Innovation and digitalisation in SMEs in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Project description

Title: Innovation and digitalisation in SMEs in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relationships Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (MoFTER)
Overall term: 2019 to 2021

Context

Numerous small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are unaware of innovation and digitalisation potential for the improvement of their competitiveness. They lack relevant competences to develop innovative ideas and implement them on their own. The IT sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a pioneer in this respect and offers innovative services and products; so far, however, mostly for clients abroad. Local SMEs as potential clients are not being sufficiently targeted. The same goes for the business ecosystem for start-ups, which does help young persons with IT skills start businesses but does not sufficiently enable them to provide their services to local SMEs for the purpose of generating innovations and implementing them with companies.

Objective

Preconditions for innovations and digitalisation in SMEs in Bosnia and Herzegovina have improved.

Approach

The project uses the dynamics of IT companies and digital start-ups to disseminate innovations and digitalisation in SMEs, especially in traditional sectors such as trade, wood processing, metal processing, agriculture and tourism. It provides support to SMEs in the development of strategies for innovations and digitalisation and implementation of specific projects. In addition, public actors are involved at the relevant administrative levels and receive consultancy services regarding the creation of framework conditions for SMEs encouraging innovation. Tools used include international long-term experts (iLTEs), national long-term experts (nLTEs) and short-term experts (STEs) as well as local subsidies.

The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relationship of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the political partner. The relevant ministries and institutions such as clusters, chambers of commerce and HUBs are the implementation partners.

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