34 companies from Bosnia and Herzegovina that have met the requirements of the second public call for grants from the Challenge to Change project have received 836.000 euro of support, while the total value of the proposed projects is over 2.4 million euros. The implementation of these projects has provided 247 new jobs, but also has direct influence on existing 1,252 jobs.
The companies that received the grant were from different sectors: agriculture, tourism, food production and food industry, IT, textiles, metal and wood industry.
Swedish Ambassador to BiH Anders Hagelberg, who presented the certificate to grant recipients, said that this is a very important project for Sweden because it supports innovation in the private and business sector in BiH. "During the four-year period, Sweden has invested around 4 million euros for this purpose for 150 different companies across BiH. It is extremely important for us that we can support these extraordinary, brilliant people who are the future of this country, "said the ambassador.
Ševkija Okerić, the Director of SERDA, pointed out that the application process was very simple and that more than 500 applicants applied for the second call. "All projects are innovative, they improve products, processes and/or services, and their goal is to improve performance of companies" - concluded Okerić.
Thanks to the Challenge Fund, "Elektro Tim" from Banja Luka will purchase the necessary equipment and recruit new employees.
"My idea is to produce New Year's ornaments. The idea is to use plastic packaging, to recycle and use this packaging for the production of decorations (plastic waste is everywhere and pollute the environment). About 60,000 euros will be invested in the entire project, and from C2C fund we will received about 23,000 euros of grant, said Zoran Kiza representative of the company.
Entrepreneur Fatima Gerzić from Bosanska Krupa is pleased to receive support from the Challenge Fund for realization of her business idea in total amount 18,100 Euros.
" We are trying to exploit as many potential plants as possible. We applied with the project of production of rosewood oil and we are grateful to the Challenge project that has supported us "- said Gerzić.
Challenge to Change project was established in Bosnia and Herzegovina thanks to the funds of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency-Sida / Embassy of Sweden in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is available to micro, small and medium enterprises from all over BiH, as well as to small and medium-sized enterprises from Sweden that have an interest in BiH. It is also available to startups with innovative business ideas, products or services that can lead to an increase in the number of employees, increased competitiveness and sustainable socio-economic development in BiH.
Challenge to Change project - C2C is implemented by the Sarajevo Regional Development Agency SERDA and the Republic Agency for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (RARS). The partner in the project is the Region Ostergotland, East Sweden.
The project envisages a total of five public calls. An evaluation of applications received at the third public call is underway.