Market Makers – facilitating youth employment in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The overarching goal of MarketMakers is to facilitate partnerships with market players in order to stimulate systemic changes (output-level) that support the business growth of employers in targeted sectors (outcome-level) and ultimately lead to young women and men between the ages of 15 and 30 being employed (goal-level). MarketMakers is committed to creating jobs that young women and men find appealing and see a future in. Both job and income satisfaction are large components of this, but so too is the selected and the nature of employment and opportunities within the sectors. The project works in four relevant and highly potential sectors: IT/software; food production and processing; tourism; tradable services/business process outsourcing.
Facilitation of employment includes the principal route for job creation (Route 1) and an additional focus (Route 2) on self-employment, freelancing, part-time work and other income-generating activities. This enables youth to increase their post-school work experience and expedite one of two options – greater attractiveness to employers or the formalisation of initiatives into a business start-up. The project supports the introduction of new or improved market functions and rules with the market players through increased capacities and incentives to uphold/perform/deliver them for the long-term, be they private (profit or not-for-profit) or public sector actors.

MarketMakers is guided by the market systems development (MSD) approach. This approach equips the project with the frameworks, processes, and principles or “rules of thumb” it needs to ultimately decide how intervention funds can be best spent to achieve sustainable and scalable results. The project identifies constraining factors and missed growth opportunities common to a number of (or majority of) target employers in the project’s selected sectors. In this way, the project can invest its funds to resolve systemic issues rather than firm-specific issues. Successful pilot innovations will be followed by supplementary interventions that support their expansion and their greater embeddedness in the market system.

MarketMakers achieves its goal following three implementation modalities: (i) working in coordination with Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) as co-facilitators; (ii) working in coordination with different types of co-facilitator; and, (iii) executing interventions without a co-facilitator or in coordination with a non-institutional focal point – i.e. a freelance expert based in the region.

Overall goal: to contribute towards the increased employment and self-employment of young women and men in more socially-inclusive markets.

Project outcome: employers (private sector companies) grow and/or invest in growth opportunities and consequently look to expand their workforce (route 1) and/or individuals invest in and enter self-employment (route 2). In addition, socially-purposeful enterprises grow or establish themselves and/or existing employers improve internal practices and procedures so as to expedite the inclusion of socially-excluded groups in the labour market.