Social innovation is a relatively new concept in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and as such has not been defined by any particular actors. Many new strategies and reforms have been introduced throughout the decentralised country to encourage innovation across many sectors. Social innovation in BiH addresses the challenges posed by unemployment, lack of education, low development of infrastructure in the agricultural sector, the development of IT to serve communities, and enhancing the capacity of young entrepreneurs to stimulate innovative solutions for social needs.
Social innovation is time and context specific. That means it can mean different things in different context. What might not seem innovative in one country, may be ground breaking in another. The political and cultural background is important to understand. There are also a wide variety of organisations involved in this field, each have different perspectives. So, the purpose of this page is to demonstrate a variety of views on what social innovation means to different kinds of organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The voices from Bosnia and Herzegovina:
In 2015, Ariola Agolli, Director of Programs for Partners Albania, provided a report on social innovation in the country, demonstrating the focus on innovation in business to address Bosnia and Herzegovina's social challenges:
"USAID funded a five-year program called “Partnership for Innovations” The project was presented from 2011 and the goal is to improve the competitiveness and productivity of SMEs, enabling them to meet market demand and preserve and generate jobs, and to enhance employment and entrepreneurship among youth, by providing the support they need to use ICTs to identify and exploit new opportunities.
Local Development Agencies target small and medium–sized enterprises and aim to promote entrepreneurship and create condition for employment growth within their local communities.
In June 2011 PLOD Center for Promotion of Local Development Bihać started implementation of project “LED NET - Initiative for Creation of Local Economic Development Network in B&H” with the objective to network civil society organizations in B&H, exchange knowledge, strengthen their role in the process of local and regional economic development and improve cooperation between governmental, non-governmental and private sectors."
The full report, giving further information on the context of social innovation in BiH, is available to read here.