The “Competitiveness and Innovation: Local Development Strategies – EU4Business” Project aims to contribute to economic growth and job creation through support for competitiveness and innovation in export-oriented sectors (e.g. wood processing, metal, textile, plastics or information and communication technologies), as well as in agriculture, food production, tourism and rural development in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Project will also actively support the improvement of the business environment by providing technical assistance to relevant authorities in the country in the design, management and monitoring of financial incentives meant to strengthen competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises, improve cross-sectoral cooperation, and stimulate entrepreneurial initiatives, including development of local digital entrepreneurship.

The Project is a 4-year initiative (2018-2022), primarily funded by the European Union (EU) under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) II. It is jointly implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ), and the International Labour Organization (ILO).



What we do?

UNDP will be responsible for implementation of Project activities related to agriculture, food production and rural development. The total Project budget amounts to 8.75 million BAM, while close to 6 million BAM will be allocated for grants intended to support commercial agricultural holdings, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the food industry, and local communities and socio-economic stakeholders for rural development. The Project intends to support modernization of large agri-food industry value chains, targeting commercial agri-food operations through a systematic and integrated measures alongside the supply chain: production, collection, processing, marketing, and sales. In addition, the Project plans to enhance diversification of rural economic activities with focus on small-scale farmers who dominate rural Bosnia and Herzegovina, by strengthening their competitiveness, supporting upscaling of their holdings, on-farm processing, promotion of short value chains and off-farm activities, such as crafts and services in forestry and agriculture.

One of the main tools to deliver the Project assistance is the Grant Fund Facility (GFF), which will serve as the Project financing mechanism to effectively support beneficiaries and achieve the set targets. In addition, the entire process of grant schemes design will be co-owned by the respective public institutions at state and entity government levels, thus enabling a direct learning and capacity development benefits, towards gradual routine use of the same approach for the design of public financial incentives in this sector.

Financial support within Grant Fund Facility will be distributed through public Calls for proposals.

Expected results

The Project envisages three inter-related results:

  • MSMEs performance is increased due to better access and availability of well targeted measures and innovative business development services in competitive export-oriented sectors;
  • Business environment for development of new businesses and support to existing ones is improved; and
  • Entrepreneurial initiatives in tourism and rural value chains for income and employment generation are increased.

Main beneficiaries

  • Commercial farmers
  • Agri-food processing companies
  • Local communities and rural farmers
  • Governmental institutions
  • Business Development Organizations



Project start date

April 2018

Estimated end date

March 2022

Geographic coverage

Bosnia and Herzegovina


European Union (4.4 million Euro)

Focus area

Rural and Regional Development


  • Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Republika Srpska
  • Government of District Brcko
  • Office for Harmonization and Coordination of Payment Systems in Agriculture, Food and Rural Development of Bosnia and Herzegovina