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EACEA National Policies Platform
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

8. Creativity and Culture

8.6 Developing entrepreneurial skills through culture

Last update: 28 November 2023

According to strategies and laws on culture in FBiH, RS and BD BiH there are no mention of developing entrepreneurial skills through culture.

At the level of BiH, there are several formal institutions that are perceived as help available to entrepreneurs and the activities they undertake. This originally refers to the following institutions: chambers of commerce, the FBiH Ministry of Economy, centers for entrepreneurship within chambers of commerce, centers for entrepreneurship within local self-government units, and other associations. Due to its division, at the state level, some institutions are available at the level of the Federation, some at the level of BiH, and some at the level of RS. For example, existing chambers of commerce can be divided into chambers of commerce in FBiH (12 registered chambers), RS (six registered chambers) and BD Chamber of Commerce (one registered chamber).

More concrete support for the development of entrepreneurship through the activity of chambers is best manifested through centers for entrepreneurship. When talking about the levels of local self-government, entrepreneurs have at their disposal various types of help during company registration through guides available on the local self-government website, where the Municipality of Centar Sarajevo and its Entrepreneurship Service can be cited as an example. Professional associates of this service provide information regarding support, credit lines, and self-employment programs.

A good example of stimulating entrepreneurs is the one related to the programs of the Municipality of Novo Sarajevo. In this sense, initiatives were taken, such as the allocation of funds to support the establishment of start-ups and the grant awards started in October 2020. In addition, one of the programs included stimulating the purchase of business premises and equipment by financing the interest through engagement with a selected commercial bank. Furthermore, at the FBiH level, the existence of the FBiH Ministry of Development, Entrepreneurship and Crafts is noted, which has different sectors in its structure, such as the development sector, the entrepreneurship sector, the craft sector, and the legal and financial sectors. As one of their last activities in 2020, the adoption of the Draft Law on Entrepreneurial Infrastructure stands out, the aim of which is to provide infrastructure-organized space at affordable prices through entrepreneurial zones.

On the other hand, ministries of economy exist at the cantonal level, and each of them has its own competences, activities and work programs. At the level of RS, it was defined as the Ministry of Economy and Entrepreneurship, which at the beginning of 2021 paid out more than eight million convertible marks as an incentive to increase wages. A similar initiative was observed at the level of Sarajevo Canton through the announcement of a Public Call for the allocation of funds to finance part of the minimum monthly salary for June and July 2020. It is important to mention the presence of other types of assistance and support for entrepreneurship in BiH.

One of the more active associations is the Intera Business Incubator, which aims to encourage individuals to develop entrepreneurial ideas, through help in the process of writing business plans, free use of workspace, and mentoring in the development of business ideas. A similar type of support is provided by the Startup Studio, which is available at three addresses: Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Bihac. This studio also offers information regarding access to various grants, and legal assistance in all stages of developing business. Finally, we should also mention HUB387, which is focused on renting a common workspace and networking among the members of this association.

The data of the Analysis of Barriers to the Development of Entrepreneurship in BiH, the research developed by UNDP, showed that 21.4% of the respondents believe that the culture of entrepreneurship in BiH is at an unsatisfactory level, and a total of additional 41.1% of responses also refer to the poor evaluation (grades 2 and 3). As many as 73.2% of surveyed entrepreneurs do not have the practice of holding meetings with ministries and government bodies, which, in fact, further ranks the business culture in BiH as unsupportive at the level of respondents who participated in this research. Probably due to previous experience with chambers of commerce, it can be said that there is no serious intention to achieve future cooperation with chambers and other potentially useful institutions.

When it comes to formal education, 41.1% of surveyed entrepreneurs think that it helped them in the development of their business, while 16% of them absolutely do not advocate this position (rated 1 and 2). A total of 39.3% of them went through education related to market research or writing business plans, so a significant part of them (60.7%) never attended a similar type of education, which is also expressed through their attitudes regarding the need for additional type learning. The most attractive need is precisely the need to know how to write a project, business or marketing plan, which can be caused by the desire to apply for various grants.