Croatian ACT Group Creates Programme to Aid Young Entrepreneurs

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, Ana Brigovic, the business development manager of the Croatian ACT Group, stated that entrepreneurship often costs people emotionally, but it is also extremely rewarding, giving us something to be proud of in life.

The Croatian ACT Group is aiming to further strengthen entrepreneurship this year by presenting the Nevjerojatni project, a platform for a support programme intended for Croatian business founders or directors under the age of 36 who are managing small or medium companies that have been on the market for a minimum of one year.

Until May the 31st, while the Nevjerojatni tender remains open, they will select five ”Incredibles” to whom they will award vouchers in the amount of 5,000 euros for business development.

“For us, the key factor is economic activity, not the legal form, which means that self-employed persons, family farms, associations or any other entity that is regularly engaged in an economic activity can also apply for the tender. It’s also a condition that they send us a video message because that acts as their application form,” explained Brigovic.

The selected entrepreneurs will then be provided with advice and assistance in the development of their respective companies with experienced experts, especially since the Croatian ACT Group has a pool of about 50 excellent local and international mentors from various areas of business available to Croatian entrepreneurs.

As part of the programme, they will also organise training sessions on marketing, sales, strategy and operations, depending on the real needs of the users of the programme.

“Everyone involved will get earn some excellent visibility for their company and brand through a media campaign, we’ll enable them to connect and network with other entrepreneurs, and all that along with financial support,” noted Brigovic.

The Croatian ACT Group has been proverbially brewing this idea for some time now, and they started with true realisation back at the end of 2020 in order to provide visibility to good Croatian entrepreneurial stories and increase the level of respect for young entrepreneurs.

Croatian entrepreneurs, they say, are considered ingenious and – incredible. “We at the ACT Group have been working on providing direct support to entrepreneurs for more than five years and we wanted others to hear these inspiring stories we hear every day, about people from across Croatia who, with their perseverance, optimism and hard work create something good – from employment to something else good for their community, as well as innovation and other drivers of economic development,” stated Brigovic.

Young entrepreneurs who have already found success are involved in the promotion of the Nevjerojatni project.

Raiffeisenbank Hrvatska also joined the project as a partner, recognising the importance of this initiative and the influence it can have on the development of society and the economy. “Our RBA partners believe that it’s their duty as a company to use their human and material resources for the social well-being, progress and improvement of the quality of life in the local community. And that is exactly what they’re doing by investing in such a programme to empower young entrepreneurs.

RBA will provide advisory support in financial management and investment, and they’ve prepared a free entrepreneurial package of their services for a period of one year for those entrepreneurs who have an account with them,” Brigovic added.

In order to further encourage promising entrepreneurs to apply for the programme, in collaboration with young successful entrepreneurs from Croatia – Marin Mrsa from Peekator, Dragan Lipovac from Hubbig, Ena Rajic from Media Scene, filmmaker Jan Stih from Riza Biznis and Albert Gajsak from CircuitMess – they talked about different industries and markets to further help entrepreneurs navigate and develop across different markets and industries. Through the programme, they say, they would like to encourage local consumption, ie to order services or products from other small or medium enterprises from across the country.

“I think the Nevjerojatni campaign is another great initiative from the Croatian ACT Group to promote entrepreneurship in Croatia. I’m sure that 5,000 euros in the form of services will help entrepreneurs in their further development. On top of that, I think that the campaign was cleverly arranged, because the aforementioned award will be used even more with the help and mentoring of the Group,” said Marin Mrsa.

The Croatian ACT Group continuously provides support to entrepreneurs through various annual programmes, too. The long-running Start Something of Your Own programme is currently being implemented, where Albert Gajsak was one of the winners.

The Erasmus programme for start-up entrepreneurs is also underway, through which they enable cooperation, knowledge exchange and business connections with other European countries.

They recently completed the implementation of a Rapid Response and Recovery Programme to help micro-entrepreneurs whose businesses are threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, and as part of the programme, they developed and offered their repository of knowledge, advice and tools for improving business to all entrepreneurs for free and open use through

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