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Help – Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V. Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Job creation through support to small start-up businesses in Central and Eastern BiH

Period: 01 December 2006 – 30 November 2007
Location: Municipalities of Olovo, Vares, Rogatica, Cajnice, Gorazde, Pale-Praca and Foca-Ustikolina

Donor: the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Sarajevo  (€ 332.645.00)

 

Co-funded by:
the municipalities of Olovo
(€ 10.700.00), Vares (€ 10.700.00),
Rogatica (€ 14.300.00),
Cajnice (€ 3.575.00), Canton Gorazde, representing Gorazde, Pale-Praca, Foca-Ustikolina
(€ 21.500.00)
Financial contribution of each beneficiary (15% of the grant value then invested in community projects)

Establishment of 170 sustainable small businesses, through in-kind grant support, training and vocational education.

Main Development Partners:
Sarajevo Economic Regional Development Agency (SERDA)
Regional Economic Development Agency for the Drina Region (REDRIN)
Agricultural Institute in Sarajevo

Project in brief:

The project focused on the job creation and the economic support to the local development in Eastern and Central Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In line with Help-Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe (assistance towards self-help) approach, this project aimed to support entrepreneurial efforts and foster self-reliance through provision of in-kind grants (consisting of equipment and materials), training and support to socially vulnerable individuals with healthy business ideas.
The project targeted beneficiaries from the socially vulnerable population but did not discriminate between local population and returnees as the goal was to offer an equal, merit-based opportunity to all eligible applicants. Key selection criteria, next to vulnerability, were the viability of the business idea combined with the applicant’s qualifications and attitude as these are the factors that will “make or break” the new enterprise.

The project idea was welcomed by local authorities as it represents action in direct support of top priority issues in the local development strategies, facilitates the process of sustainable development as a whole and offers valuable synergies with other regional and local initiatives. The municipal authorities have taken an active role in the project implementation and decision making process.


Project objectives:
Establishment of 170 sustainable small businesses, through in-kind grant support, training and vocational education and creation of at least one job per business stimulating further growth and employment.

At least 170 small businesses have received in-kind grants and trainings (average amount per beneficiary: EUR 1,500) provided by Help in cooperation with the municipal authorities and local development partners.
Each partner municipality has then carried out a municipal project benefiting the community at large (e.g. renovation of playgrounds, school facilities etc.) thanks to the beneficiaries’ financial contribution (15% of the value of the grant put into a community fund).
Help Grant Officers’ have been providing advice and assistance to each beneficiary.
Each beneficiary contributed 10 hours of his/her time in some community service in his/her municipality.

Additional component of the project: “Repair and adaptation of eco-tourism facilities”

Location: Ruda Glava, Kalinovik
Donor:  the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Sarajevo (€ 12.500.00 out of the total donation)
Partners: Green Visions  d.o.o. Tourism & Environment Initiative

Project in brief:
Together with the targeted municipalities and Green Visions, the leading Bosnian eco-tour operator, Help identified eco-tourism facilities (2 mountain lodges) in the project area which needed repairs and adaptations to attract tourists. As a result of the repair/upgrading, the lodges were included into the tourist offer of the region thus providing tourists’ influx to these areas and brining new income generation opportunities to nearby rural communities as well as creation of synergies with the grant-assistance scheme.
This component of the project is a part of the Tourism & Environment Initiative (TEI), currently launching a major eco-tourism programme in BiH which will involve municipalities, SME’s, NGO’s and community members in a joint effort to develop and promote the growth of the profitable and environment-friendly tourism sector, build local capacities and create jobs in remote rural areas.