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Swiss Entrepreneurship Program

The Entrepreneurship Program aims to provide entrepreneurs with the needed skills and support them in launching and growing companies in order to create jobs. The Program will be implemented in six of priority countries of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) WE’s: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Peru, Serbia and Vietnam.

Strategic Domain:
Economy and Employment
Themes:
Economic Development
Status:
Ongoing
Strategic Partner:
ECO SYSTEMS
Implementer:
Swisscontact/ J.A Austin consortium
Project implemented in:
Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brčko District, Republika Srpska, Global and regional projects
Cantons:
Tuzla Canton, Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Sarajevo Canton
Municipalities (5):
Mostar, Grad Sarajevo, Brčko distrikt, Banja Luka, Tuzla

Swiss Entrepreneurship Program

Country-specific programs have been designed to take into account their different contexts. Many of those countries have important natural resources and are less focused on innovative businesses. The labor market is based rather on low-cost labor and doesn’t provide real entrepreneurial training. Furthermore, the entrepreneurs are not much focusing on growing their business, also due to a lack of supporting mechanism for business start-up. Most countries have high unemployment rates and there is limited early-stage commercial financing (debt financing, venture capital and angel investing) available.

Overall goal

The overall objective of the Entrepreneurship Program is to create jobs. This will be done through improving entrepreneurial education, supporting business start-ups, facilitating access to finance and fostering the different actors that are involved in entrepreneurship. It is expected that new companies will be created and that new investments have been created to support businesses. The Program aims at increasing annual revenue growth of the program’s supported start-ups and lead to job creation.

Outcomes

  • entrepreneurs, investors and incubators have been created or improved their capacities through training activities
  • improved business performance of entrepreneurs participating in the program
  • new investments provided to entrepreneurs by investors thanks to the Program
  • mentors have been trained and provide their services to entrepreneurs
  • the diaspora from the countries, mainly the Balkans, have been mobilized for mentoring and investment

Key outputs

  • trainings for entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and incubators have taken place
  • start-up competitions have taken place media  coverage on entrepreneurship has been increased
  • contacts between entrepreneurs and their diaspora in Switzerland have been enhanced
  • specific support has been provided to women entrepreneurs