The NTF project facilitates a cooperation between the MoD’s PRISMA Program and existing business incubators in Subotica and Niš
As approved by the NTF donors, within the framework of the third year of project activities, the NTF has started capacity building activities aimed at establishing links between the PRISMA program and two business incubators operating in Niš and Subotica. Linking the most successful NTF entrepreneurs with already existing and self sustainable business incubators should drastically increase the opportunities for successfully reintegration of those people into civilian life. Through the investment made by the NTF it will be possible to create some space within those incubators to be permanently used by PRISMA to enhance the reintegration opportunities of its future beneficiaries. Worldwide experience shows that business incubators can drastically increase the opportunities for the success of a new business, by providing premises, infrastructures and technical/administrative support to its beneficiaries.
IOM and MoD-PRISMA staff, visit to Niš business incubator, 6 October 2008
At the beginning of October 2008, the relevant representatives of the IOM-NTF and MoD-PRISMA staff, with the support of the SINTEF office in Belgrade (a Norwegian institution with a long term experience in the field of business incubators development in the Balkan region), visited existing business incubators in Subotica and Niš. That visit gave the NTF/PRISMA the opportunity to further discuss modalities of future cooperation with the management of the BICs, as well as assess services and facilities offered by those BICs’ to their tenants. In order to insure the sustainability and long term perspective of such cooperation, those visits will be followed up by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Defence and BICs that would regulate the planned cooperation. In the mean time, a list of NTF project beneficiaries that could become future tenants of those two business incubators is also being prepared.
To give long term self-sustainability to the business incubator intervention and increase the capacity of PRISMA in supporting the reintegration into civilian life of its beneficiaries, those investments have been combined with a training/coaching module for two PRISMA staff. This training aims at increasing the capacities of the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in the field of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) and business incubation to also ensure the continuation of the support to discharged defence personnel through the business incubation after the end of the NTF.
This specialized BICs training, dedicated to selected PRISMA staff, has been implemented since October 2008 and it will last until end of June 2009.