EBRD TAM/BAS Programme in FYR Macedonia
The main impediments faced by Macedonian MSMEs, which could be addressed by the TAM Programme assistance, relate to poor management skills (operational, organizational, human resources, marketing, deficiencies in long term business planning, and a lack of exposure to international best practices).
TAM is specifically assisting companies in the following sectors: textiles, food processing (mushrooms and peppers in particular), automotive and car-parts industry, metals, construction and pharmaceuticals, which would benefit from international industrial expertise, especially when it comes to technological know-how. Companies especially need assistance with export promotion and quality management and certifications. TAM is continuing its regional scope beyond the capital Skopje where management advisory services are not available. TAM is also focusing on market dissemination of expertise acquired in the context of its projects and other market development activities as opportunities arise.
In the Macedonian MSME sector, the smallest companies are most vulnerable to the effects of the global financial crisis. Therefore, the BAS grant should remain a key component of BAS assistance, thus helping financially constrained enterprises to access consultancy services. At the same time, targeted market development activities should be a big component of BAS assistance in FYR Macedonia.
A Grant Guideline Matrix is proposed in order to prioritise intervention and to avoid duplication of efforts from international donors. Higher grants are given to:
• Size of enterprise: Higher grants are given to smaller enterprises and lower grants are proposed for companies with more than 200 employees as their ability to pay for consultancy services is generally higher.
• Type of advisory service: Higher grants are given to support projects involving consultancy services where market supply is less mature, particularly in the areas of environmental management and food safety (HACCP, Euro Gap, ISO 22000).
• Cross-cutting issues: Higher grants are given to enterprises in rural areas and to enterprises with a high percentage of women in their labour force.