Arising out of the YOUR SPIš Programme, the YOUR SPIš Fund (YSF), was established, on the initiative of ETP Slovakia, in October 2002. The YSF brings together three towns and eleven unicipali municipalities of the Middle Spiš Region (Spišská Nová Ves, Levoča, Spišské Podhradie, Iliašovce, Nálepkovo, Mníšek nad Hnilcom, Rudňany, Spišský Hrhov, Spišský štvrtok, Spišské Tomášovce, švedlár, Pra Prakovce, Žehra) and Ostrovany from Prešov Region, BIC Spišská Nová Ves, Ltd., Civic Association ETP Slovakia – Centre for Sustainable Development and UNDP (United Nations Development Pro Programme).

Since the very beginning the YSF, had the aim of supporting economic and social development of the disadvantaged region of Spiš, but has also been gradually taking over activities of the YOUR SPIš Programme. Therefore during 2004 – 2005 the YOUR SPIš Fund took the role of providing finan financial support to development plans and activities of either groups of inhabitants or individuals from the region.

Seven grant rounds have supported economic and social development of the disadvantaged Spiš Re Region focussing on supporting the development of community organizations and the initiatives of groups of people whose activities contributed to the development of business and improvement of the quality of life.

The criteria for successful project applications wereto create conditions for establishment self employ employment in accordance with local Development Planand with the active involvement of as many mem members of the community as possible – mainly disad disadvantaged groups, minorities, women and unem unemployed people and supported at least by 50 % of the

municipal budget. Within the framework of the seven grant rounds, 96 community organizations from towns and vil villages participating in the programme received more than 6 million Sk for the implementation of 157projects improving life and living conditions of their

population. The YSF also manages the micro-credit fund that supports small-scale self-help business initiatives of the region. During 2003 – 2005, 13 new small-scale entrepreneurs received micro-credits in the total amount of 370 100 Sk. The YSF organizes various educational and train training activities for organizations and individuals from the disadvantaged region and supports the development of projects and plans for improving living conditions and social situation of people liv living in the region. In the area of human resources, the project contriing contributes

to the increase of professional, organizational butes and management skills of external coworkers of the YSF and representatives of local government associ associated in the YSF, as well as representatives of commu community organizations from the region. YOUR SPIS Fund also mobilizes resources from other development partners, local and national gov government, European Social Fund and other donors and sponsors. The role of the Fund is to provide

community organizations and individuals with mi micro-grants (for activities that benefit the entire local community) and micro-credits (for individuals that want to start-up entrepreneurial activities).

YSF has become the partner of ETP Slovakia and oth other organisations in projects aimed at development of expertise and experience of local community centers’ staff members, representatives of local community organisations from the towns and villages of YSF. YSF plays a role of an active partner within Devel Development Partnership YOUR SPIS II – Inclusion of NGOs into Social Economy. YSF took over the re responsibility in cooperation with local nongovern governmental organisations to propose, establish, develop and turn meaningful entrepreneurial ideas into vi viable local social enterprises, which would provide jobs for those in need.