At the beginning of the meeting the participants were welcomed by the director of PORA Regional Development agency of Podravina and Prigorje, Melita Birčić, who thanked everyone for attending the meeting. After that, she pointed out that the implementation of this project will bring valuable international experience in microfinance, that will greatly benefit our Croatian businesses. She also pointed out that this project has a significant international component since it was approved by Intereg Europe which includes 10 partners from 8 countries. After the introduction all participants were greeted by deputy major Darko Sobota, who expressed his satisfaction with this initiative and added that he hopes this project will find the approval of the superiors and with the cooperation of PORA and everyone else, become a great success. He also expressed his belief that other upcoming meetings will bring forth a successful solution for a better future.
Marina Šandor Krznarić, Head of the Department for business, investment and rural development of PORA Regional Development Agency of Podravina and Prigorje, informed present participants with the project, pointing out its 1,622 milion EUR value, its 5 year cycle and the main goal of the project, which is to stop the low access to available credit and financial exclusion that represents a significant setback in starting a new business. The project will focus on Start-ups, young entrepreneurs and social businesses that have the hardest time getting credit funds because of their small or nonexistent assets and high risk.
Tihana Kraljić, Head of the Department for strategic planning, regional development and human resource management of PORA continued with the working part of the meeting pointing out the importance of interregional learning and high hopes for the project.
After the introductions, Jasminka Keser, the Head of the Department SME business finance, Ministry of entrepreneurship and crafts (MINPO) held a presentation on the topic of “National and legislative frame for microcredit”. Tomislav Pašalić, Head of the sector for financial instruments - Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovations and Investments (HAMAG BICRO), presented his company and announced new financial products for small and medium entrepreneurs. The meeting was closed after a final discussion about the instruments of microcredit that are available to the entrepreneurs on a local, regional and national level.
The main goal of the project is to stop the financial exclusion and unavailability of credit that represents a serious obstacle in starting a business in many regions of Europe and the improvement of access to microfinance in the regions that are taking part in the project by exchanging local knowleges to come up with innovative solutions