According to historical documents, the development of crafts, and entrepreneurship as such, of Krapina-Zagorje county began in the 12th century when the City of Krapina received a Charter of a free market City. In the course of the 13th and in the first half of the 14th century, first settlements were formed, which were the foundation for present towns and communities. In other words, in that period the forming of productive, political, administrative and public life of the modern settlements began.
Stronger economic development in Krapina-Zagorje county began with the first manufactory "Krapinske kamenine" established in 1800 (production of ceramic art). In 1811 began the extraction of sulphur, and in 1860 the production of glass began in Hum na Sutli. In the 1920s and 1930s, first significant textile production began which was, and especially in the decades to follow, the basis for development of other manufacturing industries.
Today the manufacturing industry of Krapina-Zagorje County accounts for almost half of total entrepreneurial revenue and employs almost half of employees of the County. Most products of the manufacturing industry are intended for export to foreign countries and constitute almost half of total revenue. The most important activities of the manufacturing industry are:
These three activities generate two thirds of total revenues, expenditures, employees, and four-fifths of total exports of Krapina-Zagorje County’s manufacturing industry.
More than 99% of the County's entrepreneurs are SMEs. Although their current role in the economy is vital, their potential and future contributions are the basis for the County's further development. Much is expected from tourism, especially health tourism, which records significant investments in the last couple of years. In combination with the County's favourable geographical position and unified touristic offer, which varies from religious, cultural, historical, thermal, wellness, health, congress, hiking, cycling and other outdoors activities, it poses a great potential for the County's prosperity.
So that the County's development may stay on the laid course, all the institutions have an partnership collaboration aimed at social, cultural and economic growth.
Historical facts and trends of the 20th century economy have led to the idea of organising the first Zagorje economic exhibition ("Zagorski gospodarski zbor”), with the purpose of gathering as many business people from our County, as well as partners from the neighbouring Counties, which it still fulfils today. Year after year we try to qualitatively present our economic, commercial, and touristic potential, but also a rich offer of agricultural products. From the initial forty exhibitors at the first Zagorje economic exhibition we came to the present 160 exhibitors from all over north-western Croatia and Slovenia.
The main objective all these years of the exhibition has been to inform and promote the County's manufacturers and their products to the public, as their work, knowledge and skills contribute to the development of the diversity of the Croatian economy and so, many of them continue to exhibit at Zagorje economic exhibition from the very beginning.