EDUCATION for agro and business clients
In 2016, the Bank has initiated a new series of educational workshops for agro and business clients, in order to facilitate progress in their business operations.
Workshops for farmers provide education regarding the possible and available means of financing agricultural production, with the special emphasis on the two most common forms – traditional parity and a bank loan, their comparison, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of both forms. In cooperation with our partner EFSE, we have created educational leaflets for farmers “Loan or Parity – for and against, chose your model” and a short movie, as additional materials for the workshops. During February, 4 workshops were held in Kosjeric, Knic, Stepanovicevo and Sasinci near Sr. Mitrovica, with a participation of nearly 90 agricultural producers, our clients, to whom we tried to present all the available forms of financing agricultural production and to encourage them to undertake bolder steps to improve their small agricultural productions which are often very important or even their only source of income.
In libraries in Vranje and Jagodina, during February, we held seminars for entrepreneurs. By organizing these seminars we wish to encourage small entrepreneurs, as well as owners of agricultural households and owners of small and micro companies to start thinking as companies and manage their operations as such. Some basic business concepts important for business success were presented, as well as how to organize business activities based on the business and sales plan, marketing concepts and procurement plan, human resources etc. Participants were able to obtain basic knowledge and skills that can be applied when starting their own business or improving already existing one. Also, farmers were educated to use internet on daily basis in order to improve their production.
Financial literacy trainings
OBS is committed to education of our clients to help them make wise financial decisions. We educate our clients through educational brochures and other print materials, as well as by organizing face-to-face trainings for clients and non-clients of the bank on topics such as how to start a small business, how to save, how to budget, how to access financial services, etc.
With this in mind, in 2014 OBS has started holding financial education trainings for women in agribusiness in co-operation with a consulting agency Eduka Plus from Belgrade. A series of eight trainings was held in rural municipalities throughout Serbia, in association with municipal authorities and Serbian Ministry of Agriculture. First training was held in the village of Guca in Central Serbia on April 7th with participation of over 40 rural agricultural producers as well as ones who plan to become farmers. Except for financial education training presented by OBS staff members, attendants also listen to sessions related to innovative fruit-growing and a seminar on how to register a business or agricultural household. The project has successfully continued in 2015 as well, when 10 workshops in total will be held for women in agribusiness who live in mostly rural areas in Serbia.