While Kosovo is grappling to achieve inclusive and sustainable economic development, an array of structural market constraints across a range of domains continue to perpetuate exclusionary business practices. The poor business environment and structural market constraints, such as inadequate access to finance, low FDI inflows, inequitable gender norms, etc., are just some of the structural hindrances that undermine Kosovo’s competitiveness in business. There is also an alarming rate of youth unemployment (49.1% for the age group 15-24), further unveiling the prevailing structural problems in the country. The coexistence of a range of economic and socio-political factors, has encouraged massive waves of emigration, leading to brain drain. Moreover, women still face several barriers in participating in the labour market on the same terms as their male counterparts, such as the division of professions along gender lines assigning women to work in slower growth and lower paid sectors and the gender stereotypes creating more unpaid work for women at home with childcare and household chores.
The systemic change in the field of economic inclusion the project aims for, will be achieved through facilitating economic market players to change behaviour and carry out new or improved activities, which will lead to a sustainable change in the market support systems, especially concerning a more effective inclusion of vulnerable groups. The activities are expected to enhance the competitiveness and business performance of the local companies, with special focus to those owned by women and youth, which leads to job creation and income generation, thus making the private sector more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive. Inclusiveness of vulnerable groups will be embedded within core procedural tools of the project, for example, in the choice of eligibility criteria for selecting beneficiaries. Selection criteria will follow socially inclusive guidelines. In any activity, deliberate steps will be taken to ensure women’s participation (both from urban and rural areas) and those from minority groups.
Support service of Kosovo Investment and Enterprise Support Agency (KIESA) for market development improved;
Consultancy services of the Business Consultants Council (BCC) standardized and regulated;
Women’s participation in the ICT sector increased through supporting Digi Women Cluster;
Kosovo’s Fund for Innovation and Technological Development (KFITD) established;
Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) enabled to digitalize through targeted and upscaled Business Digitalization Services;
Financial literacy of vulnerable population improved through the “Biznesi Im” Platform;
MSMEs enabled to access digital services through the “Biznesi Im” Platform;
Business Digitalization Services improved through certification of consultants from marginalized populations.
Expert support for the establishment of Kosovo’s Fund for Innovation and Technological Development and making it fully operational;
Expert support in developing consulting profession standard, as well as in accrediting the Business Consultants Council as a training and certification body;
Organization of promotional events in Kosovo to promote women’s participation in the ICT sector;
MSMEs benefiting from the digitalization services provided through the Digital Empowerment Initiative;
Workshops with MSMEs and young entrepreneurs to inform/train them on financial literacy;
Development of tools and technical upscaling of the “Biznesi Im” platform;
Marketing campaign for promotion of the Biznesi Im Platform materials/content and tools;
Support measures/incentives for the certification of consultants from marginalized groups.
The primary target group are vulnerable citizens of Kosovo, mainly young and marginalized women and men (from rural areas), active or interested in running entrepreneurial activities.
Government Institutions and agencies will benefit through strengthening and upscaling the support mechanisms and facilitating the establishment of new mechanisms.
Kosovo MSMEs and start-ups, run by marginalized groups will benefit from improved efficiency and effectiveness of market support systems – public mechanisms and tools such as the Digital Empowerment Initiative and Biznesi Im Platform. In addition, they will benefit from improved innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Kosovo, the enhanced quality of business digitalization service providers and higher access to the local and international market.
01.01.2023 - 30.06.2026
50.000 indirect beneficiaries
Austrian Development Agency (with funding from the Austrian Development Cooperation), Kosovo Ministry of Industry, Entrepreneurship, and Trade (MIET)
Contribute to a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive private sector development enabling inclusive job creation and income generation for the poor and vulnerable.
Kosovo Ministry of Industry, Entrepreneurship, and Trade (MIET)
This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):