Enabling Environment for Sustainable Enterprises in Montenegro

What has been done:

The enabling environment for sustainable enterprises in Montenegro was assessed through a careful review of secondary data, findings from a national employers’ perception survey and focus group discussions with relevant enterprise owners in the country. The Montenegro EESE survey was conducted in April and May 2013 among companies operating in all sectors and covering the three regions of Montenegro. The survey focused on 7 of the 17 conditions, which were selected through focus group discussion and were approved by the Executive board of the Montenegrin Employer Federation (MEF).

The Survey and its sample:

The total number of companies sampled in this survey was 200. The whole process of companies’ selection was very strict with just one purpose - to reflect the economy
of Montenegro as realistically as possible. Of the total number of surveyed companies, the trade sector made up 20.8 per cent of respondents. Trade is followed by the sector of other communal and personal services with 18.8 per cent of representation in the EESE survey sample. Concerning firm size based on number of employees, the greatest proportion of enterprises have fewer than 5 employees (30.7 per cent), followed by those with more than 99 employees (16.8 per cent). It is important that small firms are well represented as this best reflects the economy of Montenegro, where 99 per cent of the companies are SMEs. Regarding firm age, of all firms surveyed, 75.2 per cent have operated more than 5 years, and just 10.9 per cent have operated less than 2 years. From the total number, 22.8 per cent of SMEs in the sample operate with the specific goal conducting activities at the international market level, 51.5 per cent are oriented to the national market, and 25.7 per cent of surveyed companies conduct activities at local level. A great number of companies from the survey are members of MEF (74 per cent) and the biggest share of these companies have been members of MEF for more than 5 years. The greatest share of companies in the sample stated that they are not members of some other business association, while 23.8 per cent reported they are members of the following associations: Am Cham, Business Women association, and MBA.


Based on the EESE report, a Strategic Policy Framework entitled the 5 Business Killers in Montenegro was prepared and launched at a tripartite workshop. This high level policy document of MEF outlines five crucial business barriers and provide main suggestions as to how to overcome them:Inadequate regulatory framework
  • Inadequate regulatory framework
  • Difficult access to financial resources
  • High share of informal economy
  • The existence of corruption at all levels and in all areas
  • A mismatch between education system and labour market needs.
In addition, considering the detailed analysis on numerous business constraints, MEF to date developed two relevant position papers  that are
important to MEF members and the broader business community, namely one on informal economy and one on regulatory framework.