Creating new jobs: EU4Business supports ambitions of entrepreneurs from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Thirty-five small and medium-sized agri-food producers from Bosnia and Herzegovina were supported through EU4Business project, financed by European Union and the Federal Republic of Germany, contributing to job retention and creation, as well as alleviating negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

Vimar Group has had an exciting period behind them. Construction of their almost BAM 10 million worth factory for meat production has been completed, their products are exported to the countries in the region, and soon they plan to export to European Union and Arab countries, as well. Company has employed 23 new workers, in addition to 43 already working, and all this was done with the support of EU4Business project.

„We must grow“ says Ehlimana Ajdin, director and owner of Vimar Group. Vimar started as a family company and some two years ago they decided to expand their capacities. Public call for grants to support investments in agri-food sector published by EU4Business project came to their attention. This public call aimed to support modernization of production and strengthen production competitiveness through the introduction of new technologies and innovations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

By applying to this public call, Vimar representatives saw an opportunity to present their investment in new machines for cured meat production that would enable them to increase production and employ new workers. „We sent our application and received support. The whole process was fair and just“ explains Ajdin.

The total value of the investment was more than BAM 1 million and, through EU4Business, grant of BAM 290,000 was approved. Investment included procurement of flow pack machine for product packing, machine for vacuum sealing, climate chambers and chamber trolley.

In addition to creating 23 new jobs, new equipment and chambers will enable this company to improve product quality with computerized production monitoring. „With this support, we expect the increase in productivity from 20 to 30%, as well as financial growth“ says Ajdin.

Despite the current situation on the market hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vimar Group continues with their plans. They launched their products in large domestic market chain, and they also look forward to new public calls on which they could apply and achieve their ambitions.

„We need to be brave and believe in ourselves and team of people around us. Good team is one of the key elements of success. Everything can be accomplished once you are surrounded by good people“ concludes Ajdin.

EU4Business is European Union’s project that aims to strengthen Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capacity for economic growth and employment by fostering competitiveness and innovation in selected sectors. EU4Business is worth EUR 16.1 million; EUR 15 million is funded by the European Union and EUR 1.1 million by the Federal Republic of Germany. Project is jointly implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), UNDP and International Labor Organisation (ILO). EU4Business is part of the Local Development Strategies – Local Self-Government and Economic Development Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).