NewsUSAID AND OPPORTUNITY BANK SERBIA INCREASE ACCESS TO FINANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Šabac, June 21st 2016 – U.S. Ambassador to Serbia, Kyle Scott, visited the Opportunity Bank Serbia’s (OBS) Sabac branch office to hear about OBS’s latest innovations to increase access to finance for small, rural businesses. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has supported OBS since 2002. OBS works to provide micro, rural, agro and small- and medium-enterprise (SME) lending to Serbian businesses that cannot obtain financial assistance from traditional banks.
Since its foundation, OBS has disbursed 100,000 loans totaling more than EUR 330 million. The Šabac branch has 1,816 active loans, totaling EUR 3.75 million. OBS estimates that on a monthly basis, the Šabac Branch disburses 100 loans, with the average loan amount being EUR 2,550.
OBS demonstrated its tablet-based loan processing technology, which significantly speeds up the loan approval process for agricultural clients. It also explained the benefits of its recently launched web application, “Mali BIZnis kredit na KLIK”. The web application allows small business owners to check their creditworthiness and obtain preliminary bank loan approval without visiting a bank and completing time-consuming paperwork.
“This was a great opportunity for us to show the Ambassador how our latest innovations help small businesses grow. The Šabac Branch is one of the most succesfull in our network,” stated Vladimir Vukotić, CEO/Executive Board President of OBS. He added that OBS also introduced the Ambassador to some of their most successful local entrepreneurs and business clients.