YWAM in Banja Luka, Bosnia Herzegovina, currently consists of just one YWAMer, myself, but I do not work alone, rather alongside an inter-agency team in Church planting and development work. As part of the development work, I help run Business Training courses which was designed in my native South Africa by the South African Institute for Entrepreneurship.

As the unemployment rate among young people in Bosnia is above 50%, and the overall rate at 42%, helping people start their own business is one way that we can help them be independent and make their own living, rather than dependent on handouts. After the training, those that are interested are able to apply for small interest-free loans of up to 2500Euros, which have been provided through the Finnish organisation Fida International.

The training course consists of a business simulation game which is played in three teams. During each module the teams compete and run their own businesses, all the while learning important skills for running their own businesses. Shown below are some pictures while the students are playing the game:

At the end we go through what the students have learnt during that module:

The latest group of 23 students, ranging from housewives to a lawyer, finished the course on Sunday and are shown below with their diplomas:
They were also given business plan forms to fill out, and will be handing those back mid-November. Those that are approved will get money to start their own business before the end of the year. The loans go back into a revolving fund and in that way the hope is that we will be able to continue to help people start their own small businesses for years to come.

For more on what I do, you can see my personal blog: Bee in Bosnia

-Belinda Chaplin, YWAM Banja Luka, Bosnia Herzegovina