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.