Market Makers in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Project completed

MarketMakers (MM) addresses the high rate of youth unemployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is the main cause for the acute brain drain. To contribute to reduction of youth unemployment the project aims at systemic changes in the ICI, food production and processing, tourism and tradable services sectors, leading to their growth, more investments and new job opportunities.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Employment & economic development
Tradepolicy & market system
Business support & economic inclusion
01.06.2017 - 31.05.2021
CHF  5’580’000

The relevance ot the project remains high. The youth unemployment stands at 54.5%. The unemployment rate of women (of all age groups) is 59.5%. Acute brain drain affects the social, economic, and political environment. All levels of government in Bosnia have adopted the Reform Agenda (2015-2018), which targets reforms in a number of key areas. Labor market reform and improvement of business climate and competitiveness are two out of six key priorities.


Young women and men are integrated into and profit from the labour market through their realization of additional employment (route 1) and self-employment (route 2) opportunities.

Target groups

The main target group are unemployed young women and men aged 15-29. Disadvantaged groups will be clearly defined, analysed and targeted in the chosen market sectors.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome I: Employers (private sector companies) grow and/or invest in growth opportunities (route 1), creating vacancies for young women and men

Outcome II: Individuals invest in self-employment and new ventures (route 2), creating vacancies for young women and men.

Outcome III: Socially-purposeful enterprises grow or establish themselves and/or existing employers improve internal practices and procedures, expediting the inclusion of socially-excluded groups in the labour market.


Expected results:  

  • Systemic changes instigated by the programme result in target employers in selected sectors taking advantage of growth opportunities (route 1) AND/OR barriers to entry for new entrants/self employed being reduced (route 2).
  • Systemic changes instigated by the programme result in socially-purposeful enterprises and/or employers being more inclusive of socially-excluded groups.

Results from previous phases:  

  • By the end of the phase ca. 3000 people employed due to the projects Intervention.
  • MM supported establishing of the first IT technology park ever in BiH, as well as the software development training center.
  • MM helped the establishment of a marketing services center for more than 500 domestic enterprises. lt promotes domestic products on regional, national and international markets.
  • Seasonal increase in the number of tourists in the targeted areas in Herzegovina by 14% and in the number of nights by 27%, affributable to these packages.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
  • Foreign private sector North
  • SDC Field Office

Other partners

BiH Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, Regional Development Agency, private companies in the IT, Food & Production sector, Tourism.

Coordination with other projects and actors

MM is participating at the structured dialogue around the labor market organized by YEP project and BiH Agency for Labor and Employment. Topics are jointly nominated. Furthermore, the tourism sector in Herzegovina has lately become a common denominator. Employment offices in Mostar region have joined the reform process. MM is working with the tourism cluster in that region and Skills tor Jobs is preparing adult trainings in the hospitality sector, which are likely to be co-financed by Public Employment Services.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    5’580’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    5’284’310 Total project since first phase Budget inclusive project partner CHF   13’852’582
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)