Mon-59 Poverty reduction through support for income-generation activities in Northern Montenegro
:: REALISATION / BUDGET
01.01.2009 to 31.12.2010; € 240,000.00
:: SHORT DESCRIPTION
The objective of the project is poverty reduction in Montenegro. This will be achieved through material and other support for income-generating activities and start-up businesses. The provision of material inputs in combination with appropriate vocational and business trainings and legal advice will create much needed job opportunities for the impoverished segments of the population in Montenegro. The programme is directed towards the most vulnerable population groups (the rural population and uneducated persons, refugees, internally displaced persons, disabled persons, Roma,) who want to become the owners of their own development with a clearly specified vision of their own future and a specific plan for the achievement of this goal. Enabling selected beneficiaries to better positioning themselves on the labour market and earning an income will boost employment opportunities and eventually reduce the level of poverty in Montenegro.
Potential beneficiaries of this programme will be channelled and dealt with within an existing network of the Agency for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises and Local Business Centers which are operated by public institutions (municipalities).
The most successful participants of the programme will eventually hire more employees thus creating new jobs and providing a positive socio-economic impact to a larger number of indirect project beneficiaries. Eventually this will contribute to the overall reduction of poverty within the country.
This project is based on the experience of a number of income-generation projects implemented by HELP in the last years in Montenegro as well as in Serbia and BiH. A previous project phase was evaluated in 2008 and based on the positive outcome of this evaluation the programme will be continued for the next two years.
One of the principles of HELP’s work is to offer equal opportunities for both women and men. Whereas usually more men apply for these grants we paid special attention to the participation of women in the income generation component. A research undertaken in April 2008 on the potential and constraints of women’s participation in HELP’s programmes showed that “ The agencies and programmes that provide assistance to the women in the North for start-up businesses already made a significant change with their initiatives. The programmes for start-up businesses implemented by HELP provide for participation of women in a way that was never implemented in Montenegro before.”
The demand for income-generation projects in Montenegro remains high given the present socio-economic situation in the country. Experience in the past years shows that demand by far exceeds available resources.
Selected beneficiaries will be supported with an average amount of in-kind grants in the form of material inputs valued at EUR 1.500.
The target group comprises socially vulnerable people, unemployed refugees and IDPs with sound income-generating ideas, motivation, basic skills and other necessary preconditions to start up or develop economic activities in order to become self-employed and this way provide a regular income for their families. Selected beneficiaries will be provided with material inputs; it is also intended to provide for specific groups of beneficiaries business training as well as professional advice and guidance. Expertise and support will also be provided with a view to legalisation of their activities helping them to choose the right mode of registration to best fit their specific situation. Special attention will be given to education on legal aspects of business – starting with registration, taxation duties, employment regulations etc.
All material inputs will be provided as grants, but HELP includes a strong ‘social repayment’ component. Beneficiaries will be obliged to repay 15 % of the value of the grant in cash. This repayment is generally to be done upon handing over of the material assistance provided within the framework of this programme. The funds thus generated will be treated as local contributions for the Community Development Project implemented by Caritas Luxemburg .