Project completed

Poor economic performance in the recent years has led to insufficient job creation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Young women and men have been hardest hit by the economic crisis and are also over-proportionally affected by the precarious working conditions, including low wages and lack of social insurance. MarketMakers aims at stimulating the creation of new employment opportunities and demand-driven professional skills training for young people in three selected economic sectors (e.g. ICT).

RegionCountry Topic Period Budget
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Employment & economic development
Tradepolicy & market system
Business support & economic inclusion
02.04.2012 - 31.05.2017
CHF  5’772’582

Poor economic performance since the demise of the former socialist system has led to an insufficient creation of new jobs in BiH. Young women and men are over-proportionally affected by the lack of jobs, which is reflected in an extremely high youth unemployment rate of over 60%. BiH has one of the highest youth employment rates in the entire Europe. Moreover, employed youth suffer from precarious working conditions, including low wages and lack of social insurance. As a result of the absence of decent and gainful employment perspectives many young people seek their fortune outside of BiH through migration mainly to Western European countries.


The goal of MarketMakers is to contribute to improved access to gainful and decent job opportunities for young women and men in BiH.

The target is of at least 4’000 young people aged 15-29, of which at least 50% young women, to have found a job as a result of program interventions in private companies in the three targeted economic sectors, starting with ICT (Internet and Communications Technology). Only jobs qualified as “decent” – i.e. formally registered jobs in companies which contribute to social insurance, pay taxes and observe BiH’s labour laws – shall be counted toward the program target.


Target group

MarketMakers’ final beneficiaries are young women and men aged between 15 and 29 years seeking employment. This includes (i) young job seekers on the labor market, (ii) youth working informally and suffering from precarious working conditions, (iii) students in secondary school who have to make decisions on which profession to learn, (iv) young people already in professional education and vocational training, and (v) young professionals seeking to establish their career paths. With this broad definition the overall size of the final beneficiary population is estimated at 571’000.


The private sector shall be enabled and stimulated to expand and invest into job creation in three sectors with job creation potential and relevance for young people. On the one hand, the private sector shall be supported in lobbying with the governments for a more business-enabling regulatory environment. On the other hand, the program shall facilitate the development of new or improved support services for the private sector such as professional skills training oriented towards the needs of the labour-market.


Expected Results:  

1. More service providers offer better and needed support to the private sector in selected markets (e.g. demand oriented professional skills training).

2. The policy and regulatory framework is more conducive for private sector growth in selected markets.

3. Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) play a strategic role in identifying and facilitating development in sectors with growth potential.


Results from previous phase:  

During the inception phase a detailed sector scoping and selection exercise for the greater Sarajevo region was conducted. Making use of expert panels, interviews and focus group discussions, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) was selected as the first sector of intervention. ICT was chosen due to its attractiveness to young people, the sector’s significant future growth potential, and the opportunity to attract women to newly created job positions. A detailed sector analysis was then conducted on ICT, leading to a sector intervention strategy.

Agency SDC
Credit Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project Partners Contract Partner
Private sector
Foreign state institution
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
  • Swiss Private Sector
  • Sub-National State SouthEast

Other Partners

BiH Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, RDAs, Recruitment agencies, ICT companies, Private training providers (PTP).

Projects Coordination

The program will complement SDC’s other programs and projects in the youth employment domain which aim at enhancing the skills and employability of youth and in increasing their access to employment services.

Budget Current Phase Swiss Budget CHF    5’772’582 Swiss Disbursement Till Know CHF    5’434’843
Project Phases Phase 3 01.06.2021 - 31.12.2026   (Current Phase) Phase 2 01.06.2017 - 31.05.2021   (Completed)

Phase 1 02.04.2012 - 31.05.2017   (Completed)