In the Municipality of Velenje, there are 14,749 jobs (source: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SURS), November 2020) and 14,096 working active individuals which means we have a very high labour force participation rate. As many as 7,454 people from other municipalities come to work in our municipality. In other words: almost every other person commutes to work in Velenje from other municipalities, mostly from Šoštanj, Žalec, Mislinja, Šmartno ob Paki, Celje, Slovenj Gradec, Polzela, Mozirje, Braslovče, Dobrna; around 150 commuters come from Ljubljana.

We are aware that in the future it will be necessary to create more jobs in small and medium-sized businesses. For further development of the economy and normal and efficient operation of businesses, it is necessary to complete the third development axis as soon as possible, which is the key to the further development of the region.

The Municipality of Velenje started preparing for a just transition process back in 2020. The land in the Stara Vas Commercial Area is being sold to prosperous companies that create higher added value in the valley, provide new and stable jobs and develop new and environmentally friendly technologies.

In 2021, we created an Economic Development and Restructuring Office which is responsible for supporting the business environment as well as for developing and scaling up the attraction for new investors. The Office submits development projects to obtain European funds for the development of the city and manages the restructuring of our coal region.

The local community is always ready for dialogue, to listen to problems and suggestions, because we believe that together we can find many solutions. Any economy-, entrepreneurship- and craft industry-related questions should be addressed to:

Območna obrtno-podjetniška zbornica Velenje

Stari trg 2
3320 Velenje
T: (03) 898 20 00

Savinjsko-Šaleška gospodarska zbornica

Rudarska cesta 6a
3320 Velenje
T: (03) 898 42 02

Savinjsko-Šaleška Območna razvojna agencija

Savinjska cesta 2
3331 Nazarje
T: (03) 839 47 53
W: ra-sasa.sie

Sasa inkubator

Šaleška cesta 2a
3320 Velenje
T: (03) 777 71 03



According to the data available in the records of the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services (AJPES), there are 2,108 economic operators registered in the Municipality of Velenje, of which 793 are companies and 1,312 are sole traders, and 3 are cooperatives.

Data from annual reports for 2021 were submitted by 723 companies. Large companies represent a 0.6% share, medium-sized companies a 2.2% share, and the rest are small and micro companies. Despite the relatively large number of small and micro companies, large and medium-sized companies still have the greatest impact on business results. Basic activities are: the manufacturing industry, with the manufacture of machinery and equipment being the prevailing activity, the construction industry, the mining and power industry, trade and service activities.

The companies employed 12,003 workers. Large companies employ 79% of all employed individuals in the municipality.

Compared to a year before, in 2021 the companies increased the number of employees, revenues, generated more added value as well as more net added value, and increased profit, including net profit. Apart from that, the amount of net loss also increased. The companies within the municipality ended the 2021 business year with a negative financial impact.

For a few years now, the companies of the Municipality of Velenje have been reaching around 2% of Slovenia’s economic power. In the past year, 1.1% of all companies operated in the municipality, employing 2.3% of all employed individuals, generating 2.4% of all revenues and 1.6% of the net added value of companies in Slovenia.

The companies in the municipality generated EUR 2,842 million revenues in 2021, i.e., 51% more than in 2020. The total expenses of the companies operating within the municipality amounted to EUR 2,868 million and were 52% higher than a year before. The added value was EUR 437 million, 8% more than in 2020. A loss of substance in the amount of EUR 260,000, 31% less than in 2020, was reported by 99 companies, i.e., 13% of all companies. In 2021, companies generated EUR 437 million in net added value i.e., 8% more than a year before. Net added value per employee amounted to EUR 36,402, 2.7% less than in 2020, when we recorded a 23% growth. Net added value expresses productivity. Last year, the net profit of the companies amounted to EUR 24.5 million, an increase of 26% compared to the previous year. The loss amounted to EUR 52.6 million and increased by 88%. The majority share of the municipal losses, i.e., 69%, was generated by mining companies which recorded almost a threefold increase in losses compared to the previous year. The 2021 net profit of the companies in the municipality lagged behind the 2021 net loss, so the economy of the municipality ended in the red in 2021 with the net loss amounting to EUR 28 million which is three times the last year’s amount (index 329). The net profit per employee was negative, with the loss per employee amounting to EUR 2,338, which constitutes a 149% increase compared to 2020.

The average salary per employee in companies operating in the Municipality of Velenje increased by 5.1%, which translates to 3.2% in real terms, and amounted to EUR 1,746, i.e., EUR 85.00 more than in 2020. However, it lags behind the average salary per employee in the Republic of Slovenia (EUR 1,901).

For a few years now, the companies of the Municipality of Velenje have been reaching around 2% of Slovenia’s economic power. In the past year, 1.1% of all companies operated in the municipality, employing 2.3% of all employed individuals, generating 2.4% of all revenues and 1.6% of the net added value of companies in Slovenia.

In 2021, there was a total of 603 sole traders who submitted annual reports to the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services (AJPES). They employed 608 people. By structure, most entrepreneurs are micro-sized. Considering the economic structure, the following remain the strongest industries in the region: construction; professional, scientific and technical activities; manufacturing activities; trade; maintenance and repair of motor vehicles; transport and storage; and catering.

Entrepreneurs reported EUR 55.6 million revenues in 2021, i.e., a 1/5 increase compared to the previous year. They increased the number of employees by 9% and raised wages. Together with them, they improved productivity or added value by 20%. They ended 2021 with a much higher net income, which they increased by half.

In 2021, entrepreneurs in the municipality reported EUR 55.6 million in revenue, which they increased by 20.5% and the majority of which (EUR 52.5 million) accounts for net sales revenue; the growth was 22%. The expenses of entrepreneurs reached EUR 49.4 million in 2021 with the majority accounting for operating expenses. Added value increased by 20%, amounting to EUR 21.4 million, and was reported by 90% of entrepreneurs in the municipality. A loss of substance in the amount of EUR 133,000 was reported by less than one tenth of entrepreneurs and decreased by 6% compared to 2020.

The net added value amounted to EUR 21,298 thousand (20% growth compared to the previous year). As much as three-quarters of the total substance was created by entrepreneurs from the strongest activities (construction; manufacturing; transport and storage as well as trade; maintenance and repairs of motor vehicles). The net added value of entrepreneurs accounted for 4.6% of the net added value of companies. The net added value per employee increased by 12% to EUR 35,005. However, the net added value per economic operator together with its employees, who also contribute to economic activity, is much lower; it amounted to EUR 17,581, 16% more than the year before.

The majority of entrepreneurs (521) reported an income in the amount of EUR 6,487 thousand, which was 40% higher than the year before. A negative business result (loss) in the amount of EUR 342 thousand was reported by 78 entrepreneurs, mainly in the trade, maintenance and repair of motor vehicles, other activities, catering, processing and construction activities.



The Municipality of Velenje measures 8,350 ha, of which 2,612 ha account for agricultural land and 4,255 ha account for forests. Most of the agricultural land (59.7%) is covered by grass, with fields, intensive orchards and vineyards covering the rest.

The majority of agricultural holdings, i.e., 496 of them (according to the census of agricultural holdings from 2000), are located at an altitude of 300–800 m above sea level. These are all considered farms within agricultural areas with unfavourable growing conditions.

Prevailing activities are animal husbandry and the production of milk and meat. At higher altitudes, the fattening of cattle is the main activity, with the raising of sheep and goat gaining ground as well. Pig farming is mainly intended for own supply of pork meat. In recent years, interest in the commercial production of vegetables has increased on smaller farms at lower altitudes with farms being included in the integrated crop production control system. A few farms have opted for organic farming; they are engaged in cattle breeding and raising sheep and goat.

A few small growers are engaged in intensive fruit growing with apples being most widely grown fruit. The majority share of fruit is produced by the Šalek Valley Agricultural Cooperative in its intensive orchards. Wine growing accounts for a small share of agricultural activities with wine growers mainly growing wine for their own needs.


Craft and small business

The Velenje Regional Chamber of Craft and Small Business is an association bringing together knowledge and people from the business world and the world of craft. The chamber’s regional areas of operation encompass three municipalities: Velenje, Šoštanj and Šmartno ob Paki. The chamber has 300 members with the majority of them accounting for craftsmen and entrepreneurs operating in the construction industry. The chamber tries to facilitate the bureaucratic aspect of operations for its members by providing training and advice. At the national level, it fights for better operating conditions for both craftsmen and entrepreneurs.


Start up

With the aim of developing entrepreneurship and creating new jobs, the Municipality of Velenje provided almost 2,000 m² of space in the Standard Business Centre, where the SAŠA start-up incubator operates. The SAŠA start-up incubator is a meeting point for creative companies and individuals who, with the substantive support (consulting) of the incubator team, have been provided with possibilities for faster and more intensive development. In 2021, despite the challenging time of the epidemic, many success stories were written. With the support of the start-up incubator 31 companies set off on a new business path creating 45 jobs. The incubator held 43 events and provided 1,381 hours of counselling. Young companies operating under the auspices of the SAŠA start-up incubator are very successful in obtaining grant funds for the further development of business ideas, as they have received as many as three innovation awards from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Savinja and Šalek Region as well as an approved investment by the Business Angels of Slovenia.

Since September 2014, the Municipality of Velenje has been the majority owner of the SAŠA start-up incubator, which, with the new management, team and programme, has assumed a responsible role for the development of the economy in the Municipality of Velenje. Since 2015, the SAŠA start-up incubator has had modern offices and coworking spaces in the Standard Business Centre and new coworking spaces in the new Čuk Creative Centre in the Old Town of Velenje (CTN Stari trg 11). The new Velenje Industrial and Technology Park will be built in the Stara Vas Commercial Area, which will expand the incubator’s activity and provide innovative start-up companies with infrastructure and knowledge for their development.

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