The regional SEED programme contributes to employment, poverty reduction, gender equality and socio-economic development in the region. The lead partner is the Austrian organization Volkshilfe Solidarität, with the financial support of the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADA). The program is implemented in three phases: the first period lasted from 2014 to 2016, and the second phase from 2017 to 2019. SEED Step III continues in the period from 1.1.2019. to 31.12.2022.

The Novi Sad Humanitarian Center promotes the 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 supported 31 women- and youth-led entrepreneurship initiatives through training, grants and mentoring. Most of the start-up managed to survive and develop. In addition, we assisted 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 helped representatives of municipalities from the south (Surdulica, Vladicin Han) and north (Kula, Apatin) of Serbia to learn about 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, the plan is to continue supporting the four target municipalities. The focus will be on established structures (local employment partnerships), 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 also be given to entrepreneurs who have previously received SEED grants and who have shown progress in their work. Support will be aimed at achieving full sustainability and potential for further growth, in the form of advanced specific training on product marketing, licensing or accreditation to provide services, and more.

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

Partners in the implementation of the SEED Step III program are TARA International Consulting from Novi Sad, as a regional partner, and local partners – Syri and Vizionit from Peja, and the Novi Sad Humanitarian Centre.