123 companies enter the final phase of public call on rapid economic recovery from COVID 19 – ongoing preparation for the next call

A total of 123 domestic companies have been chosen in the final selection phase of the first cycle of the public call on rapid economic recovery from COVID -19 issued by the Fund for Innovation and Technological Development (FITD). The total investment plan is 237 million denars, of these 97 million come from the companies ‘own co-financing and 139 million are the requested amount from FITD. A total of 166 companies applied to the public call, which was opened on May 29 and lasted until July 3.

Of the 123 companies, 74% apply to the Fund’s open call for the first time, 17 % apply for the second or more times but haven’t received any funds, while only nine percent of companies are previous beneficiaries. According to the FITD analysis, most of applicants are small (67) and micro (47) companies, as well as nine medium sized enterprises.

Most of the investment plans are in the field of health, IT, trade, but also categories such as mechanical engineering, creative industry, hospitality and textile industry. In the process of primary selection of investment plans, the Fund has engaged relevant foreign experts.

The evaluation is based on the following criteria: technological progress and degree of digitalization, i.e. to what extent the project will contribute to digitalization in the processes, development of a new or significantly improved product, applicant’s service or work process, then project quality, capacity of project team and impact. As a novelty, in this call an additional scoring is introduced for companies managed or owned by women entrepreneurs and companies coming from less developed regions, and these companies will have advantage in the selection.

The analyses show that by introducing these criteria only in the first cycle the participation of companies managed or owned by women entrepreneurs is increased by 46 % and the number of companies based in less developed regions has also increased. Compared to the previous calls, an increase is registered in the southeast (11%), east (10%) and Polog region (4%). The final selection process continues online, and the final decision on co-financing will be made by the Investment Approval Committee, according to the above criteria.

Процесот на финална селекција продолжува онлајн, а конечната одлука за ко-финансирање ќе ја донесе Комитетот за одобрување на инвестиции, според горепсоменатите критериуми.

FITD is preparing a new cycle of applying for financial support for economic recovery. For that purpose, the Fund in cooperation with the chambers of commerce submitted a survey to a large number of domestic companies so they can have the opportunity to contribute directly in creating conditions for the second cycle the Fund is planning to realize immediately after the end of the current one. The survey can be found at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfDmh-RNYUTSav0j6c69lajOOWHPnYBw0Lhhem8rnRPTXuTCQ/viewform) and is available to all micro, small, medium and large companies from North Macedonia.

For the realization of second and next cycles of public calls for economic recovery, the Fund initiates additional funds from the Government, apart from the already provided 200 million denars, most of which will be used in the first cycle.

The economic recovery program is part of the third set of economic measures of the Government of North Macedonia and is intended to support micro, small and medium-sized companies with potential for successful operation.