IPARD is a pre-accession Programme that was implemented in the Republic of Croatia in the pre-accession period. Its main objectives were to assist candidate countries and potential candidate countries in their harmonization and implementation of the EU acquis, as well as preparation for utilization of the future EU funds. Given that IPARD pre-funding resources of the European Union enabled the financing of the modernization of the production plants of the fish processing industry, this paper analyzed the impact of the used funds on the a) business performance and b) business (organizational) capacity of IPARD users from the fish processing industry. The research was conducted in a non-experimental way divided into two parts: (1) an analysis of a set of indicators of business performance of companies from the sample (users of pre-accession EU funds) and (2) through a survey that examined the impact of using these resources on improving business (organizational) capacity. The results show that the profitability indicators of most users were not increased two years after the funds were received. But it is expected that the improved technical and technological conditions will help businesses in the future to increase the competitiveness of their products. When it comes to the results of the impact on business ability, it is evident that management has improved its capacities in terms of acquiring and developing the skills of preparing and running projects, investment planning or strengthening the willingness to use similar means in the future.
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