01.06.2010 - UNESCO Office in Venice

Improving the business environment through green jobs and institution building

© David Geldhof - Durmitor

Even though Montenegro has recorded a continual economic growth since its independence, this development remains uneven. The country’s northern region, a home to 11 out of 21 municipalities, scores double the unemployment and poverty rates than the south. This is contrasted with the abundance of natural resources located in the north, positioning the region where the poorest of the poor in Montenegro live to champion the growth of green business in nature-based tourism, agriculture, and wood processing.

In order to reduce this gap and increase employment, ensure sustainability and even spread of economic opportunities, and reduce poverty, this program, in line with the Government of Montenegro’s strategy on Small and Medium Businesses, will strengthen the enabling environment for the growth of SMEs, workforce and product development and match supply and demand through increasing distribution networks. This strategy will face a number of existing challenges, mainly applying for the entire country, but considerably pronounced in the north:

  • Enabling environment: weak business related policy environment and underdeveloped feedback mechanisms between the SMEs and the policy making process
  • Workforce development: lack of a systematized training opportunities for business start-ups, project management and planning, product development and distribution networks
  • Access to finance: lack of business support services and access to credit especially for SMEs

The program’s vision is to harness the skills and knowledge of the poor in the north to reduce poverty and regional development imbalance through creating a framework where the protection and preservation of environment will fuel a new generation of green SMEs. The program’s strategy is to create an enabling environment for development of green SMEs through building environmental linkages in national and local planning processes and through providing access to finance, business services in product development and distribution networks in three key economic sectors that are highly sensitive to climate change- tourism, agriculture, and wood processing.

The geographic focus will be on 5 (out of 11 northern municipalities) that surround a national park Durmitor, UNESCO World Heritage Site. The program’s objectives will focus on infrastructure, incentives, finance, and governance for SME development and specifically:

- Contributing to diminishing of regional disparity;

- Support to SME regulatory framework;

- Technical assistance to SMEs;

- Increasing SME competitiveness and CSR;

- ‘Greening’ the SMEs operations.

FACTS AND FIGURES

Project title:

Improving the business environment through green jobs and institution building

Key indicators:

  • Increased export share of the SME’s by 7% by 2014 compared to 2009;
  • Employment increase within the SME sector by 7 % compared to 2009;
  • Increased number of SME’s in the field of eco-tourism;
  • Formation of farmers/producers association or agriculture cooperatives based on niche comparative advantages (e.g. organic food production, products branded as Geographical Origin/Indication, etc.);
  • Formation of a total 3 clusters in the tourism, agriculture and wood processing sectors;
  • Increased number of business collaboration activities and dialogue amongst local SMEs in poor areas and buyers/exporters within the same supply chain;

Project Duration:

January 2010–January 2014

Project Budget:

$ 3,410,000

Donor:

MDTF - Multi-Donor Trust Fund Office

Partners:

  • Ministry of Economy;
  • Ministry of Rural Development and Agriculture;
  • Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism;
  • Small and medium businesses in the Durmitor Region

Participating UN agencies

UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNIDO,

 

Link: http://www.un.org.me/index.php?page=green-jobs




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