Measure 1.2: Cross-border initiatives targeting the exchange of people and ideas to enhance professional and civil society cooperation

Project title: Cross-border Youth Entrepreneurship

Project budget:

  Project value EU contribution
Republic of Serbia € 66,582.84 € 56,262.50
Montenegro € 86,644.44 € 73,214.55
OVERALL € 153,227.28 € 129,477.05

Beneficiary of funds in the Republic of Serbia: Regional Agency for Spatial and Economic Development of Raski and Moravicki Districts, Kraljevo
• Business Innovation Programme Serbia, Belgrade
• Business Start-Up Centre, Kragujevac

Beneficiary of funds in Montenegro: Regional Development Agency for Bjelasica, Komovi and Prokletije, Berane
Partner: Directorate for Development of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Podgorica

Area of implementation:
• Montenegro: North Montenegro
• Serbia: Raski and Moravicki districts, Serbia

Project duration:
• Serbia 27/07/2012 – 26/07/2013
• Montenegro 10/08/2012 – 09/08/2013

Project objectives: The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the development of entrepreneurship in the cross-border area through strengthening connections between youth. The specific objective of the project is enhanced conditions for entrepreneurship of youth from secondary schools and active young entrepreneurs in the cross-border area.

Activities and results of the project

The project identified 10 high schools in the cross-border area whose students participated in vocational training programmes for youth entrepreneurship. The criterion for the selection of schools was that students had not been offered the opportunity to participate in projects dealing with development of entrepreneurship and that their curricula included experimental classes in this field. Thus, the project involved:
• School of Hospitality and Tourism Vrnjačka Banja,
• Economic and Trade School Kraljevo,
• Agricultural-Chemical School “Dr Djordje Radić”, Kraljevo,
• High School Ivanjica,
• School of Forestry Kraljevo,
• Secondary Mixed School “Braća Selić”, Kolašin,
• Secondary Mixed School “Vuksan Djukić”, Mojkovac,
• Secondary Mixed School “Bećo Bašić” Plav,
• Medical High School “Dr Branko Zogović”, Berane,
• High school “30th September “, Rožaje.

23 professors participated in project activities. Some of them had previous experience working in the field of youth entrepreneurship projects through the Business Innovation Programme. Such an established professional team adopted, developed and used within projects “The Manual for Business Planning Development”, which is based on a methodological approach to the development of youth entrepreneurship in Norway. The starting point of this Manual is that young people best acquire knowledge and experience by “learning through work”.

The professors foremost acquainted themselves with this guideline through a four-day educational course. They improved their knowledge on business planning methods and ways of conducting professional classes according to the “learning through work” methodology and were acquainted to creative approaches for introducing classes on entrepreneurship in the curriculum of educational institutions. Due to the fact that the training programme was in line with accredited courses dedicated to teaching staff in Serbia, and prescribed by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia, the Serbian professors who attended the course received official certificates.

Trained teaching staff, in cooperation with an expert team, first promoted the project in 10 selected schools in the cross-border region, which resulted in the submission of 200 applications by students who were motivated and expressed a desire to participate in the project.

Working with students was based on practical work. Working groups, composed of 4 to 6 students, together with their teachers-mentors, identified their business ideas, developed appropriate organisational models for their future businesses, prepared plans for marketing and sales, as well as detailed plans for participation at the Youth Entrepreneurship Fair. A total of 41 “enterprises” filed complete documentation applying for participation in the Fair.

Parallel with their work in schools, the project team also acted in the broader field – youth entrepreneurship in local communities. A total of 15 companies, whose owners are younger than 40 years, and whose undertakings have a high level of innovation, as well as the potential for cooperation at the international level, applied for an opened tender. Over the course of the Project, young entrepreneurs improved their business models in collaboration with experts and mentors. During a five-day Entrepreneurial Camp held in Kolašin, they had the opportunity to review their business activities from a new, contemporary perspective and conclude which practical solutions would be useful if adopted in future work. On that basis, and through a variety of other educational activities in the Camp, young entrepreneurs developed plans for their appearances at the Entrepreneurship Fair.

In Berane, at the Youth Entrepreneurship Fair, 40 student “companies” and 15 young entrepreneurs made presentations. A total of 205 students and 20 teacher-mentors from the cross-border area participated at the Fair. The fair was very well visited and had excellent media coverage; a four-member jury chose the best entrepreneurial ideas in categories such as most innovative product/ service, best business plan, best-designed visual identity (design) of product/ service, best fair performance and best company logo.

A network of young entrepreneurs has been established in the cross-border region. With the expert supervision of participating experts and professors-mentors, the network has defined and implemented the promotion of its activities through a number of communication channels – press conferences, electronic and print media, Internet presentations and so-forth.

A significant outcome of the project is the preparation of documents that provide analysis of opportunities and specific recommendations to relevant educational institutions and organisations on possibilities of introducing “youth entrepreneurship” in regular curriculum. This initial step is a huge contribution to the development and acceptance of modern learning methods among young people on exceptionally significant economic development topics such as entrepreneurship.


Aleksandar Vasiljević, from the student enterprise “Master Catering”, School of Hospitality and Tourism Vrnjačka Banja

“I really liked the idea of organising enterprises. The possibility to later launch an enterprise according to this business plan was something I liked a lot, so I joined the team, at the initiative of the professor. “Master Catering” is a firm for organising all types of celebrations at the territory of the Vrnjačka Banja municipality. Those include celebrations, cocktails, banquets, and various other types of celebrations such as graduation parties. Five students are participating in this project. Today, in Berane, our company, “Master Catering”, was awarded the first place in the competition for Best Logo and the second place for Best Design, and we won the main prize, a four-day journey to Kolašin. Our impressions have been very positive, and we’re very happy with our awards and prizes and the presentation we’ve had here, as well as the organisation of the event.”

Stefan Jokić, from the student enterprise “Souvenir Shop”, Medical High School “Dr Branko Zogović”, Berane

“We’ve all gained a lot from this project, and I’ve personally gained a lot of experience in entrepreneurship and business development, which has given us the experience necessary for the future. Regarding my plans for the future, they are definitely about individual business development, which this very project has proven not to be impossible or merely imaginary. Regarding entrepreneurship in our country, one could say that plans are quite realistic and feasible, but only one is good at doing business and has a well-organised team. Team work makes anything possible.”

Svetomir Aković, Young Entrepreneur from Berane

“If you’ve conducted a good analysis of a certain business operation, if you’ve prepared a good business plan, and if you’re aware of all the risks and all the opportunities that such a business would entail, then, I believe, you should just boldly go into it, believing it, and there will be no problems. Good results are going to come.”

Zlatko Nekliče, Young Entrepreneur from Kraljevo

“I’ve gained a great deal of knowledge at this workshop. I’ve attended a number of special skills trainings. I’ve attended such trainings as: economic and legal aspects of launching a small business, innovation and entrepreneurship, marketing and sale, branding and drafting a business plan. All these trainings have helped me a lot in my work, and allowed me to really get ahead. If not for these trainings, it’s unlikely I would have advanced to my current position. Instead, I would probably be facing all the problems that other entrepreneurs have to deal with.”