FACT SHEET: Partnership for Innovation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (PROJECT CLOSED)

Project Snapshot
Total Funding:  $4.7 million
Start Date:  August 2011
End Date:  December 2016
Implementing Partner:   Education Development Center

The Challenge

The economic challenges facing Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) include high rates of unemployment (as high as 44 percent, and even higher among youth, at 62 percent), marginal GDP growth, and a severely contracted domestic and global market. Creating jobs relies on strengthening and expanding small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A major factor in SME success is their use of value-added information and communications technologies (ICTs), which enable SMEs to compete in the European Union and global marketplace, attract and communicate with customers, employ efficient supply and distribution channels, and modernize their business processes. The challenges for youth include obtaining adequate training and practical experience and securing jobs, even short-term opportunities.   

Our Program

USAID’s Partnership for Innovation project helps young market entrants improve their work readiness and skills to prepare for jobs in the ICT sector. It also assists SMEs to adopt and better utilize the latest ICT technologies and processes to improve their efficiency and competitiveness. Project programs are designed and modified based on market analysis and direct feedback from SMEs and educational partners. Project activities are concentrated in the four geographic areas with major business and university activities – Sarajevo, Tuzla, Banja Luka and Mostar.  

Implementation and Results

Through the project’s ICT internship program “Moja praksa” (My Practice) and work-readiness program “Work-Ready Now!” the project has partnered with four local organizations in Sarajevo, Tuzla, Banja Luka and Mostar to enhance entrepreneurship and employment among young market entrants in BiH. 

By the end of the project, the project will have completed 24 internship programs, eight work-readiness courses, and 15 advanced software programming trainings for 2,000 youth. Over 300 youth will have obtained employment following participation in project programs. 

The project supports the competitiveness of ICT SMEs in local and international markets by conducting more than 50 ICT boot camps, advanced technology trainings and workshops, and access-to-markets programs for at least 300 local SMEs that are expected to improve their sales and profits by 2 percent per annum on average as a result.