame of the “Team Europe” global support to WB6 economies fighting the pandemic. In particular, the top-ups of the WBEDIF Guarantee Facility II and of the Regional Competitiveness Programme were presented and approved as part of the wider package.


WB EDIF PAG and WBIF Steering Committee held in London, 16-17 December

The “WB EDIF PAG” took place in London, in the framework of the WBIF Steering Committee, hosted by the EBRD. The first day of the meeting was dedicated to policy and strategic discussions, followed by infrastructure and private sector session (EDIF PAG) on day two. The PAG approved the WBIF 2.0 Recommendations, including the main aspects of EDIF integration under the WBIF umbrella and discussed various topics, such as financing needs through diversification of financial systems and updates on the financial and support services pillars under EDIF. In addition, two new funding proposals were endorsed. On the margins of the meeting, the European Commission and the EBRD signed the agreement to support the Advice for Small Businesses Programme in the Western Balkans (EUR 15million).


Poznan Summit 2019

The Western Balkan Summit Poznan 2019 took place on July 3-5, where the Ministers of foreign affairs, internal affairs and economy convened on July 4 and on the day after the heads of states and governments discussed key issues concerning Western Balkans. The European Commissioner for Enlargement, Johannes Hahn opened the Berlin Process for Western Balkan with the participation of the Forum for Business and Civil Society.

Two signatures under the WB EDIF took place at this occasion – Phase II of the ongoing World Bank Technical Assistance Programme, the EU REPARIS and phase II of ongoing Programme implemented by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Advice for Small Businesses.

The Summit was also a great occasion to showcase work done under the WB EDIF via a social media campaign and distribution of a number of marketing material accessible at a dedicated stand.



The WB EDIF held its second forum in Sarajevo on 7 May, hosted by the EBRD in the margins of its Annual meeting.

The EDIF forum was attended by more than 250 representatives of the public and private sector, Chambers of commerce, Financing institutions and bilateral donors, coming from the EU, the region and beyond.


WB EDIF Business Forum

The first WB EDIF Business Forum took place in Belgrade on 26 June 2018 as part of the 12th WB EDIF PAG meeting. The Forum was hosted by the Ministry of Economy of Serbia and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and took place under the auspices of the European Commission with the support of the EIF.

The event gathered more than 150 participants from the entire region, including officials from the beneficiary economies, EC, EUDs, IFIs, Chambers, banks and finance providers as well as a number of SMEs. Several panels were organized to learn more about what WB EDIF has to offer, to hear stories from the companies benefitting under the facility and to discuss the main access to finance challenges.

The Forum was opened by the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Marko Cadez, State Secretary of Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Serbia, Branimir Stojanovic and Head of Cooperation at Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, Ingve Engstrom.

A business to finance event was organized in the afternoon, where the SMEs from the Western Balkans had the chance to meet the finance and advisory providers under the WB EDIF.


EU-REPARIS recognised by International Federation of Accountants as a best practice

As candidates, or potential candidates, for EU enlargement the countries of Southeast Europe, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, are integrating more closely with the EU and the EU’s internal market, and aligning their legislative frameworks with the EU acquis communautaire.

Read more

Footer Logo WBEDIF