Development Agency Sotla is a public institute. It was established in 2001 by the municipalities in the Obsotelje and Kozjansko area (Municipalities Kozje, Podčetrtek, Rogaška Slatina, Rogatec and Šmarje pri Jelšah). The area stretches on 370,6 square kilometres and has a population of 30.027 inhabitants.
The Agency represents a bridge between all regional municipalities and the European Union regions. Main work areas for Development Agency Sotla: rural development, development of small and medium enterprises, tourism development, working with youth, preservation of natural and cultural heritage, preservation of the environment and human resources. We have experience as a lead partner and as a partner in domestic and international projects (LEADER, OP IPA SI-HR 2007-2013, IPA SI-AT 2007-2013, Erasmus+, EU for citizens etc.). The projects vary from tourism, ecology and communal projects to rural development and the establishment of partnerships with numerous Slovene and international public or private organizations. We provide recognizable and quality projects in our region and the necessary information for their efficient implementation in our everyday life.
We are also manager of Local Action Group for rural development (2014-2020). Local Action Groups (LAGs) are made up of public and private partners from the rural territory and include representatives from different socio-economic sectors. They are provided by the European Union Regulation for the local management of rural development programmes. Each LAG elaborates both the Local Development Strategy (LDS) and the Local Action Plan (LAP) for the areas in which it operates and it receives financial assistance to implement LDS by awarding grants to local projects. They are selected by the Managing Authority responsible for the management of the programme at local level.Primary aim of the company is to promote the local development process with the active participation of private, public sector, and civil society of the area as well. In the field of regional development, the Agency is part of the joint Networking Development Agency Kozjansko (made up of RA Kozjansko and RA Sotla) and is carrying out the official tasks of the regional development subject for Municipal Development Partnership Obsotelje and Kozjansko, which is officially registered at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology. It includes the following municipalities: Dobje, Kozje, Podčetrtek, Rogaška Slatina, Rogatec, Šentjur and Šmarje pri Jelšah.
The inhabitants (mostly rural) of Obsotelje and Kozjansko represent the most important development potential of our region. Human-resource development and the increasing quality of knowledge capital are key factors in improving the competitiveness of the region. This is also one of the main priorities of the RA Sotla where we, together with our business partners, carry out development projects in the fields of developing the local labour market, improving the competitiveness of the economy and employed persons, increasing the employability as
well as strengthening the supporting environment.
Development Agency Sotla is working with its partners who are willing to contribute to development of the local environment and the entire area, motivates them to solve problems together, set priorities in the area, search for development potentials and guides them to realization of set goals.