Jovana Kostić from Leskovac started to be interested in recycling when she met her husband who had been successfully collecting and recycling secondary raw materials for fifteen years. The Pekos-plus family enterprise was opened in 2016, as the Kostićs realised the potential of investing in this type of private business, and since then they have been collecting, sorting and recycling secondary raw materials, such as iron, aluminum, copper, paper, foil and other waste materials. "My husband has been engaged in recycling for many years, while I actually joined the business when I met him. Everything is easier when done together so we came up with the idea to open a family business", Jovana recalls how they started.
"Recycling is a very demanding and responsible job, and it was not an easy beginning at all. As cable burning was not an environmentally friendly solution, we needed a recycling machine that we unfotunately could not afford", Jovana says. "We found out about the EU PRO programme public call in 2018 and decided to apply for a grant and procure equipment necessary for safe recycling. Thanks to the EU donation we got the opportunity to buy a new cable recycling machine that meets all standards and does not pollute the environment. Now it's much faster and easier, and as we have increased the production volume we have hired two new workers",
In addition to their daily work, the Pekos-plus also cleaned illegal landfills in order to provide support to the local community. "We all want to live in a cleaner country while our biggest motive is to find value in the things thrown away and to recycle them thus protecting our environment and our planet," Jovana concludes her story.
The European Union, in cooperation with the Ministry of European Integration, supported over 200 micro and small enterprises and entrepreneurs with more than 4.3 million Euros through the EU PRO programme. The funds were used for the purchase of new equipment that help the enterprises to improve production and competitiveness and create new jobs.
Through the activities of the EU PRO programme, the European Union contributes to the more balanced socio-economic development of Serbia with a total of 25 million Euros. The programme aims to contribute to increasing the competitiveness of micro and small enterprises, improving the business environment and strengthening social cohesion in 99 local self-government units, in two regions: the Region of Šumadija and Western Serbia and the Region of Southern and Eastern Serbia. The activities in the field are implemented by UNOPS.