FIRMA (Fostering Interventions for Rapid Market Advancement )

The Fostering Interventions for Rapid Market Advancement (FIRMA) project, sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (Sida) is a five-year project that began in September 2009 to support sustainable economic growth, employment expansion, and increased household incomes in Bosnia & Herzegovina. FIRMA has principal offices in Sarajevo and Banja Luka.

FIRMA’s overall goal is to help BiH improve “the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the European Union”, a critical component of the Copenhagen Economic Criteria for EU accession. FIRMA will do this by working with three sectors of the BiH economy: wood processing, tourism, and light manufacturing. These three sectors, combined, comprise approximately one-fourth of BiH manufacturing GDP and almost 40 percent of its exports.

While BiH has made economic progress in recent years, with technical assistance from USAID, Sida, and other donors, there are many areas in which the competitiveness of BiH enterprises remains unsatisfactory. Many are learning how to compete, but many others are constrained by outdated designs, inadequate finance for modern equipment, and poor connections to global markets. Lack of qualified skilled workers and poor labor mobility within the country limits companies’ ability to expand. Economic development policies for some sectors are lacking, and where they exist are not properly budgeted.

FIRMA will address these and other issues, working through local implementing partners to help them identify priority problems and develop the capabilities to carry forward the project’s purposes after it finishes. Critical stakeholders include companies, financial institutions, educational institutions, NGOs, and government agencies. FIRMA will work closely to coordinate its activities with those of other donors, in order to broaden the reach and impact of economic support projects.

FIRMA-supported activities include:

  • Facilitating networking among sector firms and stakeholders
  • Providing training and technical assistance to improve product quality, operational productivity, and managerial effectiveness
  • Supporting workforce development
  • Facilitating access to finance and promoting investment
  • Improving connections to global markets
  • Advancing the policy, legal, and regulatory environment for doing business.

Firma Brochure - Web version


Project type
  • Other
Country of the coordinating institution
Contact details
Address:Sarajevo Office Dženetića Čikma 1/II,
Country:Bosnia and Herzegovina
Geographical focus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary
January 2009 - June 2015

Entry created by Ivan Zupan on April 29, 2014
Modified on January 26, 2016