The Municipality Rozaje and Municipality of Sjenica, in cooperation with two Vocational Schools have come together and jointly almost finished implementation of the “Craftsman” project that supported creation of nine new businesses across two cross-border municipalities, as part of the IPA CBC Programme Serbia – Montenegro 2014 -2020, financed by the European Union.

The “Craftsman” project, worth € 193.466, builds on the growing interest for self-employment among youth and is designed to ensure they newly opened businesses can be integrated into sustainable parts of the local and national economies. The project generated new jobs for vulnerable parts of the population including youth and women by equipping them with the support they need in terms of business knowledge, start-up support, trainings and mentoring services. Additionally the project provided specialised tools for craftsmanship to Secondary Schools in Sjenica and Rozaje to be used by students and interested potential entrepreneurships.

Amela Kovačević Kalender, the Project Manager, said: “The Municipality of Rožaje is proud to further strengthen its support to local economic development, having strong focus on the job creation, entrepreneurship and further support to local population in order to improve their quality of life. We plan to continuously provide advisory and technical support to potential new entrepreneurs through opened Local Office for Support tot Entrepreneurship and based on adopted Local Strategy for Entrepreneurship Development that will launch new innovative businesses as well as traditional ones.  Even though not originally planned our common CB Project generated nine new businesses in Sjenica and Rozaje Municipality. The businesses opened include hairdressing, rugs and car interior washing, beauty and massage solons, crafts, soap production, sewing, car body maintenance etc. Our aim is to encourage people to pursue their ideas and to show that even small initiatives can have significant impact on local economy.”

Micro, small and medium enterprises play a crucial role in employing a diverse workforce and income generation for local communities both in Montenegro and Serbia. The project supported collaboration among Secondary Vocational Schools from target Municipalities under leadership of local authorities with an aim to renew interest for traditional businesses like crafts production. The project provided support to more than 90 individuals that were directly involved in trainings and mentoring program, with expectations to have more than 100 of beneficiaries by the end on project.