Serbia has a lot to offer for business and life – but Serbian business must ‘evolve’ from patronage to meritocracy
David Dowse and David Webb, founders of Webb Dowse, a leading Belgrade-based Corporate Communications company, spoke last night to a packed and attentive audience about their experience of setting up and running an independent business in Serbiaat the Serbian Embassy in London.
The event “A Coffee with…”, organized by the Serbian City Club, an independent and non-political organization established to promote interests of the Serbian professional community in London, was held to mark the success of their efforts concerning amendments to the Law on higher education that have recently been passed in the Serbian Parliament, especially those regarding foreign diploma recognition.
The British Senior Partners of Webb Dowse explained the challenges that entrepreneur start-ups face in Serbia, but emphasized that they can be overcome with determination and good legal advice.
Asked by host Stefan Stojadinović, a Serbian City Club member, about what changes are needed to encourage more start-up businesses in Serbia, David Dowse said: “There have been some welcome reforms in bureaucracy and tax regulations – many more are needed. But we believe the biggest challenge facing Serbian business is the culture of patronage. Patronage stifles real growth. Serbia needs to evolve towards a business community based on merit alone – then we would see the true potential of the country’s creativity.”
David Webb emphasized the many positive aspects to living and working in Serbia: “Serbia has so much to offer in terms of life quality. Everyone who comes to visit us in Belgrade leaves in love with the city and its people. They go home and tell others about it – this is probably the best PR that Serbia can get.”
Serbian City Club founders were extremely pleased with the event and highlighted the importance of the topics discussed: “Our members were impressed and, along with the progress of foreign diploma recognition process, what they heard from Webb Dowse co-founders will most certainly help them, especially those who are considering to return to Serbia and continue their careers there.”
You may see the photos from the event by following this link.