Skopje, 23 July 2020 (MIA) – Fund for Innovation and Technological Development (FITD) director Jovan Despotovski presented Thursday results of a public call on economic recovery of companies.
Despotovski announced a special model for support to export companies and big businesses.
Speaking at Thursday’s press conference, Despotovski said that a record number of submitted investment plans (166), and 90 percent of requested funds from those projected, wrapped up the first cycle of the public call for economic recovery of companies issued by FITD.
According to the FITD director, of the 166 investment plans submitted, 88 percent or 146 continue into the next stage of evaluation, while the remaining 20, i.e. 12 percent, complete the process at this stage.
The IT sector is not the only sector that prevails in the submitted applications, Despotovski said, but there are also about 15 other sectors including health, creative technologies, hospitality, agriculture, electronics, transport, construction, clothing, education, sales, trade, etc.
He added that regional development was equally promoted, as investment plans came from everywhere and not just the Skopje region. In addition, he noted, women entrepreneurship was also promoted given that 44 percent of the companies are headed by women entrepreneurs.
As regards company size, applications are mostly from small enterprises (51%), as well as micro enterprises (42%). According to Despotovski, a new model will be created for big business not covered under this support.
The FITD director said that funds within this call are not non-refundable but companies would need to refund them in the next three years of profits realized.
The total investment cycle for the period between May 29 and July 3 is Mden 291,709,7995. Of these, the requested amount from FITD is Mden 178,984,951 or 61 percent, whereas 39 percent, i.e. Mden 112,718,848 come from the companies’ own co-financing.
“Results from the first cycle show that part of the domestic economy is already focused on recovery and has concrete investment plans. In less than 45 days, interest was at a record high. Over 2,100 companies have taken an application package, which indicates that the domestic economy is transforming this period of survival into a period for planning out development,” Despotovski said.
According to him, 90 percent of the initially envisaged Mden 200 million of the Program on economic recovery are expected to be realized within the first cycle.
“This means that for each subsequent cycle, the first of which comes at the end of August, FITD would need to provide additional funds,” Despotovski noted.
He pointed out that the pre-selection stage would be completed by the end of next week, whereas the final selection stage by mid-August. Results are expected in the second half of August.
In addition, ahead of the second cycle, a survey would be distributed to all 2,100 companies who expressed interest for support.
“We’ll be open for all their suggestions and proposals to further develop this model for support. In the next cycle we’ll also be focusing on extending support, and talks are underway for a special measure on the export sector,” Despotovski said, urging all domestic companies to actively participate in the process with their opinions, proposals and suggestions.
In the first cycle of the call for economic recovery, 76 percent of the applicants are companies applying for the first time to use funds, while 16 percent have previously applied but haven’t received any funds. Eight percent are companies that have already used funds provided by FITD.