Analysis of local crafts associations

The findings of the first comprehensive survey on the capacities of local crafts associations were presented at a national conference “Local development champions”, organized by NALED and Ethno Network with the support of RAS. Research showed that the great untapped potential for development lies in the cultural heritage and in unemployed women who are familiar with traditional handicraft techniques. There are over 500 crafts associations operating in Serbia, which are lacking systematic support to become the hubs of economic activity at the local level.

If provided training and branding of tourist offer, the participating organizations could employ more than 500 families in handicrafts. Most common form of support by municipalites is providing premises for the workshops, but only half of the associations receive such assistance, and less than 5% have a channel for product placement, while 30% of them do not have e-mail addresses and only every tenth association has a website. Only 43% of the members received training, so most of them are engaged occasionally as amateurs.

In the final event, certificates are awarded for completed trainings for members of craft associations from Cacak, Leskovac, Loznica, Sabac and Sremska Mitrovica. Certificates were handed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Zorana Mihajlovic. She sent a message that the skills they acquired will help artisans secure employment and placement of handicrafts.