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Mayor Mato Franković posing with the craftsmen who will receive the grant , Source: City of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik’s UBI for craftsmen will support the strong local culture

Dubrovnik’s UBI for craftsmen will support the strong local culture

This is an old and beautiful city, but its craftsmen community is what makes it feel real and vibrant

Last week, authorities in Dubrovnik, Croatia, decided to award grants to support 50 craftsmen in the city. The grants function as a sort of universal basic income (UBI), that the craftsmen will receive in monthly instalments, as the city tries to support the local culture.

As Dubrovnik is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Mediterranean, maintaining and supporting the local culture is a big priority for the local administration. Mayor Mato Franković explained that craftsmen are the backbone of the unique and authentic experience the city has to offer both locals and tourists from abroad.

UBI for craftsmen in Dubrovnik

The city launched its financial support programme for craftsmen back in 2018, however, every year they have expanded both the monthly payments, as well as the number of recipients. In the beginning, the programme was able to reach only 30 craftsmen for six months, now it has grown to support 50 people for a year.

The city allocated around 160,000 euros (1.2 million Croatian Kunas) for the programme. That accounts for about 265 euros per month, per person, for an entire year. People will start receiving the payments from 1 January 2023.

Supporting local artisans

There are a lot of different craftsmen in Dubrovnik, some focused on traditional folk manufacturing, while others use more contemporary techniques. This is why the city has tried to cast a wide net, not focusing too much on any particular craft sector.

This year’s grants were awarded to 11 trades dedicated to producing original souvenirs, local products and handicrafts, seven masons, four goldsmiths, four tailors and four restoration professionals.  

Additionally, the city recognised the value of three glass and ceramic producers, three folk dress and doll manufacturers, three tradesmen who make unique jewellery, two mask and carnival costume makers, two iron and metal craftsmen, two men's barbershops and two barcariols (water taxis).

Moreover, authorities also decided to support one hat maker, one embroidery and knitting maker, one shoemaker and an electrician.

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