This research discusses processes in Slovakia, known as endogenous development, that have been related to general process of political and economical transformation in Slovakia since 1990s. The term endogenous development defines the growth of communities from inside, which is provided by local human, productive and natural resources and external support. The aim of this sociological research is to discuss development initiatives in selected rural communities of Veľká Ves, Málinec and Hradište. The research had been carried out in the period between 2004 and 2007. Local initiatives in Slovakia are, in generally, performed by self-government bodies, civic initiative and local businesses. These subjects act either independently or in partial cooperation. Since 2000s, authorities and institutions, that are in charge of subsidies, grants and Euro-funds on behalf of communities, highlight the need for co-operation among all three subjects. Examples of these coordinative actions involving self-government, population and private sector already exist, although the self-government bodies – above all mayors – have been principal and, in most cases, the only initiators of these processes. This fact was acknowledged by interviewed mayors from the observed municipalities. From them, some important empirical information, related to the endogenous development of municipalities, were obtained. The ethnological research dealing with local initiatives and local development had already been carried out (Danglová et al. 2005). On one hand, this research analyses local initiatives inside communities, and, on the other hand, it traces regional context of local development activities. The relation between communities and region has been defined by comparing basic attributes of their development.
Looking at the village of Velka Ves the paper focuses upon endogenous developmental activities of the rural settlements. Development of the villages 'from within' i.e. trough the internal initiatives as become gradually important since beginning of 1990s, when municipal government was renewed in Slovakia. The paper deals with the developmental initiatives of municipality, which is currently most important agent in the development of the rural settlements in Slovakia. The endogenous development of the village Velka Ves is defined at three levels, in particular: (a) an importance of the supportive regional institutions for the development of the settlement, (b) the role of the associations in cooperation within and among the settlements, (c) the activities related to the projects.