The PI Project used a powerful approach to achieve two critical objectives in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH):
a) Enhance entrepreneurship and employment for youth in BiH, by building their information and communications technology (ICT) skills and soft skills to enable youth to exploit new employment or entrepreneurship opportunities; and
b) Strengthen small and medium enterprise (SME) competitiveness and productivity by increasing SMEs’ effective use of value-added ICT and their ability to offer new, high value-added ICT products and services that respond to market demand.
The project implemented training, internship, mentorship, private sector engagement and SME competitiveness strengthening initiatives. For example, the project’s Business Angels Network (BAN) connected Bosnian and foreign investors with potential young entrepreneurs who want to implement their business ideas or expand and improve already launched businesses. The Business Start-up accelerator program is a BAN activity that provides startup businesses with advanced start-up methodologies in business management modules as well as top-level mentoring during startup stage.
The project approach was based upon two critical principles: (1) it was demand-driven, as all programs will be designed or modified based on market analysis and direct feedback from SMEs and educational partners; and (2) it created valuable forums and processes that ensured sufficient incentives for SMEs and training providers to carry out these forums and processes long after the project has completed.