Articles - BIP Serbia

With the right contacts in the right markets, Serbia has a great potential to export considerable quantities of quality honey.

HOnning Central visit Serbia

Visit to lay foundation for increased, long term exports of quality Serbian honey

In 2013, based solely on the strength of the reputation and network of contacts that the Norwegian company Business Innovation Programs (BIP) has in Norway and Serbia, an initial 120 tons of good quality honey were successfully exported from Serbia to Norway in 2012. This has given all parties involved a taste for more.

In order that further development of honey exports can be as effective and efficient as possible, BIP deemed it desirable that the Serbian honey producers be able to work directly with the importers, i.e. the Norwegian “Honning Central”, without BIP acting as an intermediary. Therefore, to build upon the successful initial 120 tons of honey exported to Norway, BIP took the initiative to lay the foundation to increase long term, sustainable exports of honey from Serbia by arranging to transfer their reputation and high standing in Serbia to key representatives from the Norwegian “Honning Central". In this connection, BIP arranged and coordinated a series of high level introductions and meetings in February 2013 in Serbia in order to take full advantage of the coming season.

For more information, click here for the full report (PDF).

Entrepreneurship scores high at elementary level

When the evaluation results for BIP’s newest course were counted, on a ranking of 1 to 6 where 6 is best, the overall result was an impressive 5.81 and for the instructors an amazing 5.92!

The background for the new course was the South Eastern Europe Center for Entrepreneurial Learning (SEECEL) had started the implementation of a pilot project “Entrepreneurial Learning – a Key Competence Approach” in elementary schools in 8 countries. The project started at the beginning of the 2011/2012 school year. It included four elementary schools from Serbia, all from Belgrade.

Business Innovation Program was asked by the Serbian schools to provide teacher training for them. The training needed to be specially created for the elementary education level since BIP so far had not worked with elementary schools. The basis used was the existing BIP training for Business Plan Development that had so far only been implemented in secondary schools. This time the teachers worked in groups on so-called Project Plan Development. Besides working on Project Ideas, teachers also worked on entrepreneurial ideas that were related to the subjects that they teach and that could be partly implemented at the classes. Since the schools were divided into groups of subjects that the participants teach, there were four groups: science, social sciences, crafts and languages. The groups delivered some great ideas for interdisciplinary project work with students.

The training lasted for three days and it involved 22 participants: 19 teachers in higher lever, two teachers in lower level, and one principal. The participants also took the opportunity to exchange their previous experience from the SEECEL’s project and ideas for future after the Project ends.

Four Regional Fairs all over Serbia

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway in Serbia, Mr. Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg opened the Fair in Leskovac

As the final activities of the Project for the 2011/2012 school year for the Student Enterprise program in Serbia, four regional fairs were held in the second half of April. The first took place at the Electro-technical School Nikola Tesla in Belgrade, the second at Gymnasium in Sid, the third at the Second Gymnasium in Kragujevac and forth at the Business College in Leskovac. In this school year 56 schools were involved in the Program with 182 student companies that presented their business ideas at the fairs. The Fairs gathered in total about 880 students and 90 teachers/mentors.

At the fairs were representatives from local communities, representatives from the Ministry of Education and Science, many visitors, students and teachers. The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway in Serbia, Mr. Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg opened the Fair in Leskovac. At the Belgrade fair, the first secretary of the Embassy in Belgrade Mr. Roger Jorgensen addressed the students at the opening ceremony.

First secretary of the Embassy in Belgrade Mr. Roger Jorgensen at the Belgrade Fair.

At each fair the student companies competed for prizes in three categories: Best business plan, Best stand, logo and presentation and Best product or service. The best overall student company from each fair is invited to participate at the International Summer Camp. This year Summer Camp is going to take place from 16th to 21st June at Sutomore in Montenegro. The winning companies were:

  • “Bio energy corporation” from Secondary School of Tourism in Belgrade
  • “AE Motors” from Electro-technical school Mihailo Pupin in Novi Sad
  • “Cajetinka” from Secondary School of Tourism in Cajetina
  • “Whey product” from Technological school in Paracin

Student Fair in Sid

The second Regional Student Enterprise Fair was held on 19th April 2012 in Gymnasium “Sava Šumanovię” in City of SŠid . The Fair gathered close to 200 students and 14 teachers from 7 secondary schools from Subotica, Novi Sad, Novi Becej, Sabac, Bogatic and Sid. 36 student enterprises exhibited and sold their products and services, and competed for prizes.

Program Manager of BIP, Mr. Bjoern Reite and Principal of Gymnasium, Mr. Dejan Pribicevic, addressed the students, teachers and guests and carried out the official opening of the fair.

The student companies competed for prizes in 3 categories: Best Business Plan, Best Stand/Logo/Image and Best/Most Innovative Product/Service. One company with the highest score totally in all 3 categories was awarded the prize as the Best Overall Companies and invited to The 6th International SE Summer Camp in Sutomore 16-21 June 2012.

The winners were:

Category: Best Business Plan

1. AE MOTORS, Electrotechnical School “Mihajlo Pupin”, Novi Sad
business idea: Authorized car service for Opel vehicles

2. ˇENSKE PRIČE, Gymnasium „Sava Šumanovię“, ŠSid
business idea: Production of unique and handmade boxes, bags and greeting cards

3. MAČVANSKI MLEKAR, Macva Secondary School, Bogatię
business idea: Traditional production of cheese and cream

Category: Best Product / Service

1. GUMABEL, Electrotechnical School “Mihajlo Pupin”, Novi Sad
business idea: Production of special rubber cloth for winter tires

2. NUNU BOT, Electrotechnical School “Mihajlo Pupin”, Novi Sad
business idea: Programming of Programmable Logical Controllers(PLC)

3. FUNNY ECO ART, Gymnasium „Sava Šumanovię“, ŠSid
business idea: Production and Sale of decorative, applicable and artistic items

Category: Best Stand / Logo / Presentation

1. EKO BOCA, Gymnasium „Sava Šumanovię“, SŠid
business idea: Production of paper bottles

2. NEXUS ELECTRONICS, Technical School „Ivan Sarię“, Subotica
business idea: Service, installation and sale of computer equipment and video games accessories

3. HOT FOOT, Electrotechnical School “Mihajlo Pupin”, Novi Sad
business idea: Production of foot splint with heater installed

Best Overall Student Enterprise on the Fair:

AE MOTORS, Electrotechnical School “Mihajlo Pupin”, Novi Sad ( 5 male students + 1 female teacher )

SE Program goes to a new level at High Business School (HBS) in Leskovac

A Presentation of SE Program took place in HBS in Leskovac on 31st of January. The School was visited by representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway Mrs. Jannicke Bein, accompanied by the General Manager of BIP Mr. Jon Steinar Ostgard and a representative of the International Management Group (IMG) Mr. Torgeir Hannas. The aim of the visit was to get a closer look at the activities going on in HBS, where the new building was largely funded by the Kingdom of Norway.

During the meeting with the principal, teachers and students of the school, future plans and ongoing activities, namely the Student Enterprise Program, were presented. Principal of the School, Mr. Zika Stojanovic, gave a retrospective view on recent developments and future plans. HBS has recently become part of the SE Program, and is the first high education institution to introduce practical education on how to start up a business using the learning-by-doing method. Students at the school have already estabished 7 student companies, and their business ideas were presented during the visit. Srdjan Mladenovic, Coordinator of SE Program, gave a presentation on the goals and the present status of the Program.

A special presentation was made by Mrs. Olivera Jovic, president of the Association of Private Entrepreneurs. She introduced the audience to the activities of the Association, and emphasized the need for a network connecting education institutions and the world of business. This was theme for a signature of Memorandum of Understanding between HBS, BIP and the Association of Private Entrepreneurs on future cooperation regarding the SE Program in the School. The main aim of the cooperation is to form strong ties between local companies and student companies through mentoring, internship, and other forms of support.

Signing the Memorandum of Understanding

Training Seminars for teachers in Student Enterprise Program

Business Innovation Programs arranged two three-day seminars for new teachers in the Student Enterprises Program in Serbia in December 2011. Altogether 33 teachers from 20 vocational schools and gymnasiums participated.

Since entrepreneurial activities already exist in these schools, the purpose of the seminars was to improve the proficiencies of teachers involved in the Program. Part of the training focused on theory, and a part on creative team work. The teachers were divided into groups and worked on development of business plans. Throughout the training the main emphasis was on market research and the importance of understanding customer needs. By focusing on the needs of their target group, students will not just be ready to develop their business plans, but also be very well prepared for their presentations at the Regional Fairs. The training is also an important opportunity for teachers to exchange experiences and to gather useful information that will help them in mentoring their students.

The trainings were, as previously, authorized by the Serbian Institute for Enhancement in Education. They took place in Nis, at Regional Centre for Professional Development of People Working in Education.

Teachers from 30 schools trained in Entrepreneurship

In close cooperation with Serbian Ministry of Education and Science, Business Innovation Programs (BIP)  organized three days of training for 57 teachers from 30 vocational schools from Serbia during May 2011. The subject of the training was “the Development of student enterprises in secondary vocational schools” and the training module, which is approved by Serbian Institute of Enhancement in Education, gives additional accreditation to participating teachers.  Along with the teachers, one representative from the Serbian Ministry of Education and Science and one of  BIP’s new coordinators participated at the training.

All the schools were selected by the Serbian Ministry of Education and Science. These schools are now invited to take part in BIP’s Student Enterprise (SE) Program.  The main criterion for their selection was the fact that in these schools the subject of Entrepreneurship is already included in the regular curricula. In accordance with approved teaching plans for vocational schools in Sebia, the subject Entrepreneurship will be part of the curricula for the fourth grade. The teachers that participated in the training will teach Entrepreneurship in the school year 2011/2012.

The trainings continue to incorporate BIP’s practice of engaging the best teachers from the SE Program as trainers of new teachers, i.e., the teachers selected to take part as trainers have been implementing the SE Program for several years and have a lot of experience in teaching Entrepreneurship as a subject in their own schools. All three training sessions took place in Nis at the Regional Center for the Professional Development of People Working in Education. There were four trainers at every training session:  One member from BIP’s management, one of BIP’s Serbian coordinators and the two experienced teachers from BIP’s Student Enterprise Program in Serbia.

The aim of the trainings is to  give necessary theoretical and practical knowledge to the teachers for teaching Entrepreneurship as a curricular activity. The 3-day training session was also used for professional  discussions with and between teachers. At the end of the trainings each teacher received support  materials useful for their future teaching in the subject of  Entrepreneurship.

Training the Trainers

Cooperation with DANIDA (Danish International Development Agency) FRUITS & BERRIES project in South-East Serbia

As part of the Fruits & Berries Project, BIP conducted training in "Business Plan Development" for future trainers from the region in Nis from July 4th to 7th  2011.

The Fruts & Berries Project is an initiative run by DANIDA aimed at the economic empowerment of farmers in South and Southeast Serbia. The project is primarily targeted at producers of fruits and berries. Amongst other things, the project provides financial support to individual producers in the form of grants. In order to assure the sustainability of the grant program, BIP was hired to give necessary theoretical and practical training to the local consultants who will train the producers in future. The training in Nis brought together 25 consultants from most cities in region.

BIP's involvement does not end with this initial training. In order to become certified as BIP trainers the consultants need to complete three separate trainings. During the first round, BIP personnel were present at every session, supporting the trainers and ensuring the highest possible quality.

Laptops donated to schools in Serbia.

Telenor Foundation makes valuable contribution for third year in succession.

The Telenor Foundation has donated five laptops, to the Norwegian organization Business Innovation Programs (BIP), every year since 2007. The laptops they donate are given to and used at the Cross Borders Summer Camps that BIP organizes every year in June for the Best Overall Student Enterprise Companies from Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo and Norway. The attending students use the laptops for the tasks and group work they are assigned to complete during the Summer Camps.

Each year, when Summer Camp has ended, BIP - in cooperation with the Telenor Foundation - in turn donates all the laptops to secondary schools that have participated in the Student Enterprise Program in Serbia.

This year, each of the following schools received a laptop:

  1. Economic school, Kragujevac
  2. School of technology, Paracin
  3. Tourism and trade school “Toza Dragovic”, Kragujevac
  4. Secondary school “Kralj Petar I”, Topola
  5. Secondary crafting school, Belgrade

The criteria for selection of the schools is based on their conditions for work and school’s approach and involvement on SE Program.

The laptops were handed over to the recipients on 1st November 2010 at the Telenor Company in Belgrade. Present were principals, teachers and students from all five schools, coordinators of the SE Program in Serbia and General Manager of BIP, Mr. Jon Steinar Ostgard.

Proven concept: 8 years old in 2010 and still going strong

Close to 500 students from 19 secondary schools in Belgrade compete for annual awards...

The 8th annual Student Enterprise Fair for schools in the Belgrade area was held on 2nd December 2010 once again as part of the Belgrade Business Base Fair. The Student Enterprise Fair gathered close to 500 students from 19 secondary schools in Belgrade and surrounding areas.  Altogether 90 student enterprises each promoted their products and services, and competed for prizes.  Director of the National Agency for Regional Development, Mr. Ivica Ezdenci, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway, Mr. Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg  and the General Manager of Business Innovation Programs (BIP), Mr. Jon Steinar Østgård, officially opened the fair and addressed the students and their teachers.

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway, Mr. Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg opened the Student Fair

The student companies competed for prizes in three categories:  Best Business Plan, Best Stand/Logo/Presentation and Best/Most Innovative Product/Service.  The two companies with the highest aggregate score in all 3 categories, Dream Electronics and Innovation Works, were awarded the prize as the Best Overall Companies.

More than 500 students show their capabilities in Kragujevac.

95 Student Enterprises compete for prestige and prizes.

The fifth annual Regional Student Enterprise Fair took place at Sumadija Sajam in Kragujevac on 26th November 2010. The Fair gathered more than 500 students and teachers from Kragujevac, Raca, Jagodina, Knic and Paracin to promote their product and services, meet colleagues from others schools, and get to know their market competition.

The Fair was addressed by representatives from the Ministry of Youth and Sport, the National Agency for Regional Development and the City of Kragujevac. The General Manager of Business Innovation Programs (BIP), Mr. Jon Steinar Ostgard, opened the Fair and introduced the visitors to the SE concept in Serbian schools.

Mr. Jon Steinar Ostgard, opened the Fair

Participating at the Fair were students from 11 secondary schools and gymnasiums from Sumadija and Pomoravlje region, who represented an amazing 95 different Student Enterprises that competed in three categories: best business plan, best stand/presentation/logo and best/most innovative product/service. The two best companies overall were “Dodir prirode” from the School of Technology from in Paracin, and “ArtInk” from the Economic School in Kragujevac .

Speeding up in Serbia

Vladimir Sic from Sic Engines visiting sports car producer Koenigsegg Automotive AB in Sweden.

Under the auspices the Ministry of Commerce and Regional Development and of the Ministry of Youth and Sport, BIP has, over the past 12 months, put in to place and overseen the start-up of a successful system for ensuring the development of youth entrepreneurship in Serbia based on a down-to-earth, practical, real-world approach.

The system is grounded in extensive international experience gained over many years as to what is key to spur young people to take charge of their own destiny and start and develop their own business ventures. Central to the BIP concept is the de-mystifying of drawing up a Business Plan – the most important tool required not only to manage the venture, but also the one required by every institution, agency and potential partner any venture will meet – and the building of self-confidence and resilience so that goals set can be achieved.

Participants of the program visiting Norway meet with representatives from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The development of youth entrepreneurship in Serbia needs to have its own momentum, and BIP has put in to place a system of parallel training of trainers and business candidates. By the spring of 2010 the system had not only completed certification of 22 consultants from 12 agencies, but also put 746 young people through the system’s well designed 3-level business training for beginners. The immediate outcome was an impressive 126 start-ups being established – a number expected to grow as ideas and ambitions spawned in the business training mature.

Encouragement, experience and competition are three ingredients needed for the development of youth entrepreneurship in Serbia. As such a number of fairs, events and awards have been put in to place to accelerate the process.

In this connection four of the best projects had won themselves, stage by stage, through to a four-day study trip to Norway (and just across the Norwegian border in Sweden for Vladimir Sic) in May 2010. Each of the participants were able to learn from and enjoy tailor made individual programs that exposed them and their plans and ideas to long standing, experienced and renowned people and businesses in related fields. All of the participants reported that they gained valuable insights both at business and personal levels, and a boost to help propel them towards their goals.

Vladica Deljanin - Handcrafted Musical Instruments:

Vladica Delajnin
Discussions on the finer points of building better guitars between Vladica Delajnin and Øivin Fjeld, General Manager of "G sharp instruments AS" in Fredrikstad, Norway.

Ana Pecic - Packaging Design:

Ana Pecic
Graphic Designer Ana Pecic and Consultant Sonja Jevremovic meeting with Kristin Gjelsten from Nordic Pack AS in Moss, Norway.

Vladimir Sic - Sic Engines:

Vladimir Sic
Vladimir Sic in discussions with Koenigsegg Automotive engineers at the Ängelholm sports car factory in Sweden.

Student Enterprise Fair in Kragujevac, 23rd April 2010

The Fair is part of the project "Student Enterprises in secondary vocational schools" which was started in April last year. The project uses the methodology of Business Innovation Programs, and is supported by the National Agency for Regional Development in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, with funding from local governments.

78 student companies from 15 secondary vocational schools in Subotica, Kikinda, Ruma, Pancevo, Belgrade, Žagubica, Nis, Bojnik Vladicin Han presented their business concepts at the Fair.

Opening the fair, Snezana Samardzic-Markovic, Minister of Youth and Sports pointed out that the backbone of economic development of Serbia will come from supporting young people to create their own sustainable enterprises.

Secretary for Regional Development in Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, Dragijana Radonjic-Petrovic said the fair encourages creativity among young people and introduces them to the life that awaits them.

In the category for best business plan, the awards went to:
1st Life - Horticonsulting, the Agricultural School, Belgrade (production of use-cases for exterior and interior of the material intended for recycling)
2nd Light in the dark, Polytechnical School, Subotica (production of decorative lamps)
3rd "Homolje beauty, Technical school, Žagubica (making clothes and decorative objects)

In the category for best product / service, the awards went to:
1st CNC USE, Mechanical and Electrotechnical School, Paracin (graphics processing material with CNC machine)
2nd Multimedia Technologies, ETS "Rade Koncar" Beograd (production and processing of multimedia content)
3rd Hinco Electronic, ETS "Nikola Tesla", Pancevo (production of universal car charger)

In the category of best stand / image / logo, the awards went to:
1st Pet smizli, Technical School “Krstic Bosko”, Bojnik (production and sale of flowers)
2nd Master Fishing, Agricultural School “PK Belgrade” (production of fishing equipment)
3rd Kika," Economic and trade school”, Kikinda (production of souvenirs)

The prize for Best Overall Student Enterprise - participation in the Fourth International Summer Camp of student entrepreneurship - went to Life - Horticonsulting.

Business Growth Program Pre-training in Kragujevac

Kragujevac, April 12th – Norwegian non-profit organization Business Innovation Programs has started implementing the Business Growth Program in the region of Western Balkans.  The pilot project for implementation of Growth Program started with a pre-training for the consultants which took place in Hotel “Kragujevac” , Kragujevac from 6th to 10th of April. It included 16 consultants from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia.

Business Growth Program aims to help development of existing SME’s in Serbia and B&H through consulting services and creation of a business network, which will enable the cooperation and information exchange. The training was designed to introduce BIP’s BGP method to the consultant who will implement in the field during 2010, in the regions of Kragujevac and Pozega in Serbia, and Herzegovina and Prijedor in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Student Enterprise Fair in Belgrade gathered close to 400 students

The seventh Student Enterprise Fair for Belgrade area was arranged 26 November 2009 in Belgrade Fair together with the yearly Business Base Fair. This year's Student Enterprise Fair gathered close to 400 students from 18 secondary schools in Belgrade and surrounding areas. 77 student enterprises exhibited and sold their products and services, and competed for prizes.  Minister for Economy and Regional Development, Mr. Mladjan Dinkic, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway, Mr. Haakon Blankenborg, State Secretary in the Ministry for Youth and Sport, Mrs. Ivana Kovacevic and Telenor Executive Director of Human Resources and Organization, Mrs. Jelena Sutic, addressed the students and their teachers while General Manager of BIP, Mr. Jon Steinar Ostgard, carried out the official opening of the fair.

The student companies competed for prizes in 3 categories:  Best Business Plan, Best Stand/Logo/Image and Best/Most Innovative Product/Service.  The 2 companies with the highest score totally in all 3 categories were awarded the prize as the Best Overall Companies – a Telenor Foundation sponsored participation in BIPs yearly International Summer Camp in Sutomore in June 2010.

Best Overall Student Enterprise on the Fair:
1. NTA Tehnics, Belgrade

106 students companies compete at Kragujevac
Student Enterprise Fair

The 4th Regional Student Enterprise Fair took place on 20th November 2009, at Sumadija Sajam in Kragujevac. More than 500 students and 106 student companies from Pozega, Gornji Milanovac, Kraljevo, Knic, Raca, Paracin, Jagodina and Kragujevac presented their products and services at the Fair.

The Fair is the final part of the “Student Enterprise” Program run in secondary schools in Serbia by Norwegian non-profit foundation Business Innovation Programs. The Program is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The opening ceremony was attended by representatives of the Serbian Ministry of Youth and Sport and the Ministry, the Serbian Agency for SME Development, the Municipality of Kragujevac and by many guests from all over the country. The fair was officially opened by Mirjana Arsic from the Ministry of Youth and Sport.

During the Fair students exhibited their products and competed for prizes in three categories: the best business plan, the best stand/profile/logo and the best/most innovative product/service. Students companies were given awards for the first three places in each category. The main prize and overall award is participation at the next annual BIP Cross Borders International Summer Camp in Sutomore that gathers winners from all the regional fairs in Serbia , Bosnia & Herzegovina , Montenegro and Norway . This coveted prize goes to the two best companies overall.

Two best companies at 4th Regional Student Enterprise Fair were Choco@mail from the Trade and Tourism School “Toza Dragovic” in Kragujevac, and Biokosan, from the School of Technology in Paracin.

Successful Youth Entrepreurship scheme set to grow even more

Following three intensive courses of "train-the-trainer" training throughout the year, 24 new local consultants from 13 regional centers were certified at the end of 2009 to undertake training and development of the already popular and successful Student Enterprise Program in Serbia.

In November three regional exhibitions were held for everyone who had participated on the courses and/or started a student enterprise:

  • November 2nd - Zrenjanin
  • November 18th - Nis
  • November 20th - Kragujuvac

In addition the best from all the local regional exhibition particpate at the central exhibition in Belgrade which takes place from 26th - 28th November.

From Nis:

From the Youth Enterprise Fair in Belgrade:

600 students participate in Kragujevac

State Secretary Ivana Kovacevic held the opening address for students from 19 schools.

The third Regional Student Enterprise Fair took place on 5th December 2008 in Kragujevac. The event gathered around 600 students from 19 central Serbian secondary schools. There were 112 student enterprises participating, exhibiting and selling their products and services, and competing for prizes. The winners were awarded prizes in three categories; best business plan, best product/service, and best stand.

Members of overall best student enterprise received a special award sponsored by the Telenor Foundation, an invitation to participate at the BIP SE Summer Camp in Sutomore in June 2009.

In addition to the student enterprises, two of BIP’s partners: the Serbian Agency for SME and the Entrepreneurship Development and Business Start-up Center had stands at the Fair.

The Fair was opened by the General Manager of BIP Jon Steinar Ostgard, and the students were addressed by Ivana Kovacevic, State Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Siri Andersen, representative of Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, and Branko Krsmanovic, member of Kragujevac of City Council for Youth and Sports.

400 students participate in Belgrade

Mladan Dinkic, Minister for Economy and Regional Development held the opening address for students from 16 schools.

The 6th Student Enterprise Fair for the Belgrade area took place on November 28th, 2008.  The Fair was held concurrently with the annual Business Base Fair. The event gathered close to 400 students from 16 secondary schools in Belgrade and the surrounding areas.

There were 73 student enterprises participating, exhibiting and selling their products and services, and competing for prizes. The winners were awarded prizes in three categories; best business plan, best product/service, and best stand. Members of overall best student enterprise received a special award sponsored by the Telenor Foundation, an invitation to participate at the BIP SE Summer Camp in Sutomore in June 2009.

The Fair was opened by the General Manager of BIP Jon Steinar Ostgard, and the students were addressed by Mr. Mladan Dinkic, Minister for Economy and Regional Development, Mrs. Snezana Samardic Markovic, Minister for Youth and Sport, and Mr. Christopher Laska, Telenor Chief Corporate Officer.

Another BIP Data Center opens

Another BIP Data Center was officially opened on October 16th, 2008. This time in Prokuplje and inside the Business Incubator Center already established there.

The official opening was undertaken by Mr. Srdjan Jordacijevic, Head of Toplica Administrative District, together with Mr. Aleksander Jelic, Manager of the Incubator Center .

One of the main purposes of the new Data Center is to facilitate training of students engaged on the Student Enterprise program. The first batch of 48 such students will study to take their European Computer Driving License at the new center. In addition the Incubator Center will use the Data Center facilities in connection with computer training for around 100 people from 14 local companies. Subsequently the Data Center will be available for different types of computer training for different types of businesses in the area.

The project has been conducted in close cooperation with Svetislav Budic, head of the Local Economic Development Office in Prokuplje. By way of interest, in regard to other fields, the local municipality of Prokuplje has collaboration with Hemnes municipality in Norway .

Student Entrepreneurship (SE) Fairs in Serbia

Belgrade, 28th of November 2007.

SE Fair in Belgrade was officially opened by Mlađen Dinkić , Serbia Minister of Economy

As the part of the International Entrepreneurship Fair Serbia, Business Innovation Programs (BIP) Serbia organized 5th regional SE Fairs, as the conclusion of the BIP SE activities for the school year 2006/2007. Fairs were organized together by the BIP Norway, BIP Office Belgrade and Regional SME Development Center, Belgrade.

Belgrade regional SE Fair welcomed 69 students’ companies and 300 students from Velika Plana, Smederevska Palanka, Smederevo, Lazarevac and Belgrade.

SE Fair was officially opened by Mlađen Dinkić , Serbia Minister of Economy and Jon Steiner Ostgard, BIP General Manager.

Four different categories were assessed: 1) the best business plan; 2) the most innovative product/service; 3) the best stand/logo/image, and; 4) the best multimedia presentation.

The wining companies from the first 3 categories will participate at the Summer Camp in Sutomore, Montenegro, from 21st to 26th of June 2007, along with the other winning companies from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Norway.

Within those categories students presented variety of different products: modern uniforms for stewardess, wooden package for vine bottles, tourist services, decoration service and water fountains, cakes and sweets, etc.

Nevertheless, the following companies were announced as winners:

  1. The best business plan: Company “Source” from TTPS school Despot Djuradj, Smederevo;
  2. The most innovative product/service: Company “Smilley” from Aviation Academy of Belgrade;
  3. The best stand/logo/image: Company “Fantastic” from the Trade-economy school from Smederevo.
  4. The best multimedia presentation: Company “Hopala bre” form Aviation Academy of Belgrade.

The prizes for the 1st places in all mentioned categories were provided by BIP Norway and Telenor Foundation.

Kragujevac, 3rd December 2007.

510 students from 130 student companies gathered in Kragujevac at SE Fair opened by Serbia Minister of Youth and Sport, Snježana Marković.

Second Student Entrepreneurship Fair for the Šumadija region was organized in Kragujevac for the 130 student companies and 510 students coming from Kraljevo, Gornji Milanovac, Pača, Knice, Batočina, Aranđelovac and Kragujevac.

The Fair was officially opened by the Norwegian Ambassador in Serbia , Haakon Blankenborg , Serbia Minister of Youth and Sport, Snježana Marković and BIP general manager Jon Steiner Ostgard.

Kragujevac Fair offered large assortment of different services and products. Some of them were: blind-walker; tourist services; organization of parties; computer presentation of the school syllabus; electro-components; student guidance services, and many others.

According to the Fair jury the following companies won the 1st prizes:

  1. The best business plan: Company “BE IN”, with the production of school uniforms, from Tourist-catering school Toza Dragovic, Kragujevac;
  2. The most innovative product/service: Company “Strong”, for the organization of the sport activities for the students with special needs, from Tourist-catering school Toza Dragovic, Kragujevac;
  3. The best stand/logo/image: Company “Jam Jam”, for the production of jams and sweets, from Tourist-catering school Toza Dragovic, Kragujevac.
  4. The best multimedia presentation: Company “Happy day ”, with the organization of creative parties with development-educative games, from Secondary school Jagodina.

BIP Norway provided the prizes for the all wining companies including the costs related to the participation at the Summer Camp.

Cooperation between the Vinca Institute in Serbia and BIP

The Vinca Institute is located on the outskirts of Belgrade. Currently, the institute has about 800 researchers and employees. The Institute was founded in 1948 as the Institute for Physics. By 1953 it had already become a recognized nuclear science research centre. Since then, owing to changed priorities from the Government, the activities have been replaced by research and development related to the country’s industrial development. The research areas in focus today are physics, chemistry, biology, radiation protection, energy and nuclear technologies, electronics and computer engineering and materials.

At the Business Base Fair in Belgrade in November 2006, BIP was approached by Dr. Dusan M. Kicevic, deputy director of the Vinca Institute. He expressed interest in cooperation on the development of business ideas within the Institute. A dialog between BIP and the Institute was established. This process resulted in Dr. Kicevic`s participation at a BIP Entrepreneur Training for teachers in Serbia. The idea was that if everything was according to his expectations, this training should be arranged at the Institute.

Dr. Kicevic’s expectations were met and training was carried out at the Institute from the 4th to the 13th of March 2007. The aim of the training was:
- To provide a theoretical fundament for working effectively with business planning.
- To develop business plans relevant to future strategy of Vinca or business plans already suggested by employees at Vinca.
- To train some dedicated participants from Vinca so they can take over and operate the concept of Business Planning in cooperation with BIP.

17 representatives from all research areas at the Institute participated in the training. They evaluated the training as being highly relevant and gave a average score of 5.4 on a scale from one to six.

As a result of the training and the evaluation, the Institute and BIP entered discussions regarding further development of the cooperation and signed an agreement focussing on two areas: The first is to expand the business development training to university students. The second is to focus on development of business ideas within the Institute and to offer similar training to other research institutes in the country.

Student exchanges

Following a preparatory visit in August, 8 students and 5 teachers from Raufoss in Norway visited Serbia for 5 days in November. Besides visiting cultural sites, everyone was engaged in joint activities with Serbian students from the Secondary Vocational School and ETS Nicola Tesla. Students and teachers from both countries expressed then that this kind of exchange should be arranged on a regular basis.

Business Plan Development Training in Lazarevac

The town of Lazarevac is one of 16 municipalities in Serbia where Student Enterprise (SE) Program will be carried out in 2007, involving almost 800 students and more than 50 teachers. The Program is expanding at high pace, and new schools are expressing their interest to enter.

In this connection, training was organized by the Municipality of Lazarevac and Regional Center for SME in Belgrade and carried out by BIP at the “Kolubara” Secondary school from 5 – 9 March. The aim was to train the teachers and SME consultants from Lazarevac in Business Plan Development, so that the SE Program may be successfully implemented in “Kolubara” Secondary School.

The participants, 13 teachers from the “Kolubara” Secondary School and employees of the Regional Sub Center in Lazarevac, were introduced to the concept of Student Enterprises and the BIP method of Business Plan Development. It was also an opportunity to promote Student Enterprises and inform the participants on the results and perspectives of the Program.

The five days of intensive training were led by BIP facilitators Marko Martic and Srdjan Mladenovic.

Belgrade 4th Student Enterprise Fair draws over 750

December 15th 2006: 250 students representing 47 student companies from Serbia and 3 from Croatia gathered together with over 500 guests at the 4th Belgrade Student Enterprise Fair. The opening speeches were held by Mr. Hans Ola Urstad, Head of the OSCE Mission in Serbia, Mr. Vekislav Janicijevic, State Secretary within the Ministry of Education and Sports, and Mr. Jon Steinar Ostgard, General Manager of Business Innovation Programs.

This year the number of competition categories was increased to six, and awards were made for the best business plan, the best web page or multi-media presentation, the most innovative product or service, the best presentation from the stage, the best stand/image/profile, as well as the public’s special award.

“Strawberry”, with their teaching aids, was announced as the overall winner and that gave them the prize of a trip to Norway to the Norwegian Regional Young Enterprise Fair in Ostfold.

New Computer Centre opens in Kragujevac

A new Computer Centre is opened in Kragujevac as part of Student Entrepreneurship Program

Kragujevac, June 23rd – Norweigan non-profit organization BIP (Business Innovation Programs), in partnership with the Regional Agency for Economic Development of Sumadija and Pomoravlje – REDASP, has been implementing the Student Entrepreneurship Program.

The Program includes training of students in starting, developing and realization of a small business and is offered as one of the activities in schools which are participating in the Program. More than 150 students have taken part in the Program and 25 student entrepreises have been registered in Kragujevac.

The aim of the Program is give young people necessary basic knowledge and experience in business management. The students have been transffered theoretical and practical entrepreneurship knowledge through products and services development, as well as through usage of real money for needs of their entreprises

The program includes 3 vocational schools in Kragujevac at the moment, two techical and a School for turism, and more than 80 students and ten student enterprises. In adittion to this, BIP has decided that , in cooperation with REDASP, a new computer training center will be established in Kragujevac. The goal of opening a classroom equipped with such a modern computer equippment is to enable the students, participating in the Program, to aquire ECDL certificate. In adittion, students will be free to use the facilities for other purposes connected to their work within student enterprises.

At the same time, the classroom will be used for different kinds of training which will be organized by REDASP for other clients and citizens.

Focus on entrepreneurship gives results

In the project run by the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) in the municipalities of Obilic, Fushe Kosova and Glogovac in Kosovo, Business Innovation Programs is responsible for training local staff in counselling business start ups and local SME’s, as well as giving student enterprise training in the secondary schools and support to Business Centres established in the participating municipalities.

Three Business Centres are now fully operational and provide services such as individual counselling to local business and farmers, arranging local fairs, business plan development training and other business sector specific training and networking. The Business Centre premises will be enlarged during the summer to include space for computer centres that offer basic training programs and provide access to the Internet, primarily for individuals, businesses and municipalities participating in the project.

The Student Enterprise Program is implemented in four schools where 8 teachers are involved in training 32 student enterprises with an average of four students per enterprise. A visit to two of the schools in June, documented enthusiasm and motivation from both teachers and students involved. The business ideas presented showed creativity and varied from services to innovative products. All the efforts will be evaluated at a local fair in the municipality of Fushe Kosova in November 2006 when all 32 student enterprises and their products will be presented. The winner will be invited to participate at the national student enterprise fair in Norway in 2007.

Serbian Student Enterprises won trip to Norway

BIP implemented the subject Student Enterprises at six schools in Serbia in 2003. In 2005, there were 146 students with 39 enterprises competing for the title of “Best Student Enterprise in Serbia ”. The winner was LoBoKo and its team of three boys from the Peter Drapsin Technical School in Belgrade . Another entrant, SITAM, from the Stefan Dicanski School for young people with hearing problems, won the special public award. Both LoBoKo and SITAM won a trip to the Student Enterprise Fair held in Fredrikstad on February 7, 2006.

LoBoKo produces plaster board holders and have, in addition, developed their own tool for manufacturing the holders. There is a market for the holders as these were previously being imported from Poland at a higher cost. The Enterprise will continue as an ongoing business after the school year is ended. SITAM produces wooden kitchen utensils. One of the teachers, Zlatomir Stefanovich, says that the Serbian Government wants to stimulate entrepreneurship also amongst handicapped people.

LoBoKo and SITAM met the Croatian Student Enterprise winners, House of Music, whilst they were in Norway . Among other things they visited the Nobel Peace Center and other sites in Oslo together.

SVS Student Exchange

The Secondary Vocational School (SVS) in Belgrade and BIP cooperate together on the Student Enterprise program. In this connection 13 students and two teachers from Belgrade visited the Raufoss Secondary School in Norway in December 05. The Secondary Vocational School in Belgrade is engaged with the professional rehabilitation, up bringing and education of pupils with problems in learning and maturing. The principal Vladimir Fustic is a fountain of enthusiasm and encouragement for the students who all require special assistance with their education and development. The exchange visit to Raufoss was very successful and everyone involved is looking forward to the next exchange when students from Raufoss visit the school in Belgrade in February/March of this year.

Students and teachers exchange in Raufoss

3rd Annual Student Enterprise Fair in Serbia

Just a few days before the end of last year, on 20th December, the big day for students in Serbia took place in “Youth House” (Dom Omladine), in the center of the capital Belgrade. The fair was organized jointly by the NGO Civic Initiatives and Business Innovation Programs.

35 Student Enterprises from Serbia, 4 from Bosnia and 1 from Croatia gave their best to show how creative, clever and consistent they can be when competing for prizes in three categories - The best business idea and business plan; The best presentation/stand; and The most innovative product. In addition an award was made to the overall best Student Enterprise.

The best presentation / stand award went to SE “Different” where the students showed how to make beautiful, natural and edible table decorations and prepared delicious meals for various events

The overall best Student Enterprise and first prize for the best business plan went to SE “Z.B.K.” for their gypsum panel support system.

Adult Entrepreneurs Training Program

Following the success of similar training in 2004, BIP and their partner in Pozega, FORZA, took the initiative to repeat BIP’s Adult Entrepreneurs Training Program in December 2005. In order to attend the training, the participants first have to qualify. After the training the participants are followed up, and from the first group in 2004, 9 of the 15 participants subsequently started their own businesses.

As part of the training, to encourage participants to achieve their goals, financial grants are made available for the three best and most realistic business plans. At a small ceremony at the end of the training held in December, the three grants were awarded to Kristina Stjepanovic for her “One day chicken production”, to Radmila Popadic for “Shii-take mushroom production” and to Jelena Pavlovic for “Design and production of women’s clothes and bags”.

Jon Steinar Ostgard, General Manager, BIP and Jasminka Lukovic Jaglicic, Director of the Regional Economic Development Agency in Kragujevac after signing an agreement on cooperation in the region of Sumadija and Pomoravlje.

From the December Entrepreneur Training

From Belgrade to Lillestrøm. Student Enterprise Fair winner

The company Optimus won the first prize in the Student Enterprise fair in Belgrade March 2005. Optimus consists of four pupils at Nikola Tesla electro technical school in Belgrade. Using their technical skills they have developed a remote controlled massage device for the whole body. The first prize winners were invited to a SE fair at Lillestrøm in Norway in April. One of the boys, Hikola, got ill and could not go. For the other boys, Aleksandar, Marko and Predrag all 18 years old, it was their first trip outside the Balkans. Comparing the SE fairs in Belgrade and Lillestrøm, the boys say that the products and business ideas in Belgrade were technically orientated, while Lillestøm was focused on food products. The boys are now working hard preparing their final exams to be able to further studies at Belgrade Technical University.

BIP Optika Serbia 2005

BIP Optika Serbia & Montenegro 2005 was a project carried out in cooperation between BIP and Buskerud University College’s Institute of Optometry (Norway). Five final-year students participated in testing pupils at the Veljko Ramadanovic school for visually impaired students at Zemun in Beograd. 166 pupils in the range 6 to 22 years old were tested.The objective was to diagnose the cause of the vision impairment for everyone tested, and to provide appropriate aids with training in its use where necessary.

Iriscolobom diagnosed in 18 year old girl.

Best Student Enterprise in 2004

The second Student Enterprise Fair and the conference “Youth Entrepreneurship As National Interest” took place in Belgrade on 16th of March 2005.

152 students, organized in more than 40 student companies from 9 schools, participated at the fair. There were also 2 student companies from Croatia that participated. Exhibiting companies competed for awards in three categories – ‘Best Stand/Presentation’, ‘Most Innovative Product’ and ‘Best Business Idea’.

The main prize for ‘Overall Best Company’ in school year 2004/2005, was awarded to the company “Optimus” from the Nikola Tesla school in Belgrade. The four members of “Optimus” won a trip to Norway and visited Oslo and the Norwegian National Young Enterprises Fair in April 2005.

At the same time the “Youth Entrepreneurship as National Interest” conference also took place. The conference was opened by speeches from the Deputy Minister for Education, the National Manager of the EU VET program, Executive Managers of the Procredit Bank and Business Innovation Programs, along with teachers' representatives involved in the program. The conference was also attended by a large number of teachers, experts in the field of educational system reform, representatives of the business sector, and representatives of institutions dealing with employment and the national labour market.

The goal of the conference was to provide direction for further development of youth entrepreneurship in Serbia through discussions and examples from national and international sources. The focus was on the potential benefits that the business sector, public institutions and the country in general can gain from youth education and entrepreneurship.

Self development initiatives

What could I do for myself? Start my own business!

“I think the Student Enterprise (SE) concept and Entrepreneur training programs cover a need and have a great potential in Serbia” says Milos Stevanovic on his visit to Norway in October 04. Milos is the link between BIP and Civic Initiatives, BIP’s main partner in Serbia and Montenegro. “The programs are action orientated” he continues, they could be an answer to the question “what can I do for myself?” In a country where the unemployment rate varies between 20 and 30% there is a need for self development initiatives. The Student Enterprise Program is implemented in secondary schools in the citiy of Belgrade. There are plans to extend the program to Kragujevac, and also to include technical faculties. BIP will cooperate with Askim videregående skole in Norway to adapt the SE program for students with special needs like physical handicaps and concentration problems. Milos Stevanovic says that the interest from students, teachers and parents is enormous. When it comes to adult entrepreneur training, BIP has local partners in Subotica, Pozega and Kargujevac. BIP’s general manager, Jon Steinar Ostgård, is stressing the importance of having solid and well accepted local implementing partners in such programs.

Female entrepreneurs trained in Serbia

BIP’s course in how to start a business met with enormous interest from women in Vojvodina in Serbia. 82 women submitted 95 business ideas for evaluation. Of these 32 were considered realistic and chosen for further development during the course. The final business plans that were awarded prizes included a home bakery, a dairy, a gallery, production of PR materials, textile design and the production of canned mushrooms. BIP will continue with Adult Entrepreneur Training courses both in Serbia and Croatia.

First Student Enterprises Fair in Serbia

On April 23rd, 2004 the first Student Enterprise Fair was held and organised by Business Innovation Programs of Norway together with the Civic Initiative in Serbia. The Fair was officially opened by the Norwegian Ambassador, H.E. Hans Olav Urstad.

Computer Training Centre in Serbia

A Computer Training Centre has also been established in Belgrade and will, among other topics, start to offer ECDL training and certification (same concept as in Vukovar).

New company creation and establishment

BIP is working to establish three Competency Centers in Serbia. The Centres will, to begin with, start training of adult entrepreneurs and later on start to train and assist managers and owners of small businesses as well as business consultants. Location of the Centers are not determined, yet, but one of the Centres will probably be located in the Vojvodina area because of its proximity to Eastern Slavonia in Croatia and the Centre for Entrepreneurship in Osijek.