On October 24 – 27, a 4-day training on the business plan and financial plan development (boot camp) was conducted in Serbia. Twenty young candidates (from Niš, Šid, Zrenjanin, Irig, and Aleksinac) interested in starting their own businesses had the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills, to learn how to design a business idea and its values, how to define concrete financial needs and what are the key elements of the go-to-market strategy. This training aimed at providing participants with practical support for the process of moving from a broad business idea to applicable business model, with a presentation of the concept of social and green entrepreneurship.

The young participants presented their business ideas and worked with trainers to enhance and refine them. The training was led by Neven Marinović and Neda Stanković, representatives of Smart Kolektiv, a non-profit organization that is a leader in promoting the concept of socially responsible business and the development of social entrepreneurship in Serbia. Entrepreneurs who were supported in the previous granting cycles through the YourJob project also shared their experiences with the participants through an online engagement.

Scenes from boot campRepresentatives from Caritas Serbia, Caritas Srem, and Caritas Belgrade also attended the boot camp. Marina Kostić, the project coordinator for YourJob in Serbia, congratulated the participants on their excellent ideas and familiarized them with the rules and procedures for participating in the grant application process. Viktor Cvetković and Petar Dujić, members of the Caritas team on the project, provided answers to additional questions from participants. Throughout the entire training, support to the participants was provided by Sara Žurovski, YourJob guidance counsellor from Caritas Srem.

The boot camp concluded with a ceremonial awarding of certificates. This is the fourth boot camp overall and the first within the second phase of the YourJob project.

To date, 18 business ideas have been supported with grants in the form of non-refundable funds to start businesses. We are confident that our young entrepreneurs will serve as role models for other young people, encouraging them to embark on entrepreneurial ventures and create a better future for themselves and their families in their hometowns.

YourJob is a regional youth empowerment project funded by the Austrian Development Agency, Caritas Austria, Caritas France, and Renovabis, and implemented by the Caritas network in the region. In Serbia, the project is carried out in Zrenjanin, Šid, and Niš, with the possibility of implementing activities also in Aleksinac, Irig, and Sečanj, and is implemented by Caritas Serbia, Diocesan Caritas Srem, Diocesan Caritas Zrenjanin, and Caritas Niš.