Minister's Activities

Kosovo joins Enterprise Innovation Fund – ENIF

Prishtinë, 22/02/2017

The Government of Kosovo signed an Agreement to join the Enterprise Innovation Fund (ENIF). Kosovo Government joins ENIF in the subsequent closing, bringing the total fund size to more than EUR 40M available for investments in high growth potential tech companies in Western Balkans. 

ENIF fund is managed by South Central Ventures and has been active in the Western Balkans since September 2015. Its portfolio to date includes 8 tech companies in seed to early growth stage, which show a high potential for growth.

The minister of Trade and Industry, Hykmete Bajrami, on this occasion spoke about the support that the Government of Kosovo in regard to entrepreneurship development. She underlined that "The Government through its programs for support of investment and export; through the Kosovo Fund for Credit Guarantee, and recently through the Innovation Fund for Enterprise, which is one of the pillars of the Western Balkans Fund (WB EDIF) that has created an important framework for access to finance for Kosovar companies from its the early stage of star-up to its growth, extension, and their journey to across global markets.”Mrs. Bajrami added that "The Government by investing in the ENIF Fund, which contributes directly in support to new start-ups with innovative approaches, helping young and skilled population to establish innovation companies that has potential for fast growth in approach foreign markets, "she said.  

On the other side, Tatjana Zabasu, Managing Partner in South Central Ventures, commented on Kosovo’s investment in ENIF. “We have been active throughout the Western Balkans – including Kosovo - since the inception of Enterprise Innovation Fund in 2015. Investment in ENIF by Kosovo Government is an important contribution, as it shows the Government’s interest in developing an ecosystem conducive to tech SMEs. We hope to further strengthen the pipeline of investment opportunities in Kosovo, where we have already seen a number of promising companies and talented people with great business ideas. We are excited to be in position -together with the support of ENIF partners- to help some of them fully exploit their potential”, she said. 

While, Olivia Somers, Enterprise Innovation Fund (FEI) representative said that “We are very pleased to see the addition of Kosovo’s investment in the Enterprise Innovation Fund. This represents not only Kosovo’s dedication to supporting innovative SMEs but also stands out as an important investment alongside partners such as EIF, EC, EBRD, KfW and others, which has created cooperation and dialogue to further support private sector development going forward”

Existing investors in ENIF include institutional investors such as European Commission, European Investment Fund (EIF), European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD), and also Western Balkans economies via their ministries or SME agencies, including the Kosovo Investment and Enterprise Support Agency (KIESA) and the Croatian Agency HAMAG-BICRO, the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Investment and Development Fund of Montenegro. In addition, several institutional and individual private investors have joined the Fund already in the first closing in September 2015.

The Enterprise Innovation Fund (ENIF) forms one pillar of the umbrella structure - the Western Balkan Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF), created by the European Union aiming to provide a range of complementary financial instruments and support services to SMEs in the Western Balkans.

About WB EDIF
The Western Balkan Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) promotes the emergence and growth of innovative and high-potential companies, as well as the creation of a regional Venture Capital market. The EUR 145 million of capital pulled together under this Facility by the EU, international financial institutions (IFIs), beneficiaries and bilateral donors will effectively translate into over EUR 300 million of direct financing for SMEs in the region.

About South Central Ventures 
South Central Ventures is the leading SEE fund manager, managing the EUR 40 million Enterprise Innovation Fund (ENIF). ENIF is dedicated to investments in tech-companies coming from Western Balkans and aims to encourage further development of start-up ecosystems and tech companies throughout the region, by supporting the founders daring to bring their businesses to global markets. 
SC Ventures is investing throughout Western Balkans and has offices in Belgrade, Skopje and Zagreb.