Final Documentation

Lessons from the Field: Business Start-Up Centers in the Western Balkans. The SPARK Approach, SPARK, January 2013

    This case study written by Margot Lobbezoo and Liz Betser describes and analyses SPARK's work on entrepreneurship promotion and SME development in the Western Balkans region as part of its MFS I programme funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs during 2006-2010.

    In five countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro) SPARK has set up Business Start-up Centres (BSCs) with the aid of local civil society stakeholders such as municipalities, universities, chambers of commerce, business associations and other relevant parties. Alongside
    the BSC approach, SPARK also focused on building curriculum on entrepreneurship development and improving the quality of staff within partner universities.

    The study documents some of the impacts of the programme, and focuses on lessons learned for SPARK. These concern in particular the effects on BDS service packages on enterpreneurs and SMEs and the sustainability of Business Start-Up Centres. The document draws on a range of DCED resources.

    Methods for info gathering
    Desk review and field study of 100 supported enterprises