The Employment Bureau (ZZZ) announced the first public call for grants, worth a total of 1.2 million euros, to start new businesses.
The money will be awarded to more than 400 beneficiaries of self-employment grants, or more than 400 new businesses, over three one-year cycles. The grant will range from three thousand euros to 7.5 thousand euros.
The Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, Kemal Purišić, said that they would allocate a total of 3.5 million euros in the three years of the self-employment project.
"These funds were provided from the pre-accession funds of the European Union (EU) through the EU-Montenegro Program for Employment, Education, and Social Welfare. The program is a continuation of successful cooperation between the European Commission (EC) and the Government in the field of social policy, employment and education policies," Purišić said at a conference organized by the Institute in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare.
Purišić said in a statement that the government is committed to implementing measures and programs of active employment policies aimed at increasing employment and reducing unemployment.
"As a result, we have seen a significant decrease in the unemployment rate over the past few years. According to the data from the Labor Force Survey, it was reduced from 17.7 percent in 2016 to 15.2 percent last year, or 14.3 percent in the second quarter of this year," Purišić added.
The self-employment measures that will be implemented through this call, he said, will enable participants to acquire the necessary knowledge to apply for similar calls, acquire the skills to start and run their businesses, make livings for themselves and their family, and ultimately, contribute to the community through newly established businesses.
"Experience has shown that participants in preparatory self-employment measures have a greater opportunity for employment and the sustainability of that employment. The new jobs that will be created through this program are of particular importance for our citizens in the municipalities with the highest unemployment rate," said Purišić.
The director of the Institute, Suljo Mustafić, said that long-term unemployment remains one of the key challenges in the labor market, especially among young people.
"The Bureau announced the first public call for grants of between three thousand and 7.5 thousand euros. The money will be allocated to a minimum of 400 beneficiaries of self-employment grants, or 400 new businesses, a minimum of 140 per call, over three one-year cycles," said Mustafic.
According to him, all unemployed persons who have been registered for at least six months with the Bureau have the opportunity to apply on the day of the announcement of the call, with emphasis on young people, women, and long-term unemployed.
"That is why I urge all those who are willing to try to start their own business, to inform themselves in the Labor Offices across Montenegro as well as on the Institute's website," Mustafic said, adding that he believes that the grant will certainly be stimulating.
He said the money offered by the Employment Service is not a gift, but a grant to start a new business.
"It is support that carries a great deal of responsibility in implementation, reporting, and sustainability," Mustafic added.
In addition to the financial support, the Bureau will, as he said, as a service close to citizens, provide candidates with training and counseling when applying and during implementation.
"The published public invitation contains all the information, the number of funds, the length of the call and the conditions for participation. It also contains information on the documentation accompanying the application for participating in the program, the rights and obligations of the beneficiaries, as well as the deadlines for submitting the application," Mustafić explained.
As he said, all acceptable project proposals will be forwarded for further consideration and quality assessment.
"Due to the regional backwardness and higher unemployment rate in the north, through this project, we will strive to encourage employment in less developed areas," Mustafić said.
He said that he believes that the Self-Employment Grants Program would be an important factor in economic activity and in improving the overall environment for small business development, and thus the overall situation in the Montenegrin economy.
Text by MINA Business, on October 14th, 2019, read more at Vijesti