Director-General of Sida Discusses Support to Entrepreneurs and Civil Society During Visit to BiH

Director-General of Sida, Ms. Carin Jämtin visited Bosnia and Herzegovina yesterday. During her visit, she met with representatives of the Sarajevo Economic Region Development Agency (SERDA), the Mozaik Foundation, the Greens Society and the Institute for Youth Development KULT. This meeting was also attended by Lisa Fredriksson - Director of Sida’s Department for Europe and Latin America, Johanna Strömquist - Ambassador of Sweden to BiH, and Eva Smedberg - Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden in BiH.

The meeting focused on what Bosnia and Herzegovina needs today to build a prosperous and healthy future, ways Sweden can help the BiH society strengthen values promoted by Sweden and the EU, and the efforts made by NGOs to make BiH a better place to live. 

Representatives of organizations and programs who attended the meeting are part of a growing ecosystem working for a better BiH. Beneficiaries of Swedish support in Bosnia and Herzegovina talked about their own experience, the organizational, professional and personal change they experience thanks to Sweden and the impact of this support on them as individuals and the entire BiH society. They particularly emphasized Swedish cooperation with local governments and individuals, which has proven to be transformational.

One of the participants of the meeting was Asim Ćosić, a young and promising entrepreneur from the company Argerr who referred to the importance of the co-financing support of entrepreneurship that Sweden implements within economic development and thus contributes to the healthy and sustainable development of BiH economy. Thanks to the support of the Challenge to Change project financed by Sweden, the Argerr company opened a CNC production department where the first electric bicycle was developed, and increased the number of employees. At the same time, they were also supported through the Credit and Guarantee Fund of SERDA. According to Ćosić, they would not have been able to develop the company without this support, especially since they started as a group of young students. Receiving this assistance also qualified Argerr in terms of reputation for service with one of Sweden's largest iron ore mines.

Addressing the representatives of organizations and the beneficiaries of their programs, Ms. Carin Jämtin, Director-General of Sida, said that Sweden's support to Bosnia and Herzegovina is extremely important, especially in light of the current challenges facing Europe, and will not stop. Ms Jämtin said that Sweden will continue to be a partner to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and especially to its civil society, and the examples and ideas she heard at the meeting reinforce her sincere belief that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country with enormous potential and should continue to develop and progress towards full EU membership.