STARTER

STARTER

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Main aim of the project is to promote and enhance possibilities for self employment of young people that are unemployed and faced with serious problems. REZ RDA is, in coordination with 5 municipalities from Central BiH (Middle Bosnia and ZE-DO Canton) region is organizing educational courses. Direct beneficiaries are 75 young unemployed people, emphasis is on women. The potential candidates are selected in cooperation with Employment offices of Cantonal Government and 5 Municipalities as Partners. The title “How to transform business ideas into a sustainable source of income” clearly indicates basic topic and goal of the training.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Unemployment is a serious problem in the Central BiH Region. Unemployment rate shows slight growth tendency in the last two years. In the area of the Zenica-Doboj Canton in October 2010, 67.626 persons was registered as unemployed, of which 33.216 are women, while in the Middle Bosnia Canton 37.972 people are unemployed. In FBiH 51.40% of the unemployed people are women. (Source: Federal Employment Agency). Average salary in FBiH is 811,34 KM and value of consumer basket for year 2010 was 680,00 KM. It is expected that this amount will bi significantly higher since many articles are more expensive then they were during 2010. Such pessimistic figures related to huge unemployment in Central BiH region could be partially explained by low level entrepreneurial spirit in this area.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The Project clearly shows dedication of municipalities to support private entrepreneurship and improve business climate within the target area. There is an evident lack of pro business initiatives that are coming from municapal authorities in BiH. Way to enhance the economy and particular MSMEs sector in Central BiH is to promote self employment, awake entrepreneurial spirit and enhance skills of young and unemployed population in order to generate development of new enterprises. Organising proper education “From idea to business” for unemployed people registered at Employment Institute of Middle Bosnia and Zenica Doboj Cantons opened the possibilities not only to those waiting to be employed but contribute to the economy of the Region as a whole. By providing targeted education and limited financial assistance from municipal budget, to selected business ideas REZ RDA want to set an example and to motivate local authorities to support start-up business through promotion, education and financial assistance. Beside improving business sector this activity will at the same ease the pressure that high number of unemployed are having on the economy and society.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Main Objective of STARTER project is to promote and enhance possibilities for self employment. For 75 direct project beneficiaries proper education is organized. The first stage, period of 1 week, is introduction where attendants gain basic knowledge on conducting business through training sessions, presentations, case studies and group work. In the second stage, 3 weeks session, participants are expected to develop their idea into business plan (consultations with the lecturer/mentor is available). In the last stage (1 week) participants present their business plans to the group, listen to the suggestions and finalize the plan. The final result of this training are clearly defined and developed business ideas, ready for implementation. All business ideas are nominated for financial assistance, which is granted by Municipalities. A special fund within budgets of the 5 Municipalities, total amount of approximately 58.000 US$, is allocated for this purpose and this clearly shows dedication of municipalities to support private entrepreneurship and improve business climate within the target area. The best Business plans, 3 in each Municipality-15 in total, as evaluated by the Municipal committees will be financially supported in theirs start up phase.
About You
Organization:
REZ RDA- Regional Development Agency for Central BiH Region
About You
First Name

Amela

Last Name

Malicbegovic

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About Your Organization
Organization Name

REZ RDA- Regional Development Agency for Central BiH Region

Organization Country

, FSB

Country where this project is creating social impact

, FSB

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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Innovation
What stage is your project in?

Operating for less than a year

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

Before the war Central BiH was an area of heavy industry, which was a part of centralized economy in these days. All the working population at that time, have been engaged in big production factories. That means that there was no need for any new business initiative, because business and jobs have been available. Such situation was present through decades.
Transition from centralized economy to market driven is a painful process. People have not been prepared for the transition and not to even mention the impact of the war. All that resulted with large number of unemployed people. Therefore, through this project it is intended to promote entrepreneurial spirit and enhance skills of young and unemployed population, preferably women, in order to generate business ideas, develop new enterprises and create new jobs.
By providing technical and limited financial assistance to selected business ideas, REZ RDA want to set an example and to motivate local authorities to support start-up business through promotion, education and financial assistance.

Social Impact
Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured

Project “STARTER” already gained some results. Education process is already completed for 70 participants from 5 selected municipalities within Central BiH Region. In Municipality Maglaj competition process is completed, 3 awards are granted for 3 best business plans/ideas. Consequently 3 start-up companies are already registered and operational. In municipality Busovaca competition process is completed and funds are disbursed. It is expected that registration procedures of 3 selected start-up companies will be completed by the end of June 2011. Selection of the best business ideas and registration of new start-up companies, 9 in total in remaining 3 municipalities, will be completed by the end of September 2011.

How many people have been impacted by your project?

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

101- 1,000

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

Municipalities are the founders of REZ RDA and intent clearly to support financially this project and project like these on long term to the benefit of the citizens, job creation and economy in their respective municipalities. At this stage REZ RDA was in position to include only 5 municipalities out of 16 that represents the Central BiH Region. Employment Bureaus, as institutions established by public law, agreed that this project completely compatible with its mission and are open to support the project like this financially when the funds will be available. REZ RDA intents to continue with similar activities in other municipalities of Central BiH Region that have expressed support to this project idea.

Sustainability
What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Lack of good business ideas/business plans can be a serious problem. Project staff is moderating this process and is advising training participants to avoid re-inventing the wheel and to check what’s going on around you and what are the needs of the local markets.
External barrier can be legal procedures/framework in which SMEs are working in BiH and business climate, which will have to remain unchanged in order to implement project properly. REZ RDA Department for projects will conduct regular internal monitoring/evaluations of project implementation. This Department within the REZ RDA is in charge for monitoring/evaluations of all ongoing REZ RDA projects as well as for all EC founded projects, from EU QIF and EU RED projects, in the Central BiH Region. Monitoring will ensure most efficient project implementation and adequate follow up of project objectives and indicators. Findings through monitoring will enable correcting eventual irregularities and/or improving the way how the activities are executed.

Tell us about your partnerships

The synergetic approach of all institutions involved gives the crucial sustainability prospective. REZ RDA is financially and institutionally sustainable to implement and coordinate all partners to the benefit of MSMEs with the mission to transfer their demand to the supply. Municipalities are, beside MSMEs, the main beneficiaries of REZ RDA Agency and the network around REZ RDA through the creation and implementation of Regional Strategy and MSME support is already in place. Municipalities are the founders of REZ RDA and intent clearly to support financially this project and project like these on long term to the benefit of the citizens, job creation and economy in their respective municipalities. Employment Bureaus, as institutions established by public law, agreed that this project completely compatible with its mission and are open to support the project like this financially when the funds will be available. Currently project value is approximately 37.500,00 Euro and is financed by Norwegian Embassy funds+ REZ RDA participation + participation of 5 selected Municipalities. Since 2004 REZ RDA realized 64 projects in total value of 3.888.227,04 EUR, Sectors of activities: SME Development; Agriculture, Tourism, HR, Internationalization. Our 5 year experience in SME development sector has created link and established cooperation with.ca. 2000 companies in Central BiH region. Through direct and indirect technical assistance, consultancy and no banking finance support we had impact on realized FDI investments - 8.074.690 EUR, loans, grants and donations - 6.006.089 EUR and supply chain contracts in value of 7.756.173 EURO in Central BiH region. Main activities/services offered by Business Development Sector are as follows: business advising, consultancy in business planning and export promotion, business linkages, demand driven education, trade mission. Established cooperation with financial institution such as Federal Development Bank and Dutch Center for Promotion of Imports from development countries and others is adding value to the sustainability of the activities after project end.)

Explain your selections

Selection of municipalities in which project can be implemented is in accordance with their needs. It is expected from selected Municipalities to participate financially in project implementation, only those really supportive and interested can and will be included.
Selection of potential training attendees is conducted in cooperation with the Cantonal Employment Institutions, in order to select the most suitable candidates. During that process education background, gender issue and all other criteria (that are always defined in details) is taken into consideration and only those attendees that are regularly attending classes/education are invited to prepare a business plan. All business plans are evaluated by the Committee for selection of best business idea in accordance with the defined criteria. After evaluation process those selected will be awarded in financial means. They have to turn theirs business idea into a registered business that will be followed up in later stages by REZ RDA Business Advisory, that are lectures/mentors within the Project.

How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?

Activities from project STARTER are helping direct project beneficiaries to resolve their immediate problem but on a long run these activities should show possible for removing obstacles for business development and accelerating economic growth. Unemployed people registered at Employment Institute of Middle Bosnia and Zencia Doboj Canton will get possibility to be included in “STARTER” activities. Until September 2011, 70 unemployed young people will complete proper education, and 15 of them will get financial support to start with theirs business idea and to register a company. This should encourage participants to focus on good prosperous but realistic business ideas. Local authorities will be involved in these activities as observers so that tomorrow they take over the responsibility to promote entrepreneurial spirit and self employment and plan funds in their respective budgets for supporting such activities. REZ RDA will continue to promote this methodology and project idea in other municipalities within the Region but in cooperation with other 4 regional development agencies to promote the idea in whole BiH territory.

Challenges
Which barriers to employment does your innovation address?
Please select up to three in order of relevancy to your project.

PRIMARY

Underemployment

SECONDARY

Lack of skills/training

TERTIARY

Lack of efficiency

Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.

High unemployment rate in Central BiH region could be partially explained by low level entrepreneurial spirit in this area. Before the war Central BiH was an area of heavy industry. All the working population at that time, have been engaged in big production factories. That means that there was no need for any new business initiative, because business and jobs have been available Transition from centralized economy to market driven is a painful process. In order to support further socio-economic development in BiH substantial interventions aimed at developing an adult learning system, promotion of self-employment and increasing investment in the knowledge and skills of adults are needed.

Are you trying to scale your organization or initiative?
If yes, please check up to three potential pathways in order of relevancy to you.

PRIMARY

Influenced other organizations and institutions through the spread of best practices

SECONDARY

TERTIARY

Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.

REZ RDA is currently implementing Project Starter, financed by the Norwegian Embassy + REZ RDA participation + participation of 5 selected Municipalities that will be completed until September 2011. 15 new, start-up companies will be registered and operational in 5 selected municipalities. Min. of 15 new working places will be created until the end of the project. If additional funds will be available REZ RDA will be in position to expand project activities on the remaining 9 municipalities from Central BiH Region and to create additional jobs.

Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)

If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?

Municipalities are the founders of REZ RDA and intent clearly to support financially this project and project like these on long term to the benefit of the citizens, job creation and economy in their respective municipalities. At this stage REZ RDA was in position to include only 5 municipalities out of 16 that represents the Central BiH Region. Employment Bureaus, as institutions established by public law, agreed that this project completely compatible with its mission and are open to support the project like this financially when the funds will be available. REZ RDA intents to continue with similar activities in other municipalities of Central BiH Region that have expressed support to this project idea. PPP is very strong in this project which is innovative for BiH.