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BVCA shares regional knowledge at a Serbian conference

BVCA shares regional knowledge about the private equity and venture capital ecosystem at a Serbian conference

BVCA’s Chairman, Evgeny Angelov, spoke at a public-private dialogue on equity-based financing at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce in Belgrade. The event was organised by WM Equity Partners and USAID. The conference gathered representatives from the private and public sectors, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), start-ups, fund managers, national venture capital and private equity associations, Ministry officials and other high-level officials from the European Investment Fund and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.

The event aimed to bring together different players of the ecosystem to exchange knowledge and ideas on what should be the next steps for Serbia to escalate its businesses through equity-based financing and to create a vibrant and functioning ecosystem.

Regional representatives gathered to share their success stories as well as their struggles in developing the ecosystem and finding or funding the right companies. The panels aimed to give advice and exchange ideas with the Government officials and international institutional representatives in harvesting Serbia’s potential.

The Bulgarian perspective was also presented as Angelov shared the story of the creation of the ecosystem in partnership with the European Investment Fund. “There are now established and well-functioning private equity and venture capital funds headquartered in Bulgaria, most of which doubled their size in the past couple of years”, he said. BVCA’s Chairman stressed on the importance of those funds to get regional and to grow.

The Bulgarian experience of equity-financing continued with a discussion on the role of Governments in the process. One of the take-aways from the panel was that the Government should support SMEs through intermediaries and should not interfere directly in their development. Instead it should focus on cutting the red tape that suffocates their growth.

In regards to the role of the Government Angelov added: “Governments have an important role to play, particularly as arms-length, LP investors in private funds. They should, however, resist the urge to pick managers, companies or innovations directly and leave this to the relevant professionals.”

The public-private discussion brought together over 95 participants, of which over a third were representatives of small and medium-sized companies in Serbia, interested in engaging with private investors to accelerate their growth.

Find out more about the event on its dedicated website or watch the video from the conference.

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