570.000 EUR from Challenge Fund for innovative business entities

Swedish Ambassador to BiH Anders Hagelberg awarded certificates in Sarajevo to representatives of 28 companies that were best ranked in the first public call for grants from Challenge to Change project. For the realization of these projects from the Challenge Fund, it is allocated 570.000 EUR, while the total value of the proposed projects is about 2 million EUR. The realization of these projects has provided 96 new jobs.

Ambassador Hagelberg emphasized on this occasion that it is very important to work on the continuous development of the support system for the SME sector in BiH and that the Swedish government supports this project with a total of 4,2 million EUR.

"It is necessary, through all levels of government, to promote and continuously support the SME sector, because only in the private sector, its growth and development based on innovations, we can plan and achieve sustainable growth. At the same time, the selected 28 projects are only "pioneers" in the realization of this significant project, and in the next three years, through the realization of new public calls, we can expect even better results", Hagelberg said.

Director of the Sarajevo Economic Region Development Agency (SERDA) Ševkija Okerić emphasized the importance of establishing such a support system for the development of innovations.

"According to the Global Innovation Index, Sweden is the second in the world and their experience is of great importance not only to the agencies that implement the project but also to the economy of BiH as a whole," said Okerić.

Emphasizing the significance of the project as a new instrument for support to the SME sector, the Director of the Republic Agency for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (RARS) Marinko Đukić expressed an expectation that the project will even more significantly animate and strengthen the sector of the economy and strengthen economic relations between BiH and Sweden.

"In Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Republic of Srpska, there is a great innovative potential that has not been used up to now due to a lack of financial resources. With the help of this project, this is possible now ", said Đukić.

Challenge to Change project was established thanks to the funds of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency-Sida / Embassy of Sweden in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is available to micro, small and medium enterprises from all over BiH, as well as to small and medium-sized enterprises from Sweden that have an interest in BiH. It is also available to start-ups with innovative business ideas, products or services that can lead to an increase in the number of employees, increased competitiveness and sustainable socio-economic development in BiH. Companies that meet the established criteria can apply for grants in a maximum amount of up to 30.000 EUR, which represents 50% of the total investment.

Challenge to Change project - C2C is implemented by SERDA and RARS. The partner in the project is the Region Ostergotland, East Sweden. The goal of the project is to contribute to stronger economic development in BiH, as well as to the strengthening of the cooperation between Sweden, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Certificates were awarded to the following business entities:

  1. Wischt d.o.o.  - Doboj
  2. Alma-Ras d.o.o. - Olovo
  3. IMEL d.o.o. - Lukavac
  4. Vrganj promet d.o.o. - Bužim
  5. Casa Mushrooms d.o.o. - Banjaluka
  6. PTD Jelena d.o.o. - Kozarska Dubica
  7. SEEBA AB - Stockholm
  8. zanatska radnja PRIRODNO - Bijeljina
  9. More Screens d.o.o. - Mostar
  10. Herbos Nature - Sarajevo, Ilidža
  11. AT ARTEX d.o.o. Sarajevo - Sarajevo
  12. doo Bilje i ljekobilje - Sokolac
  13. GalArt d.o.o Ribnik - Ribnik
  14. GreenTon d.o.o. Sarajevo - Sarajevo
  15. Poljoprivredna djelatnost Natura - Istočno Novo Sarajevo
  16. PZ Loznica - Višići
  17. ZZ Brka Brčko - Brčko
  18. BKV GROUP DOO - Bileća
  19. Glovis d.o.o. Zenica - Zenica
  21. OD Luminatico - Sarajevo
  22. Tehnicko Ekološki Zavod d.o.o. - Banja Luka
  23. OD KLICKO - Sarajevo
  24. EM plus d.o.o. - Doboj
  25. Bivis d.o.o. - Livno
  26. DARS VOĆE d.o.o. Sarajevo - Sarajevo
  27. Voćar Piramida d.o.o. - Visoko
  28. Farmer o.d. - Sarajevo

The new call for proposals for the grant funds of the Challenge Fund is planned for the end of February.