The ways of including the private sector in supporting economic development are very diverse and range from sponsoring programmes that encourage youth entrepreneurship by rewarding the best young entrepreneurs, to developing bespoke programmes that include financing the best business plans and "adopting" enterprises through the provision of long-term mentoring support for selected entrepreneurs.
In a desire to draw attention to the problem of employability and contribute to its solution, the Business Leaders Forum has introduced a programme for the development of entrepreneurial spirit and the successful business careers of young people in Serbia. The basic aim of this programme is to introduce and develop innovative business support models for youngsters who have established their own businesses and require practical experience in order to successfully launch their careers. Through the introduction of a mentoring support programme for young entrepreneurs and a professional training programme – thereby connecting young entrepreneurs directly with companies – the forum intends to contribute long-term to realising opportunities leading to the greater involvement of young people in employment streams, as well as contributing to the stable development of society as a whole. The Business Leaders Forum develops its mentoring support programme for young entrepreneurs in accordance with the programmes of the Youth Business International (YBI) network, which has been successfully implemented worldwide since 2000.
A working group to support youth employment has been formed in the context of the forum and comprises representatives of companies KPMG, the State Lottery of Serbia, Droga Kolinska and Holcim. The working group carries out the business mentorship programme for young entrepreneurs and advances a programme of work placements within these companies through the organizing of HR workshops, as well as by sharing best practices and experiences in this field.
The Youth Employment Support Programme is implemented under the auspices of SMart Kolektiv’s "Dosomething!" project, with the support of the Serbian Ministry of Youth and Sports and in the context of the competition for implementation of the 2009 National Youth Strategy.