Prospective analysis of the SME sector of the Western Balkans


  • Massimo Cingolani European Investment Bank



Innovation, Western Balcans, MDBs, Pre-accession, Blending


The article offers an original perspective on the impacts of multilateral cooperation for the development of the private sector in complex economic environments. It examines the financial instruments deployed by several financing institutions in support of EU pre-accession policies for the six countries of the Western Balkans during the period 2014-2020 through a platform of cooperation for SMEs and the private sector called Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (EDIF). It is based on research that aimed at evaluating the needs for external financial support to the region for the period 2021-2027. The core party of the study analyses a so far unexploited database comprising the financial accounts of all Serbian companies over the period 2009-18. The database documented the high dispersion and strong asymmetry in the distribution of the financial results of the private sector in Serbia, which is typical of a situation of high risk and uncertainty that prevails also in many other countries outside the European Union.


Atanasijević J., Corradin F., Sartore D., Uvalic M., Volo F. and Cingolani M. (2021), Prospective analysis of the SME sector in the Western Balkans – Final report. Study financed by the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) under an EIB TA contract (TA2018195 R0 EDI). Venezia: GRETA, June 2021, available at:

Bartlett W. (2012), “Small Firms as a Development Factor in South–eEast Europe”, in Sternad D. and Döring T. (eds.), Handbook of Doing Business in Southeast Europe (pp. 232‐250), Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bartlett W. and Bukvič V. (2002), “What Are the Main Barriers to Growth and Development in South‐East Europe?”, in Bartlett W., Bateman M. and Vehovec M. (eds.), Small Enterprise Development in South‐East Europe: Policies for Sustainable Growth (pp. 17‐37), Dordrecht: Kluwer.




How to Cite

Cingolani, M. (2023). Prospective analysis of the SME sector of the Western Balkans. PSL Quarterly Review, 76(305), 121–154.