Written by Amar Numanović and Zenebe Uraguchi
It was 2012. A small initiative by the Swiss government in the labour markets in Bosnia & Herzegovinian was launched. Implemented by Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and Kolektiv ltd, the MarketMakers project aims to identify and address bottlenecks in the growth of private businesses for creating jobs.
The economic conditions of the country six years ago looked quite pessimistic. Imagine the impact of the global financial crash in 2008/2009 on fragile and unprepared Bosnia & Herzegovinian! The labour market worsened, especially hitting the youth hard.
Growth slipped to a negative rate (-0.8%) and the unemployment rate was at its post-war maximum (28%). Unemployment among 15-24 age jumped to 63% and stayed the same until 2016.
So, how could a small project make a real contribution in such challenging economic context?