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MarketMakers Project

One of the greatest challenges of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the question of decreasing its extremely high youth unemployment. The problem itself has many dimensions, yet the bottom line is – there are not enough available jobs on the market for young people. The MarketMakers project aims to create new employment opportunities for young people, in private companies across four economic sectors: IT, Tourism, Food Production and Processing, and Business Process Outsourcing.

Strategic Domain:
Economy and Employment
Youth employment
Kolektiv d.o.o., Helvetas
Project implemented in:
Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska
Zenica-Doboj Canton, Tuzla Canton, Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Sarajevo Canton, Una-Sana Canton
Municipalities (8):
Tuzla, Trebinje, Mrkonjić Grad, Mostar, Grad Sarajevo, Bihać , Banja Luka, Zenica

MarketMakers – solving the root problem of youth unemployment

The high unemployment rate in general, and especially the unemployment of young people, remains a burning issue for the development of BiH. Poor economic performance has led to insufficient creation of new jobs. The majority of registered unemployed people are long-term unemployed, and young people represent almost 62% of that group. Furthermore, young people who are employed work in unstable working conditions, with low wages and without social insurance. There is a large gender difference across sectors of employment – women are primarily employed in the service sector, with very few women being employed in the industry sector. The general employment situation in the country, and inability to attain decent and gainful employment, has convinced many young people to seek employment outside of BiH, mainly in the Western European countries.

Information technology, food production and processing, tourism and business process outsourcing – sectors with growth potential

The MarketMakers project represents a direct answer to the root problem of the youth unemployment in BiH. It stimulates the private sector to create new job opportunities for young people, addresses growth opportunities within business sectors and tackles its constraints for development. MarketMakers operate across three sectors which have job creation potential and are relevant for young people. These are the Information technology sector, Food processing, Tourism, and Business Process Outsourcing.

The project supports the privates sector in lobbying efforts, due to high need of creating a more business- friendly environment, one that encourages growth of businesses. Furthermore, the project aims on developing new and improved services for the private sector in the selected markets, which would encourage and alleviate creation of new jobs.

Key partners of the project are Regional Development Agencies, which identify sectors with growth potential and manage the development process. Their involvement within the project is crucial because it ensures local ownership and building the success of the project on local initiatives.

The goal of the project is to create job opportunities for young women and men between the ages of 15 and 29. These include young people searching for jobs, but also those working informally and in bad conditions, students in secondary school who are making decisions on which profession to choose, young people in professional education and vocational training, as well as young professional seeking to establish career paths.

Achievements of the marketmakers project so far

Around 1000 jobs have been generated so far across the supported sectors, while the supported models in the IT sector have been replicated regionally. 1475 jobs are at reduced risk of disruption through the disaster risk management intervention. Furthermore, through joint activities 1’594’381 BAM of private and public investments were made. Additionally, there are 114 businesses in the intervention partners tourism packages network, as well as 27 new tourism packages on the market.