The SEED programme contributes to employment, poverty reduction, gender equality and socio-economic development in the region. Within the programme, NSHC promotes employment and self-employment of women and youth in the municipalities of Apatin, Kula, Surdulica and Vladicin Han.

In the previous six-year period, NSHC provided training, grants and mentoring to 31 entrepreneurship initiatives led by women and youth; most of the start-ups developed and achieved sustainability. In addition, NSHC assisted the target municipalities in decentralizing employment measures, improving local employment planning, and promoting self-employment and social entrepreneurship. Inter-municipal meetings and cooperation with the City of Sabac provided examples of good practice in the work of the local Partnership for Employment and the development of local action plans for employment.

In the next two-year period NSHC will continue supporting the municipalities of Kula and Vladicin Han, while Apatin and Surdulica will follow and participate in most activities. The focus will be on previously established structures (local partnerships for employment), their strengthening and the implementation of local employment plans, with a special focus on social entrepreneurship and gender equality. NSHC will encourage and support joint initiatives and work on the creation of an “inter-municipal employment coalition”.

Support will be given to entrepreneurs who have previously received grants and who have shown progress in their work. The support which aims at achieving sustainability and potential for further growth, will be in the form of advanced specific training on product marketing, licensing and accreditation, and more.

Municipalities will receive support in the introduction of new training programs and thus increase employment opportunities. The workshop for wood processing will be renovated and equipped at the Technical School in Vladicin Han, which will be later used as part of classes for high school students, but also as part of the offer for retraining and adult training.

The lead partner in the SEED programme is the Austrian organization Volkshilfe Solidarität, and the other partner organisations are TARA International Consulting from Novi Sad and Syri and Vizionit from Peja. SEED programme is co-financed by the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADA).