USAID Cooperation for growth project

‘’How to adapt business to the ongoing crisis?’’ – the first online panel ‘’Specifically for SME’’

In cooperation with ICT Hub, The USAID Cooperation for Growth Project launched series of online panels named ‘’Specifically for SME’’, dedicated to small and medium enterprises and aimed to help small businesses to cope with state of emergency due to coronavirus pandemic.

The first online panel ’How to adapt business to the ongoing crisis?’’ was held on Wednesday, April 8, where financial experts and SME representatives share their experiences and advice. Panel gathered representatives of small and medium firms which have been facing severe challenges due to changed business circumstances but operate successfully, as well as financial experts.  SMEs representatives were Aleksandar Calovic, CFO of Bakery PONS from Cacak and Mile Kocic, CEO of Yumis d.o.o, the food producer from Nis, while Vladimir Pavlovic, CEO and partner WM Equity Partners also participated. Sandra Rodic, Access to finance director at USAID’s CFG, moderated the panel.

Participants discussed their experiences, lessons learned from the past economic crisis and provided examples of their preparations for the post-pandemic period. The main topics of the first panel were: fighting liquidity, workforce issues due to the state of emergency, supply chain disruption and businesses ability to quickly adapt to the change.

Following factors were emphasized as an important during the crisis: diversification of products, market dispersion and perhaps the most important one – employees. A process of transparent negotiations with partners on debt collection is crucial for small businesses during this period, participants agreed. They also discussed about transport and logistics, which were highlighted as specific challenges during the crisis. Everyday communication with partners is very important for both transport and logistics in the state of the emergency. As it was expected, digitalization (switching to online business mode) has proved as the important business advantage, not just in the crisis time, but also under the regular circumstances.

The USAID Cooperation for Growth Project continues to support economy even during the state of the emergency and we will conduct more online panels on several topic SMEs have been facing with, in the forthcoming period.

Please click here to watch the online panel.


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