The European Union has provided 6.6 million euro through the Local Integrated Development project to develop 21 local communities, which has contributed to creation of new job opportunities for young people in the country as well as to improvement of the living standards of people in BiH. More than 600 persons have been employed in small and medium enterprises, local communities and agriculture within the category of young entrepreneurs and business start-ups.
WaySeven Technologies from Banja Luka is a young company that has managed to expand its business, increase its list of clients and hire new people thanks to participation in the LID project. This young company’s primary scope of work is consultancy in software development.
“The idea behind our project was to be able to hire new people and increase our team. Colleagues from Bit Alliance informed us of the project for development of local markets, which would enable us to develop our ideas and receive funding,” says Goran Gašić, Director of WaySeven Technologies. The company’s clients are foreign small and medium enterprises that wish to improve their businesses by introducing new software solutions in order to be compatible with the digitalisation process that is ongoing across Europe and the world.
“We had an idea how to grow and develop and we wanted to do it through several phases, the first one of which was to hire twenty persons and choose the best candidates. The candidates who did not pass through to the second phase received training on how to find employment and we helped prepare them for the labour market. The second phase was more specific, it was IT related and 11 candidates received training, education and gained valuable skills. In the end we chose six candidates for employment, i.e. five of them stayed with us and have full time employment, and one is still finishing her studies,” explained Gašić.
The majority of project funds were invested in equipment and employee education. The benefits of participating in the project have been multiple and very relevant to the future of the company. “Hard working and engaged employees are our key resource, considering the job that we do, and when we were able to employ six new people, we managed to gain new clients and increase the workload. An added value of the project has been the training we have provided to the candidates. It has been a very positive experience for everyone employed, and it has been a good networking and team-building experience for us. Based on that, we decided to continue with the activity, and this year we organised the training on our own, which has been very beneficial to us and our candidates. We want to offer some initial work experience in the IT sector to all young people interested in this profession and such trainings are very useful to them when they start working either for us or for some other company,” says Gašić.
An added value of the educational activities the company is implementing is the possibility for employers to mentor candidates, thus contributing to their personal and professional growth. One of the WaySeven Technologies employees is Maja Jovićić, Communications Manager, who says that the training experience has been invaluable to her, giving her an opportunity to understand the work of the company, the work process and tasks related to all sectors.
“I worked part time in marketing and sales in WaySeven Technologies, and I wanted to learn about other sectors, and this project enabled me to achieve this. Through a short period of three months I was able to learn about different sectors of the company that usually remain unknown to someone who is just starting in this profession. I have gained a double benefit from this, so it was great that I attended the training, together with the candidates and partly on my own. Moreover, I received very clear and interesting instructions for my work, which is tied to human resources as well. In that way I learned a lot about interpersonal relationships,” says Jovićić.
The project Local Integrated Development is part of the support of the European Union to local development and employment, in the amount of 19 million euros. Key beneficiaries of the project during the two-year long implementation are 21 local communities, grouped in four geographical clusters, primarily in previous flood-affected areas and regions, which are home to high numbers of returnees and internally displaced people: 30 small and medium enterprises, 300 agriculture households, 50 civil society organisations and citizens’ associations in the targeted communities, 100,000 citizens and 5,000 members of socially vulnerable groups, as well as the institutions of higher levels of government.