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Kosovo Youth Transform Their Business with Newly Gained Entrepreneurial Skills

Published 01/13/2021 by Global Communities


Originally published by USAID

Less than two years ago, Fatbardha Muharremi and Herolinda Rexhepi were jobless. Fatbardha had recently graduated from college with a degree in banking and finance. Herolinda, with a passion for clothing, had finished tailoring courses outside of the country. Shortly after Herolinda returned to Kosovo, she reconnected with Fatbardha. The two young women teamed up to open a small tailoring business in their town, Viti/Vitina.  However, they lacked the experience and knowledge of opening and running a small business. Last year, Fatbardha and Herolinda joined USAID’s Up to Youth’s cohort in Viti/Vitina and recently joined the activity’s entrepreneurship school.

“One of the most useful tooIs I learned about in the school, which I will absolutely use in my daily work to grow our business, was the marketing and business plan,” says Fatbardha. Besides the training, both Fatbardha and Herolinda were part of Up to Youth’s rapid market assessment. Along with 15 other Viti/Vitina youth, they conducted interviews with business representatives in their community. “Meeting with members of our community who had been in the market for a long time gave me more confidence and a feeling of enthusiasm to further explore the market.  We have learned that even failure is not a failure; it is actually a part of the journey,” adds Fatbardha.

Due to the new skills and knowledge gained during the school of entrepreneurship, Fatbardha and Herolinda will soon expand their business by offering their clients traditional and folklore costumes. They generated the idea during the rapid market assessment with local businesses when they realized that no one in their municipality offers traditional outfits. “Many people from our community have to go to other towns to buy traditional costumes.  We would like for our clients to be able to buy traditional costumes in their own community instead.”

In addition to Fatbardha and Herolinda, sixty youth participants from nine municipalities in Kosovo have participated in the activity’s entrepreneurship school as part of Up to Youth. Some of the youth already own or contribute to a small or family business, while others create entrepreneurship plans for the first time. Through participation in the entrepreneurship school, the youth will gain the necessary entrepreneurial skills and knowledge to understand and better engage with the private sector, which will prepare them for participating in the municipal and national economies.

Up to Youth is a five year Activity implemented by Global Communities and funded by United States Agency for International Development – USAID.