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«Report This Project is funded by FCG SIPU INTERNATIONAL AB European Union. Partnership Forum: Partnership between civil society and business sector ...»

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Partnership Forum:

Partnership between civil society

and business sector in BiH – challenges

and opportunities


This Project is funded by


Partnership Forum:

Partnership between civil society

and business sector in BiH – challenges

and opportunities

This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this

publication are the sole responsibility of TACSO Project and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

Contents Introduction

DAY I – CSOs sustainability and economic activities

Session I: Future of Civil Society - mechanisms of support, social entrepreneurship and philanthropy

Session II: Ecosystem for more sustainable CSOs


Annex I: Agenda

Annex II: List of Participants



The Conference “Partnership Forum: Partnership between civil society and business sector in BiH – challenges and opportunities” was organized within the framework of the People to People component of the TACSO project.

The purpose of the conference was to gain insight into the opportunities and challenges in development and maintaining successful economic activities and partnerships with companies, as mechanisms for improving the sustainability of CSOs.

Conference objectives were:

1. To develop recommendations for the support measures and mechanisms for improving the sustainability of CSOs;

2. To examine existing models of cooperation and partnerships between companies and CSOs in BiH, to present examples of good practice in the region and BiH and to define recommendations for improving partnerships;

3. To present relevant research in the areas of philanthropy and social entrepreneurship as a good model to achieve greater sustainability of CSOs;

4. Investigate the areas in which CSOs can have advocacy actions, which will contribute to more sustainable economic activities and successful partnerships with companies.

The key features of the practices and legislation related to CSOs sustainability, philanthropy and models of cooperation between CSOs and companies in BiH, Serbia and the Region of Western Balkans and Turkey were presented at the conference by the resource organization Smart Kolektiv. Representatives of the donor community have presented some of the most successful and active programs for supporting economic activities of the CSOs.

The discussions were organized in a way that enabled participants to provide individual inputs and actively participate in small groups discussions. Highlight of both conference’s days were lively and engaging discussions, during which participants of the conference analyzed key factors, needs and role of different stakeholders in improving the sustainability of the CSOs. Dynamic discussion resulted in a set of recommendations and steps to be conducted in different areas: skills and knowledge, internal management, legislation and financial mechanisms.

At the conference 20 speakers have shared their good practices, experiences, advices and lessons learned (8 from CSOs; 3 from companies, 2 from media, 3 representatives of donors and 4 presenters). More than 20 good practices and models of CSO’s economic activities and cross – sector partnership were presented at the Forum.

7 The conference brought together 54 participants selected through an open application process from the civil society sector, social enterprises (SE), government institutions, companies and media in BiH.

The results of the evaluation to be added DAY I – CSOs sustainability and economic activities

Summary of the Agenda:

• Opening ceremony

• Session 1: The future of civil society: mechanisms of support, social entrepreneurship and philanthropy – Presentation and Panel Discussion

• Session 2: Ecosystem for more sustainable CSOs

• Session 3: Visit to HUB Networks


The event was opened by the Resident Advisor (RA) of TACSO BiH Office, Ms. Slavica Draskovic, who welcomed participants and introduced them with the purpose and objectives of the Partnership Forum.

Goran Kucera from Ministry of Justice BIH, member of Local Advisory Group of TACSO project also addressed the participants and underlined the importance of the Conference and efforts of TACSO in strengthening capacities of the CSOs in the region to be more sustainable.

Picture no.1: Participants at the opening of the Picture no.2: Goran Kucera at the opening of the Partnership Forum Partnership Forum 8



1.1. Introductions All the participants were asked to shortly introduce themselves - name and the organization they are representing.

After the introductions, participants had the opportunity to individually express what they see as crucial factors and challenges for achieving the CSOs sustainability and partnerships with companies. The main factors and goals recognized by participants were divided four categories – Knowledge and skills, internal management, financial

mechanisms and Legislation:

1. Knowledge and skills: more education opportunities; knowledge and skills in marketing, communication, business, sales.

2. Internal management: investing in internal management and education; educated financial management, networking, HR and management education.

3. Financial mechanisms: partnerships with companies, social entrepreneurship, more financial instruments (donations, venture funds, grants etc.), tax reliefs.

4. Legislation: harmonization of the legislation in all the entities, improving administration, strategy on Social entrepreneurship development, law on social entrepreneurship, tax reliefs.

–  –  –

When it comes to development of partnerships between CSOs/SEs and companies,

some key factors for success and challenges are:

Factors for successful partnerships: Challenges for development of partnerships:

–  –  –

· Building of partnership relation · Lack of awareness about the importance of SE Table 1: Key factors and challenges for development of partnerships between CSOs and companies – Presentation: Sustainability of CSOs, Neven Marinovic from Smart Kolektiv.

1.3. Panel discussion: Mechanisms for development of CSOs’ sustainability – Economic activities and cooperation with companies Panel discussion Mechanisms for the development of CSO sustainability: Economic activities and cooperation with the business sector gathered 9 representatives of CSOs.

The panelists have presented their economic activities, partnerships with companies, challenges they have in their work, successes achieved and advices for other CSOs.

The panel was moderated by Ivana Stancic from Smart Kolektiv.

First group of the panelists were representatives of CSOs that have developed strong economic activities: Mr. Igor Trivic (CSO Most), Mrs. Nada Markovic (Women association Maja), Mr. Veselin Rebic (TMP Sarajevo), Mr. Vladimir Coric (Youth Culture Center Abrasevic) and Mrs. Jasmina Zukan (NAHLA).

–  –  –

Conclusions from the Panel discussion: Mechanisms for development of CSOs sustainability-economic activities

• Most of the panelists are coming from the CSOs that have developed economic activities as a way of achieving greater independence from donors and sustainability in their work;

• Most of the economic activities are relying on the existing resources of the CSOs (knowledge, skills, space, human resources).;

• Establishing of cooperative and enterprise as separate entity brings benefits such as brining more entrepreneurs to work together, to participate together on the market, to offer different services on the market;

• Economic activities helped some of the panelists to cover up to 75% of expenses of CSOs. Recipe for success of the panelists is to develop several complementary economic activities that are smaller scale, rather than one, large scale economic activity;

• Crucial challenges CSOs and SEs face in their work are: lack of entrepreneurial spirit; lack of business knowledge and skills; lack of experience in creating and conducting a business model; financial insecurity; confidence for vulnerable groups in their appearance and work on the free market; confidence and skills in approaching to companies and donors; how to balance market demands, competence and social cause.

• Recommendations for other CSOs and SEs: invest in your personal capacities – in education of your staff, have an open mind and persistence in development of your economic activities, test and develop your business ideas.

11 The second group of CSOs was those who have good practices and experience in development of the cooperation and partnership with business sector. The participants at this panel were: Mr. Almir Mukaca (Bigmey), Mrs. Jasna Jasarevic (Tuzla Community Foundation), Mr. Asim Sahinpasic and Mr. Adnan Tatarevic (Pomozi.ba).

Picture no.8: Panel discussion – Mechanisms for Picture no.9: Mechanisms for development of CSOs development of CSOs sustainability: partnerships sustainability: partnerships with companies with companies Conclusions from the Panel discussion: Mechanisms for development of CSOs sustainability-economic activities

• CSOs should approach to partnerships with companies strategically. CSOs should think about what interest can company have in the partnership and develop a proposal for cooperation based on that assessment. It is extremely important for CSOs and SEs to produce new value, to be innovative and entrepreneurial – minded when approaching to companies and proposing ideas for cooperation;

• There is a wide range of different ways business can support a social cause of CSOs apart from direct donation of financial means such as: donating percentage from the sale, involving CSO/SE in supply chains, skill based volunteering, joint promotion, sponsorships etc.

• CSOs have to be transparent and to report on the results and impact they are producing;

• CSOs have to be better in promotion and communication of their results and to be more visible in the community. Those who are more visible and better in communication are more attractive partners to companies.

• CSOs can be service providers to companies. CSOs have certain skills and knowledge that can be useful to companies.



Based on the results and conclusions from previous sessions, participants have continued discussion on key factors for achieving sustainability of CSOs. In accordance with their affiliations participants have chosen a group of factors they find most challenging and interesting: Legislation, Financing mechanisms, Skills and Knowledge, Internal capacities – management. In the groups participants discussed together preconditions and recommendations for development of more sustainable CSOs. Planned result of the workshop was to determine problems in these 4 areas, to identify key needs/factors and recommend concrete measures and mechanisms of support.

Picture no.10: Participants discussing key factors for achieving sustainability of CSOs Picture no.11: Participants discussing key factors for achieving sustainability of CSOs

–  –  –



Part of the conference was a study visit to HUB Networks, where participants were introduced with the concept of co – working and innovations. During the visit they could learn about how business logic works, but also what are the trends of opening HUBs in Europe and BiH. At the Hub, participants also had the possibility to hear more about the E – catalogue and presentations of their proposals for cooperation with companies. Some of the ideas were presented during the discussion and collected feedback and ideas for improvement from representatives of Smart Kolektiv, HUB Networks and other participants of the conference.

–  –  –


Summary of the Agenda:

• Presentation: Overview of the legislative framework for philanthropy in BIH

• Session 4: Companies and CSOs – from cooperation to partnerships

• Session 5: Platform for more sustainable CSOs and cross-sector partnerships for community development Second day was designed to provide insight in philanthropy practices and legal framework, good practices of companies-SEs partnerships from Serbia and good practices of partnerships between companies and CSOs/SEs in BiH. Highlight of the day was a discussion in group on the role of different stakeholders in creating more favorable environment for sustainable CSOs and concrete advocacy initiatives that should be initiated.

Presentation: Overview of the legislative framework for philanthropy in BIH Ms. Ivana Stancic from Smart Kolektiv presented legal framework for philanthropy in BiH and also reviewed the Catalyst Balkans research on donations in BiH. The legal framework analized different regulations on two levels: the level of Federation of Bosnia and Hercegovina and the level of Republika Srpska. The main conclusion for the legal framework was that there is a great inconsistency of regulations and their implementation between entity level and federation level.

Regarding donations in BiH, research has shown that BiH is in the third place in the region in the amount of donations and forth when we measure it per capita. Biggest donors in BiH are companies (43,7%) and individuals (30,4%). Most common users of donations are individuals/families (41,7%) and CSOs (20,9%). Also, most common topics are health, reduction of poverty, marginalized groups and education.

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