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Youth for Change MOZAIK

Young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina are often forgotten social category that lacks opportunities and to succeed, both personally and professionally. The feeling of disempowerment becomes the core of their identity. In general, the youth are the biggest value of a society, but are also the most sensitive social category.

Strategic Domain:
Economy and Employment
Themes:
Youth employment
Status:
Ongoing
Strategic partner:
Municipalities/Towns
Implementer:
Mozaik Foundation
Project implemented in:
Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Brčko District
Cantons:
Tuzla Canton, Zenica-Doboj Canton, Central Bosnia Canton, Posavina Canton, Sarajevo Canton, Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Bosnia –Podrinje Canton, Canton 10, Una-Sana Canton
Municipalities (54):
Živinice, Žepče, Zenica, Zavidovići, Usora, Ugljevik, Travnik, Tešanj, Teslić, Šipovo, Stanari, Rudo, Prnjavor, Prijedor, Petrovo, Odzak, Novo Sarajevo, Novo Goražde, Novi Grad, Nevesinje, Mrkonjić Grad, Mostar, Modriča, Ljubinje, Lopare, Laktaši, Kotor Varos, Kostajnica, Konjic, Kneževo, Kladanj, Jezero, Istočna Ilidža, Ilidža, Gradiška, Gračanica, Gornji Vakuf, Goražde, Drvar, Donji Vakuf, Doboj Jug, Doboj Istok, Doboj, Čelinac, Cazin, Bugojno, Brod, Breza, Brčko distrikt, Bosanski Petrovac, Bosanska Krupa, Bileća, Bihać , Berkovići

Strengthening civic engagement and mobilising young people are important aspects of the Swiss Cooperation Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Embassy of Switzerland in BiH recognised Mozaik Foundation as a partner in these efforts – a foundation that implements 10-year strategy to support youth activism in local communities, as well as persons who decide to try entrepreneurship and start social businesses. The youth are encouraged to pursue socially innovative and economically viable solutions.

In partnership with 52 municipalities and 15 private and public financial partners, Mozaik ensured financing for youth entrepreneurship projects. By March 2023, young people will implement 2,000 projects within the YouthBank programme, while 240 social small and microbusinesses will be launched and supported through the Startup Studio. In online community for startup entrepreneurship and activism lonac.pro Mozaik will gather over 50.000 members and create ecosystem of support with numerous opportunities for professional success for young people. By including diaspora in that ecosystem new opportunities will be created, and additional resources ensured, creating systemic, long-term and sustainable solutions for social and economic prosperity of local communities. 

The inclusion of such a high number of young people into youth projects means that many will improve their skills and boost their self-confidence. The influence of young people in their local communities rises since they decide about funds for the projects and  microbusinesses, mentor their peers and promote opportunities for professional development of youth. Communities become more open and more aware of the needs relating to social inclusion and social justice.

Comprehensive support to self-employment and employment, as well as promotion of social entrepreneurship, strengthens business spirit of young people and their readiness to start their own businesses, what is a significant step forward in youth perception about their options for professional development and future. Entrepreneurial experience makes young people more competitive on the labour market and it increases the living standards, both for them and the wider social community.

On the other hand, an excelling group of successful young people is created who become role models to younger generations and who prove, by example, that effort and work do pay off and that an alternative to emigration exists.