Project Name: Mentoring for 100 newly established and existing SMEs and clusters
Donor: National Agency for Regional Development – NARD, the Government of Japan via Japan International Cooperation Agency – JICA
Duration: July – November 2015
Project Aim: Free mentoring service to 100 selected entrepreneurs/companies/clusters in duration of 50 hours per client, until the end of November 2015.
ICT Cluster of Central Serbia was approved with the application for free mentoring services within the Public Invitation: Mentoring for 100 newly established and existing SMEs and clusters, by the National Agency for Regional Development – NARD. This program is implemented by the NARD via its network of accredited regional agencies in Serbia, among which is the Regional Economic Development Agency for Sumadija and Pomoravlje, Kragujevac – REDASP, on whose premises a contract on the 50 hours of free tutoring was officially signed on July 17, 2015.
Mentoring is a comprehensive process of providing support to enterprises (companies) and entrepreneurs who are at a crucial point for their further development or survival in general. The mentoring process represents a certain number of hours that a professional – mentor spends in direct contact/work with the shop owner or the company owner. Mentor's work starts with the diagnosis. Company and mentor together study the reasons for the current problems or obstacles in further development. Based on the diagnosis mentor and entrepreneur/company prepare a development plan/project. During this process mentor works as an assistant, as well as a coordinator and an adviser.
National Agency for Regional Development standardized mentoring as a service within the implementation of Institutionalization of Mentoring as a Service for SMEs project, financed by the Government of Japan via Japan International Cooperation Agency – JICA. National Agency for Regional Development has been implementing mentoring as a standardized service since 2011. Mentoring Program in 2015 is an integral part of the new Establishment and Promotion of Mentoring Services for SMEs project in the Western Balkans – Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, implemented by NARD in cooperation with the Government of Japan via Japan International Cooperation Agency – JICA. The said project is the first in the region funded by the Government of Japan and implemented in the period from 2013 through 2016.
NARD also conducts independent evaluation of mentoring users in previous years of implementation, which showed that this service contributes to SME customers receiving an average 10% increase in sales, profits and number of employees.
Project implementation starts from the date of signing the contract on the provision of mentor services between the ICT Cluster of Central Serbia and the Regional Economic Development Agency for Sumadija and Pomoravlje.