Local economic development is a process of change in which public and private sectors jointly identify problems in the economic environment, implement policies and programs that affect the reduction of problems and make the local community more competitive and stronger economically, thus improving the standard of living in the local community. The creation of self-sustaining, local economic development mechanisms and institutions that promote vigorous, market-oriented, economic activity, growth, and development of SMEs is the goal of any government.

DCG’s staff and consultants have helped organize, train and improve over dozens LED offices in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. DCG’s approach emphasizes strategic planning, effective LED office staff training, integration of the latest data management practices and tools, and comprehensive monitoring and evaluation of the baseline characteristics of the local environment, with development and comparison of indicators of progress in LED. DCG helped start the first Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in Serbia. Its staff and consultants have participated in the design and implementation of numbers of municipal business development loan programs, including helping local partners seek international and Serbian sources of capital and designing and tendering development infrastructure projects.

Designing and organizing local economic development (LED) programs, LED strategic planning, creating foreign direct investment schemes, organizing and staffing LED offices, establishing business improvement districts, forming business enabling environment public-private partnerships, designing LED tax incentive programs, drafting property use and zoning regulations are all services DCG has provided to local governments in their local economic development initiatives.

Implementing economic development strategies allows countries and regions to shift from traditional and centralized economy to local level independent development, where local leaders (including the private and public sector) identify real opportunities for development and decide for other mechanisms of change. DCG has extensive experience in working with local governments in mapping problems and finding solutions that are long-term, sustainable and based on a wide involvement of all stakeholders at the local level throughout the process.