Final in-kind grants beneficiaries were selected and grant contracts signed in the second phase of the Help project "Poverty reduction and enhancement of employment opportunities of marginalized and vulnerable population groups with focus on Roma women in Serbia" financed by the Swedish International Development Agency Sida and co-financed by the targeted cities and municipalities. Grant contracts were signed in Trstenik, Vlasotince, Kraljevo, Krusevac and Vladicin Han end of June and during the first week of July 2016. Trstenik In the Municipality of Trstenik 20 final beneficiaries were selected – 12 men and 8 women, half of them Roma people – five women and five men. Signees will receive in-kind grants for waste recycling, hairdressers, car-wash, fast food, butchery shop, and advancement of farming. Nine beneficiaries will receive the equipment in the average value of 1500 and nine in the average value of 2400 EUR, while two beneficiaries will receive the grants per 3600 EUR. Value of the project activities implemented in Trstenik amounts to 77.655,00 EUR, with direct costs for equipment co-financed by the Municipality in the amount of 3.555,00 EUR.
Although the cooperation with Help was established earlier through humanitarian projects and relief assistance, this is first project aimed at self-employment in Vlasotince. Financed by Sida, through Help project, 16 individuals from Vlasotince will start business activities in farming, crafts and services.
During the open competition for in-kind grants in Kraljevo 115 interested applied for assistance. Through the regular evaluation and selection procedure conducted in two phases, 20 final beneficiaries were selected. Twelve women and eight men will receive equipment and start their businesses. Half of the supported in this cycle make Roma, five men and five women. One farming, nine crafts and 10 services will get in-kind grants for tailors, carpenters, hairdressers, waste collectors. There are nine in-kind grants in average value of 1500, nine per 2400 EUR and two in-kind grants per 3600 EUR.
As planned by the Cooperation agreement signed with the City, within the second phase of the project, amongst over 100 applications received, final 20 beneficiaries were selected in Krusevac. Nine beneficiaries will receive in-kind grants in average value of 1500 EUR, nine per 2400 EUR, and two grants per 3600 EUR. There are only three agriculture activities, five will deal with crafts, and most make services – twelve businesses. Bakers, repairmen, carpenters and waste collectors are nine women and eleven men. In Krusevac as well half of the supported make Roma people, five women and five men. In cooperation with the local administration Help supported 100 micro and small businesses through the self-employment projects since 2006.
Interest in Han was especially large, seven times more applied for 30 foreseen in-kind grants. Yet, the equipment for starting up a business will receive 14 beneficiaries each 1500 and 14 2400 EUR worth equipment. There are two grants worth 3600 EUR each. Gender structure of the signees in Vladicin Han makes 18 men and 12 women. Out of 30 total selected, seven Roma women and eight Roma men signed the grant contracts. Five grants goes for crafts, sixteen for services, and nine for agriculture activities. There are hairdressers, tailors, auto-mechanics, musicians, waste collectors and farmers on the list of activities.
Obligations of beneficiaries
Prior to the signing grant contracts, beneficiaries in the targeted cities and municipalities attended business trainings (management, marketing and business plan) so there are vocational trainings, business registration, community service and other activities meant for the sustainability of their businesses until the equipment is delivered.