Rijeka – a city of economic opportunities
All the key economic and financial indicators relating to Rijeka entrepreneurs show an increase in the economic activity. In particular we should point out the growth of total income that grew up by 12% when compared to 2014. In 2015, total income reached almost HRK 18.3 billion. We should also point out a major growth of income deriving from sale abroad that reached HRK 4 billion, representing an increase of 21% when compared to 2014 (previous growth was registered in 2006). In addition to the mentioned, a positive growth of income from domestic sales of 8% was registered (growth has been permanent ever since 2012), thus contributing together to an increase in gross profit by more than 300%. Small entrepreneurs predominate in the structure of the Rijeka economy, both by number of entrepreneurs (99%) and by number of employees (53%). Also small entrepreneurs in Rijeka realise 43% of total income and participate with 43% in investments in fixed assets. When compared to 2014, small entrepreneurs in 2015, increased investment by 27% while simultaneously reducing financial expenses by 11%.
Five most important activities of the Rijeka economy, namely the manufacturing, construction, trade, transport and warehousing industries and professional, scientific and technical activities (that participate with 85% in total income) realised growth and increased the number of employees.
Trends and prospects
Aiming to further develop entrepreneurship, the City Council of the City of Rijeka, set up two companies in order to act as the promoters of the activities of the competence centre – Smart RI – that will act as the promoter of the activities of the Competence Centre for smart cities, and CEKOM brodogradnja d.o.o. – that will be the promoter of the Competence Centre for quality improvement in shipbuilding industry. Currently research projects are being prepared that will be implemented by the competence centres in accordance with the economic and research sector, and their strategic development plan are being determined and a feasibility study is being prepared.
Around mid November 2015 the City of Rijeka was awarded a prize for the Start-up incubator as the best project in the category “Smart Economy” within the competition The Cities of the Future – INpuls 2015. Within the project “Startup incubator Rijeka”, towards the end of 2016 the seventh generation was admitted with as many as 21 teams with 46 young users. The ideas of the new teams are from various fields, – IT, product design, education, technical field, and manufacturing and service activities.
The City of Rijeka publishes annually an invitation to tender for the assignment of grants to small businesses within which the amount of HRK 2 million has been provided, in order to realise the measures under the General programme of measures aimed at incentivising entrepreneurship in the territory of the City of Rijeka.
With its programme K.E.Š. for young entrepreneurs, the City of Rijeka, in cooperation with the Youth Centre, encourages the development of entrepreneurial skills among elementary school pupils. “Kesh up”, educational computer game developed within the EnterYOUTH project (co-financed under the operational programme Slovenia–Croatia 2007-2013) received an international recognition by MEDEA Awards Commission. Owing to this, competing with 200 received projects, this computer simulation for entrepreneurs was classified among 11 best projects.
The Development Agency of Rijeka, a company in which the City of Rijeka holds 100% interest, providing support to small and medium-sized entrepreneurship with a particular emphasis on entrepreneurs – business starters and activity improvement (product and service incubators, development projects and EU-projects).