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As of 5th August, Opportunity Bank Serbia (OBS) has a new loan product in its offer, part of the European Commission’s Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), which is funded by the European Union and implemented by the European Investment Fund (EIF). The program is aimed at increasing access to loans for entrepreneurs and micro-businesses with small account turn-overs and no adequate loan collateral, which prevents them from accessing funds that they could use for investing into their businesses. OBS will disburse EUR 16 million over the next two-and-a-half years, through loans with favourable interest rates, which do not require additional guarantees such as moveable or immoveable property.

Loans ranging from EUR 5,000 to 25,000 EUR with repayment period of up to 8 years can be used for purchasing current and fixed assets, and are available to businesses and entrepreneurs registered in the Republic of Serbia, who have up to 9 employees and exist for minimum of two years, with special focus on the clients from rural areas as well as underbanked clients, in line with OBS Mission.

Vladimir Vukotić, CEO of Opportunity Bank Serbia said on this occasion: „We intend to use this program to include entrepreneurs with no previous access to loans into the financial system, so that their businesses could grow and develop, employ additional workers, increase number of products and services offered, automatize and optimise their processes, reconstruct their business premises or renew equipment, regardless of their size and years of existence. We are especially proud of our free educational platform „My Own Boss“ developed in co-operation with Ivan Minić and his team, who are pioneers in developing education programmes for entrepreneurs of all profiles, and are responsible for creation of web sites such as „Moja firma“ and Pojačalo.

Business Development Service „My Own Boss“ is available not only to clients of OBS, but to all citizens of Serbia who are or want to become entrepreneurs, and intend to improve their skills and stay up to date with all the events, deadlines and regulations which are important for running a business. Everyone can register on the web site and subscribe to interesting and useful content (weekly videos, newsletters), and participate in monthly webinars related to topics such as finance, branding, tax regulations, bookkeeping, e-commerce, etc.

Potential clients who are interested in scheduling a visit by OBS Client Adviser can either reach to one of OBS branches or contact OBS Call Centre on 069 340 50 70.

About the Programme for Employment and Social Innovation

Under the EUROPEAN PROGRAMME FOR EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INNOVATION (EaSI), the European Commission supports microfinance and social entrepreneurship finance with an overall envelope of EUR 193 million for the 2014-2020 period. The aim is to increase access to microfinance, i.e. loans of up to EUR 25 000, in particular for vulnerable persons and micro-enterprises. In addition, for the first time, the European Commission is also supporting social enterprises through investments of up to EUR 500 000. The microfinance and social entrepreneurship support is first implemented through the EaSI Guarantee, which shall enable microcredit providers and social enterprise investors to reach out to entrepreneurs they would not have been able to finance otherwise for risk considerations. The European Commission has selected the EIF to implement the EaSI Guarantee.