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The entrepreneurship is recognized as a cross-curricular competence for all levels of education in Serbia.
Important policy documents in for entrepreneurship in Serbia are the Strategy for the Support to Development of SMEs, Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness 2015-2020 and the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Strategy (Strategija za podršku MSP, preduzetništva i konkurentnosti za period 2015-2020 i Akcioni plan za njeno sprovođenje). The implementation of this strategy is based on annual Action Plans that are prepared in collaboration with state institutions and through the dialogue with private sector. The latest Action Plan is for the period 2018-2019, adopted in February 2018.
The Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Ministry of Economy recognized the development of private entrepreneurship as one of the country’s priorities. In March 2015 the Government adopted the Strategy and defined, through the main priorities and concrete measures, the policy development of this sector in the next period.
Financial and non-financial support to this sector in 2016 was consolidated into the Year of Entrepreneurship (Godina preduzetništva), which turned into the Decade of Entrepreneurship (Decenija preduzetništva). The Government and the Ministry of Economy provide systematic support, financial and non-financial to SMEs and entrepreneurs. This account for 99.8% of the Serbian economy and employ 67% of people.
Through this programme in 2017, entrepreneurs had more than 30 programmes available and more than RSD 18 billion from the state budget.
Target groups defined in the Strategy are SMEs and entrepreneurs in general, but special emphasis was given to youth, women and social entrepreneurship, as well as to re-turners to hometowns, entrepreneurship in creative industries and IT sector.Formal learning
In Serbia, the entrepreneurship competence is incorporated into curricula in terms of subjects and activities outside the classroom which may include visits to businesses.
Entrepreneurship is recognized as an important cross-curricular competence and learning outcomes are defined for all ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education, see Glossary) levels in primary and secondary education. Numerous ISCED 3 schools implement teaching and learning arrangements that promote entrepreneurship as a key competence. Entrepreneurial spirit is fostered through identification of chances, initiatives, creativity, innovation and risk taking by the students. In some schools model of student companies is operational. Moreover, the subject Entrepreneurship is compulsory in the significant number of VET schools. Direct cooperation is achieved between schools, local communities and local businesses (see Eurydice Report).
The subject Entrepreneurship was developed and introduced in 50 experimental schools from five fields of work in the first phase of the Secondary Vocational Reform Programme (2003-2005):
- agriculture and food processing,
- health and social protection,
- construction and geodesy,
- mechanical engineering and
- electrical engineering.
The subject curriculum was tailored to match each of the educational profiles involved. This subject aims to develop entrepreneurial and business knowledge, skills, behaviours, values and entrepreneurial way of thinking (see study Entrepreneurship Education – Preduzetničko obrazovanje). It also covers the knowledge and skills necessary for professional development, job-hunting and self-employment (including the development of a simple business plan). The subject has a multidisciplinary approach and focuses on practical work.
Also, continuing professional development (CPD) courses have been developed with the support of South East European Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (SEECEL), co-funded by the EU Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).
In Serbia, central authorities provide an official list of approved textbooks for the curricula, including entrepreneurship education, thus attributing a certain quality label to the selected teaching materials.
Various institutions and partner organizations in Serbia are involved in entrepreneurial learning and an assessment of the effects and impact of introducing various concepts of entrepreneurial learning.Non-formal and informal learning
Learning about entrepreneurship through different courses, programmes, projects financed by the state and/or different public institutions is organized and encouraged through the Decade of Entrepreneurship (Decenija preduzetništva). This set of measures provides a number of financial, nonfinancial and educational initiatives.
Entrepreneurship Portal is developed within the Decade of Entrepreneurship with the aim to be efficient service for the economy and to contribute to the affirmation and development of the entrepreneurial spirit in Serbia.
Initiatives specifically aimed at entrepreneurial skills are:
- Start - up- programme for encouraging entrepreneurship development through financial support for beginners in business
- Development programme - entrepreneurship promotion program through development projects
- Different educational measures – trainings, counselling, mentoring
- Non-financial support for self-employment
- Different investments measures.
Competition for the best technological innovation is implemented by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development in cooperation with the institution that meets the conditions set by the public call. The competition is intended to promote entrepreneurship in Serbia and develop awareness of the importance of innovation, modern technologies and organizational solutions. Entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises, high tech companies, secondary schools and student teams can participate in the competition. The competition provides a chance for all individuals and legal entities, secondary school and student teams to check and compare the quality of their business ideas in relation to others.
The main goal is to point out to the participants all the possibilities but also obstacles, as well as the work that needs to be done to bring an innovative idea to the market. These activities include organizing work teams, education, market research, preparation of business plans, work with modern IT tools and others.
The competition lasts the entire calendar year, with the obligation to follow the set of established rules, and it all ends at the end of December with a live broadcast on a national television.
One of the awareness-raising and entrepreneurship support projects that took place in 2016-2017 was the Caravan of Youth Entrepreneurship (Karavan omladinskog preduzetništva) implemented by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This was the support programme for the establishment of youth companies, as well as for the empowerment and promotion of youth entrepreneurship in the territory of the Republic of Serbia.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry maintains the portal Youth Entrepreneurship (www.omladinskopreduzetnistvo.pks.rs) aiming to provide important information about financial and administrative aspects of starting a business. On this portal also can be found a list of support programmes for beginners in business (programi podrške za početnike u poslovanju).
As part of the project "Our community, our future - greater cooperation and employment of young people", an interactive platform neetmladi.info dedicated to youth in the NEET situation was published. The project is focused on social innovation in the field of youth employability, emphasizing the cooperation of institutions and organizations to ensure sustainable solutions that in five cities in Serbia respond to the needs of young people in NEET status.Educators support in entrepreneurship education
The support for educators and youth workers in the field of entrepreneurship is offered mainly through projects and professional development courses for teachers.