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EACEA National Policies Platform
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.8 Development of entrepreneurship competence

Last update: 7 March 2024

Policy framework

Policies relevant to the development of entrepreneurship in BiH are:

The role of universities in BiH in creating an entrepreneurial environment, and an environment to support innovation, was until recently completely marginal, while in recent years there has been a positive course. Education Reform and Initiatives in the South East Europe Region (ERI SEE, 2011) is a relevant document in BiH, the most important determinants of which are education reform, support for innovation and transfer of entrepreneurial know-how to promote development and transfer of innovation from economics universities. The policy document that followed the 9th EU Conference of Ministers of Education, held in 2006, is entitled "Pact for Education in the Western Balkans".

Formal learning

The sector of formal education in BiH is a reflection of the organization of the state, defined by the Constitution of BiH, the constitutions of the entities, cantons, and the BD Statute, which legally define competencies in the field of education.

RS has a centralized government and a single ministry of education. FBiH has a decentralized government and consists of ten cantons, with each canton having its own ministry of education. There is also the FBiH Ministry of Education, but this ministry has only a coordinating role. BD also has a government with departments. One of these departments is the Department of Education. In this regard, there are twelve competent educational institutions in BiH. The RS Ministry of Education and Culture, ten cantonal ministries of education in FBiH and the Education Department of BD Government. There are also two ministries with a coordinating role: the FBiH Ministry of Education and Science coordinates activities within FBiH.

The BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs is responsible for carrying out tasks and discharging duties which are within the competence of BiH and relate to defining basic principles, co-ordinating activities and harmonising plans of the entity authorities and defining a strategy at the international level, including education.

At the level of BiH, the Agency for the Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance, the Centre for Information and Recognition of Documents in the Field of Higher Education and the BiH Agency for Preschool, Primary and Secondary Education have been established. The Conference of Ministers of Education in BiH and the Council for General Education in BiH have been established as the bodies for coordination of the education sector. The Rectors' Conference of BiH has been established, which determines and represents the common interests of universities in BiH, cooperates with institutions in the field of education in BiH and acts as an advisory body for the implementation of higher education reform.

The work on defining priorities for the integration of entrepreneurial learning and entrepreneurial key competences into education systems in BiH required significant efforts to analyse the progress made, opportunities and best European practices in this area. To this end, the European Training Foundation (ETF), in cooperation with the BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs, supported the Focus Group in 2018, which had the task of determining how to make progress in the development of entrepreneurial and digital competencies. A wide range of participants participated in the discussion, including the BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs, all relevant educational authorities, pedagogical institutes, BiH Agency for Preschool, Primary and Secondary Education, representatives of educational institutions and teachers, which resulted in a policy document entitled Priorities in Integrating Entrepreneurial and Digital Key Competence in Education Systems in BiH (2019–2030). The policy served as a basis for drafting Priorities for the Integration of Entrepreneurial Learning and Entrepreneurial Key Competences in Education Systems in BiH (2021-2030), which was developed with the support of the ETF Strategic Project on Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Skills to support BiH in defining next steps to promote key competencies (entrepreneurial and digital). The project was implemented by the ETF in cooperation with the BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs and the competent education authorities in BiH between February 2018 and September 2019.

BiH, as a potential candidate for EU accession, has adopted the concept of lifelong learning based on the development of key competencies. The BiH Agency for Preschool, Primary and Secondary Education of has identified ten key competencies for BiH that should be developed through all grades and subjects in primary and secondary school, adding two more competencies to the eight already developed through the European Reference Framework (creative-productive and physical-health competencies). Based on key competencies, analysis of existing curricula in BiH, as well as analysis of curricula in the region, EU and beyond, the Agency, in close cooperation with the relevant education authorities, has developed a Common Core Curricula Defined on Learning Outcomes, consisting of eight educational areas. Indicators are determined in accordance with the developmental age of the child at the end of nine-year education (age 14/15 years) and at the end of secondary education (age 18/19 years). Special emphasis on entrepreneurial competence is contained in Common Core Curricula defined by learning outcomes for Cross-curricular and Cross-curricular area, which has a component of entrepreneurship, for which learning outcomes are defined with corresponding indicators for a certain age. Significant progress has been made in the development of entrepreneurial learning and the integration of entrepreneurial competence. This was especially due to the "Strategy for Learning about Entrepreneurship in Educational Systems in BiH 2012-2015 with the Action Plan" ("BiH Official Gazette", No. 31/12), prepared within the EU project IPA 2007 "Entrepreneurial Learning in Education Systems in BiH". The Strategy covered all levels of formal education - primary, secondary and higher, as well as non-formal education. It identified six strategic priorities:

  1. Establishing partnerships for entrepreneurial learning;

  2. Raising awareness of entrepreneurial learning at all levels;

  3. Promotion of entrepreneurial learning in primary and secondary education (formal education - approach based on key competence);

  4. Promotion of entrepreneurial learning in higher education;

  5. Promotion of entrepreneurial learning in adult education and non-formal education;

  6. Implementation and monitoring of the strategy.

The entities, cantons and BD have highlighted entrepreneurial learning and entrepreneurial competence in their strategic documents, according to the competencies and responsibilities for education and support to small and medium enterprises. In RS, entrepreneurial learning is one of the pervasive goals in the Education Development Strategy 2022-2030

An employment survey conducted in 2022 in BiH revealed the following statistics regarding the labor force:

  • The labor force consisted of 1.373 million individuals, of which 1.162 million (84.6%) were employed, and 211 thousand (15.4%) were unemployed.

  • Compared to the previous year, the number of employed individuals increased by 1%, while the number of unemployed individuals decreased by 12.8%.

  • The number of individuals outside the labor force in BiH in 2022 was 1.514 million, representing a 0.2% increase compared to the previous year.

  • In 2022, the activity rate was 47.6%, the employment rate was 40.2%, the unemployment rate was 15.4%, and the inactivity rate was 52.4%.

According to the data from the employment survey in 2022:

  • Out of the total labor force, 840 thousand individuals (61.2%) were male, and 533 thousand (38.8%) were female.

  • Among the individuals outside the labor force, 569 thousand (37.6%) were male, and 946 thousand (62.4%) were female.

  • Among the employed individuals, 734 thousand (63.2%) were male, and 428 thousand (36.8%) were female, while among the unemployed individuals, 106 thousand (50%) were male, and 105 thousand (50%) were female.

In terms of age distribution:

  • 65.7% of the total labor force belonged to the age group of 25 to 49 years, followed by 25.3% in the age group of 50 to 64 years, 7.9% in the age group of 15 to 24 years, and 1.1% aged 65 and above.

  • Among the total population outside the labor force, 38% were aged 65 and above, followed by 25.4% in the age group of 50 to 64 years, 18.3% in the age group of 25 to 49 years, and 18.2% in the age group of 15 to 24 years.

The implementation of the Strategy for Learning on Entrepreneurship in Education Systems in BiH 2012-2015 was evaluated with an Action Plan, and the BiH Council of Ministers adopted conclusions in October 2016 stating that progress has been made in integrating entrepreneurship into BiH education systems, but that further steps are needed to improve education in this regard. The evaluation of the Strategy concluded that the identified strategic priorities remain relevant.

Non-formal and informal learning

For the informal education sector, the BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs, the entity and the cantonal ministries, in the BD Government, are divided into different parts due to the non-governmental sector (NGO) and the youth.

In the field of prenatal education, there are several informal education programs available, including the number of prenatal education and years. At the highest level of organization and systematization, attending pre-academic academies. These academies usually have informal educational institutions or developed and completed projects of international foundations. Young students are inclined to inform new information - communication with the improvement and use of social media manifestations.

In addition to the RS Education Policy 2022-2030 and Youth Policy 2023-2027, there are no documents and strategies that indicate the change of informal education and informal education of young people, especially when you have the primary component.