How does your proposed innovation leverage public intervention in catalyzing private SME finance?
InForMoney serves as a mediator among private business sector (SMEs), investors, and public financing organizations. It provides a publicly available stage for open discusions on the SME sector developments, its particular needs of financing, as well as investors views and interests towards specific economic sectors. Hence, InForMoney strongly leverages public intervention in catalyzing private SME finance.
If you checked any of these barriers, describe how your solution addresses them
Asymmetry of information
The countries within the SEE region are at different levels of economic development, and, subsequently, at different levels of development of business tools and information sources. Some countries, such as Romania, Bulgaria, and Croatia, enjoy relatively well-developed state of business sharing practices. Others - such as Albania and Serbia - lack the necessary tools for exchange of relevant information within their business communities. This asymmetry of available information disables investors, interested in foreign-market or cross-national projects. A web portal, holding exhaustive information about funding options and projects with potential in all countries in the region, provides one-stop-shop access to both financing and ideas in need of financing to all relevant stakeholders.
Lack of SME access to skills/knowledge/markets
Consulting business is relatively new to the SEE region. As such, it unfortunately offers grounds for unprofessionals to offer business advice to SMEs. InForMoney will provide a pool of established experts in various business fields to address the need of cross-national technical expertise for SMEs, interested in the development of new projects, through the utilization of available external public or private funding.
Unavailability of financial products tailored to SME needs
Various sources in SEE region - both private and public - offer financial products tailored to SME needs. In fact, the issue is that frequently there is unavailability of information regarding these products. InForMoney will provide this information on regional level, so that SMEs from the different countries are aware of the options available for business development in their own and neighboring countries.
High transaction costs for financial intermediaries to serve SMEs
In general SMEs represent an expensive customer base for financial intermediaries because their projects in need of financing are each time specific, and yet - frequently not large enough to pay off mediators that provide services in help of SMEs' funds search. Hence, it is often difficult for SMEs to find the necessary informational and technical expertise to support the implementation of their planned projects.InForMoney will provide free access to ready to cooperate, experienced consultants, as well as a data set of fundamental business know-how to endorse SMEs in their business initiatives.
General barriers to SME development related to investment climate
Southeastern Europe region is yet considered as somewhat unstable investment environment compared to the rest of Europe. The overall relatively unstable economic environments of the countries, the prevailing nature of bureaucratic procedures that still meets the entrepreneurial ventures in the countries, the lack of strong business communities and long-term business practices - these are all factors that precondition the distrust of investors towards projects in the region. InForMoney provides functional solutions to all these barriers in front of SMEs, because it offers free access to information about all available funding options in the region; it enables direct connections between investors and projects with potential; it offers transparency of the receiving funding eligibility criteria, as well as the process of application for financing; and it creates a virtual cloud, rich of information, business matchmaking opportunities, and technical expertise that boosts the investment climate for SMEs on regional Southeastern Europe level.