Over 70 participants attended the International Youth Entrepreneurship Marketplace held on April 1st and 2nd 2014 in Zaječar. The Conference was at the same time the final event of “Youth Career Development, Employment, Entrepreneurship Networking and Transfer” project. The project was implemented in the course of the past year by Timok Youth Center with “Kauzi” Foundation from Sofia.

During the two-day Conference, young people from Bulgaria and Serbia were introduced to results of the project in the past year. Summary and results of implemented activities was presented by Srebrina Efremova, the project manager. The opening session included presentation of results of research entitled “Analysis of employment and entrepreneurship skills of young people from Zaječar County”, carried out in the duration of the project. The results presented by Timok Youth Center’s Ana-Marija Đurić revealed that approximately 60% of young people that participated in the poll desires to start up some kind of business – but not at this point.  However, 25% participants plan to start their own businesses regardless of the situation. The session also included the presentation of two guidebooks that were developed in the duration of the project. They were presented by Marina from “Kauzi” Foundation.

First day of Conference brought two more discussions sessions. The first one was hosted by Dejan Nedeljković from National Employment Agency – Branch Office Zaječar. Mr. Nedeljković presented financing opportunities for start-up business offered by National Employment Agency. Second discussion session was hosted by Boban Kostadinović from Regional Agency for Development of Eastern Serbia. Young entrepreneurs were introduced to various start-up businesses programs offered by institutions from Serbia and the Region.

The second day of Conference was opened by our colleague Nenad Stojanović from civil society organization Proaktiv from Niš. Mr. Stojanović introduced to Youth entrepreneurs the idea of Business Incubator Center for Creative Industries, opened by his organization in Niš in 2013. The Business Incubator Center currently has 15 users, Youth entrepreneurs. The incubator provides them je office space, as well as assistance of law and economic experts. Goran Radisavljević, Executive Director of Timok Youth Center, also gave a lecture on creative industries and their support in startup of business. Final lecture at the Conference was held by Vladimir Stanković, known as Deda Bor (Grandpa Bor) on Internet – professional blogger, HR manager, and is safe to say truly an Internet professional. Mr. Stanković’s lecture was on the subject of Internet as a self-employment and promotion service. The participants were also advised in proper use of blog sites and social networks, as well as suitability of individual social networks for business management and development.

After the completion of the official part of the Conference, the guests from Bulgaria went on a tourist tour of Zaječar and its surroundings. Young people from Bulgaria visited among others The Public Museum in Zaječar and the late ancient historical site of Felix Romuliana. We would like to use this opportunity to express our gratitude to management and the custodians of Public Museum in Zaječar for a wonderful hospitality.

Leading partner on “Youth Career Development, Employment, Entrepreneurship Networking and Transfer” project is “Kauzi” Foundation from Sophia. Second partner organization is Bulgarian National Association of Small and Medium Businesses.

The Project is co-funded by EU trough the Bulgaria–Serbia IPA Cross-border Programme, №: CCI No 2007CB16IPO006. The Project is co-funded by The Ministry of Youth and Sport of Republic of Serbia.