Expanding Economic Opportunities in Rural Belarus

About of project:

Project Period: 01.04.2015 – 30.09.2017

Amount: €500,000 (EU funding: €450,000; or 90%)

Implementing Agency: New Eurasia Establishment

Location: Belarus

Description

The Belarusian rural population, whose income is much lower than that of townspeople, is at risk of falling below the poverty line. In view of the low productivity of agricultural companies, which are unable to offer adequate wages, self-employment may be an alternative. Entrepreneurship enables both the prevention of poverty and support to sustainable regional development.

Project Goals:  Provide the rural population with the knowledge needed to start their own business; empower them to prioritize areas of regional development and take part in decision making on key social and economic issues, ultimately improving the standard of living in the countryside.

Key Objectives of the Project:

- establish a dialogue between local communities, non-profit organizations, business and the authorities in order to ensure effective engagement of civil society in decision making on issues of high social significance;

- provide financial, counselling and technical assistance to the joint technical initiatives in the field.

Intermediate Outcomes: 60 applications were received from Belarusian rural areas at the open call phase of the Project. The winners – 12 pilot sites (each application representing one or two rural councils) – were identified.

The Project Appraisal Team assessed strengths and weaknesses, and the potential and competitive advantage of the bids. This will help in drafting development strategies for all regions, based on their specific requirements.

The Project provides for opening of economic development resource centres, where local residents can get advice on starting a business and generating income. Consultations and training events would help anyone interested to shape their business ideas; they would also help to improve the quality of management of businesses that are already established.

For the representatives of authorities and non-profit organizations of the participating settlements, visits to regions of Poland and Belarus were arranged to study their experience in local development.

At the final phase, it is expected that at least 12 initiatives aimed at economic development of the sites will be selected. The project provides €180,000 for the implementation of that component. Best practices will be shared throughout Belarus.

Points of Contact:

Lyudmila Batura, Project Manager

+375 17 226 90 95; +375 29 307 55 43, lbatura@eurasia.by

Website: http://eurasia.by/blog/programs/proekt-rasshirenie-ekonomicheskih-vozmozhnostey-v-selskoy-belarusi/

Annex 1

List of pilot sites:

Hrodna Region:

1. Žaludok and Orlia Rural Councils, Ščučyn District;

2. Kreva and Zaliessie Rural Councils, Smarhoń District;

3. Dzieraŭnaja Rural Council, Slonim District;

Brest Region:

1. Vidamlia Rural Council, Kamianiec District and Čarnaŭčycy Rural Council, Brest District;

2. Motaĺ Rural Council, Ivanava District;

3. Sporava Rural Council, Biaroza District;

Minsk Region:

1. Kryvasieĺcy Rural Council, Viliejka District;

2. Valožyn and Pieršai Rural Councils, Valožyn District;

Homiel Region:

1. Sudkoma and Barysaŭščyna Rural Councils, Chojniki District;

2. Čamiarysy Rural Council, Brahin District;

Mahilioŭ Region:

1. Chodasy Rural Council, Mscislaŭ District;

Viciebsk Region:

1. Babiničy and Mazalava Rural Councils, Viciebsk District;