How is Women Entrepreneurs Kosovo Changing the Perception of Female Founders in the Country?
Women Entrepreneurs Kosovo is a young organization with a big mission—empowering female founders in the country to be more courageous and ambitious when building their businesses.
Organizations and communities that support female-led businesses always have specific energy and exciting stories to share. Women Entrepreneurs Kosovo is no exception.
According to the Labor Force Survey that the Kosovo Agency of Statistics issued for Q4 2020, only 15,8% of employees in Kosovo are females. Moreover, the women's unemployment rate is three times higher compared to that of men. Only 11% of registered businesses are owned by women, so, although women make up half of the working population in the country, their participation in the business world is meager.
With the desire to change this picture, a group of women founders gathered around a common goal—to support and empower women in Kosovo to start and develop their businesses. Something that started as an initiative of a few brave ladies grew into a lively community that provides enormous value for its members.
Founded at the end of 2020, Women Entrepreneurs Kosovo quickly realized that they needed to assist their members in consolidating their plans for the upcoming year. Luckily, Swiss EP had an excellent suggestion: the "Business Planning 2021" program led by Barbara Fischer. Since Barbara already ran the same program with female founders in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was easy for her to adjust to the new group.
It turned out that Women Entrepreneurs Kosovo and Barbara were a perfect fit. In fact, the ladies enjoyed Barbara’s program so much that they asked if they could continue working with her over the long term. The affection was mutual, and Barbara soon became the master mentor of the group. From March 2021 on, they meet once a month to talk about various topics related to business planning.
Aside from business planning, the group also organizes different joint activities:
- Regular group meetings foster knowledge and experience sharing, peer advisory, and building closer relationships.
- Joint lobbying and business meetings with different stakeholders, such as banks. Thanks to conversations with Women Entrepreneurs Kosovo, a bank in Kosovo now offers various packages and favorable loans for women entrepreneurs.
- Sharing information about relevant opportunities, such as open calls for different financial support opportunities, learning courses, or conferences members can take part in.
Women Entrepreneurs Kosovo is a young community of like-minded women founders with a very long road in front of them. Supporting female founders and changing the perception of women as economic beings in a patriarchal and traditional society can be very challenging. But, thanks to very positive role models and the shift of generations in the country, the timing for such an initiative could not be better.
Women Entrepreneurs Kosovo is an important initiative to create a support system within the business community, by addressing individual accomplishments or struggles and by sharing nurturing advice and recommendations.