December 20, 2018 - Within the program of celebrating the Liberation Day of Podgorica, the Mayor of Podgorica Ivan Vuković and the President of the Union of Employers of Montenegro (UPCG) Svetlana Vuksanović officially opened the Competence Center Podgorica. The establishment of the Center is one of the activities of the cross-border project "competenceNET", whose partner in Montenegro is UPCG, and is implemented within INTERREG IPA CBC Croatia - Bosnia and Herzegovina - Montenegro 2014-2020 program.
"This is a nice way to celebrate our holiday and I am very pleased that in a relatively short time, together with our friends and partners from the Union of Employers, we managed to open this kind of facility in the center of the city, which will serve for courses, training, and seminar organization, all in order to alleviate the consequences of a serious problem that we still face, which is the problem of insufficient employment in the Capital. Above all, among the young people, then women, members of the Roma population, and so on. In this way the capital shows a very responsible attitude towards this issue and demonstrates its willingness to address the improvement of living conditions in Podgorica continuously," said the mayor of Podgorica at the opening ceremony of the Competence Center Podgorica. UPCG President Svetlana Vuksanovic in her speech, expressed gratitude to the mayor of Podgorica for cooperation and support of the Capital for the activities of UPCG on the establishment of the Center.
"The Fourth Industrial Revolution creates new frameworks that seek to adapt quickly and join the global market. The Competence Center Podgorica is an example of the activity that UPCG responds to the challenges of this kind, which is confirmed by the valuable equipment provided within the competenceNET project, which includes, among other things: a digital camera, twenty desktop computers, five 3D printers, a smart board. I believe that the time before us will confirm the effects of such an investment, and thus the contribution of project partners from Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia to the processes of creating a business environment that stimulates the entrepreneurial climate, helps the development of sustainable enterprises, the competitiveness and economic progress of our and countries in the region," Vuksanovic said.
Today, the Competence Center Podgorica will support the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) through activities involving the organization of training and mentoring programs for MSMEs and unemployed young people in the field of business competence development, as well as the introduction of new technologies and innovative solutions to business (through smart collaboration programs). In this way, the Center will, as they emphasize, help to strengthen entrepreneurship of both small and medium businesses and encourage young people to approach the development of business ideas creatively.
"One of the advantages of cooperation between the partners of the cross-border region is that the Competence Center Podgorica will share its services with centers that were previously established in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, also within the competenceNET project. This means that the users of Podgorica Center will have the opportunity, through the webinar and the mobile application, to access additional, specialized services offered by other project centers. With the opportunity to develop specific knowledge and skills, this will enable the MMSP from Podgorica and the countries of the region to connect more strongly and thus begin future business cooperation," they said.
The work of the Competence Center Podgorica is based on the cooperation of the private, public and scientific research sector, which is a framework that will be further developed in Montenegro in the future and in other countries of the EU-funded cross-border project "competenceNET".
"The project" competenceNET "- "Improving the transnational business environment through the development of centers for the business competencies and networks "is implemented by the Development Agency Žepče (RAŽ) from Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the leading partner with the partners of the Union of Employers of Montenegro (UPCG) and the municipalities of Stari Jankovci and Tovarnik from Croatia. The duration of the project is 30 months, and the total budget is 670,619.24 EUR, out of which the EU finances 85, and 15 percent is co-financed by project partners.
The aim of the project is to improve sustainable economic development in Zenica-Doboj Canton (BiH), Vukovar-Srijem County (HR) and Podgorica, using innovative models and approaches in strengthening the competitiveness of SMEs.
Text by CdM, on December 19th, 2018, read more at CdM