© Aida Redzepagic
EU4Business is a 16 Mio EUR project to support the development of the private sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), implemented in partnership of the ILO, UNDP and the German Development Agency (GIZ), funded by the EU. The beneficiaries are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), young business owners and start-uppers, rural women and vulnerable groups with an overall goal to make them competitive, encourage innovation and job creation. ILO is spearheading the component on promoting entrepreneurship. The development of local digital entrepreneurship is one of the priorities, and ideas that will help overcome the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic also receive priority.
The Centre was founded by the Sarajevo Centre local partnership, one of the five local partnerships set up under the EU4Business project. The partnership will jointly coordinate the work on development of entrepreneurship in the canton, which is one of the main triggers of economic development. The members of this partnership are Sarajevo Centre Municipality, Sarajevo Canton Public Employment Service, CEFE BiH Trainers Association, the International Burch University, the sectoral association Bit Alliance and IT company DVC Solutions.
“With the support of the European Union and German Government, we have gathered numerous strategic partners and founded the Centre for Excellence in Entrepreneurship together. Young people are already passing through the training it offers. I have no doubt that, with the support of other international and BiH partners, we’ll start to see results in the nearest future”, said Nedžad Ajnadžić, the Mayor of Centre Municipality.
Johann Sattler, Head of the EU Delegation to BiH and EU Special Representative Ambassador said: “In these difficult times caused by a pandemic affecting jobs and businesses, the EU has responded rapidly by allocating over EUR 300 Mio to help BiH and its citizens. The largest portion of the envelope is intended as direct support to the economy and the private sector, and these young people who have received support today to implement their business ideas are among the beneficiaries“.
“Frankly speaking, the money comes in handy, of course, it will help develop and grow my business, but the knowledge on how to start and run a business I gained over the past several months is priceless. My business has taken off since. I am grateful to you all.”
One of them is Abid Mešetović with his company ACKE, specialized in web design and video production. “Frankly speaking, the money comes in handy, of course, it will help develop and grow my business, but the knowledge on how to start and run a business I gained over the past several months is priceless. My business has taken off since. I am grateful to you all”, said Mešetović.
The amount of support for the project is EUR 250,000, of which EUR 200,000 is the European Union contribution to directly support 25 business ideas of young entrepreneurs.
Currently, a second group of participants is attending a two-month Start and Improve Your Business training course organised by the Centre, and a public call for the next group will be published soon. The best business plans will receive BAM 10.000 each and mentorship by the local partnership organisations and institutions is included in the support package beneficiaries get access to.
For more information on the EU4 Business project, please visit: www.eu4business.ba.