The region of south eastern Slovenia covers 2.675 square kilometres and as such forms the largest region in Slovenia (13.2 per cent) with 138,000 inhabitants. The region varies greatly according to economic or general development, unemployment, education levels, cultural and historical background and topography. More than half of the territory presents a demographic challenge. The Development Centre Novo Mesto was established in 1998 by the Novo mesto Urban Municipality and the Municipalities of Šentjernej, Škocjan, Dolenjske Toplice, Mirna peč and Žužemberk, and the Regional Chambers of Commerce and Crafts in Novo Mesto. It is registered as a limited liability company. In 2001 it was proposed by 16 local municipalities and appointed by the National Agency for Regional Development as a regional development agency for South Eastern Slovenia.
Its first project was preparation of the Regional Development Plan and various workshops were organised. The principal aim is to develop small business companies, offering them financial and organisational assistance and consulting. A network of consultants for individual fields has been set up; cultural tourism is one of the most important areas to be developed.