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Why are Kosovar TV Stations Interested in Startups?

In 2021, TV media became interested in entrepreneurship, startups, and Swiss EP’s work in Kosovo. We analyzed the reasons behind this trend and the impact such development might have on the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country.

In 2021, TV stations in Kosovo started featuring a new type of star: entrepreneurs. They were presented as heroes and people who took their destiny into their own hands. Why is that happening? Will this trend last?

A startup ecosystem consists of many different stakeholders. All of them work together to provide teams and entrepreneurs with conditions and an environment where they can freely develop their businesses and thrive.

While the composition of a startup ecosystem varies, it is generally expected that different institutions, organizations, and communities should participate. Some of these actors might be government, educational institutions, financial institutions, startup supporting organizations, entrepreneurial communities, founder clubs, and even the general public and media.

Observing and working in the Kosovo entrepreneurial ecosystem for over three years, we have identified crucial ecosystem stakeholders and partnered with some of them. And we could say that we're well aware of local circumstances.

However, a new occurrence we encountered in 2021 took us by surprise: some of the local TV stations in Kosovo were expressing interest in startups and entrepreneurship. At first, it appeared to be a seasonal trend, but interest continued to rise in the second half of the year with entrepreneurship-themed features becoming almost mainstream on Kosovo television channels.

Naturally, with this increased media attention, interest for Swiss EP and our work in the country grew as well. In 2021, several Swiss EP Entrepreneurs in Residence were guests of local television stations, including Vineet Devaiah, Dennis Kibirev, and Isabelle Swiderski. In addition, Swiss EP Ecosystem Facilitator in Kosovo Arta Istrefi-Jahja had numerous TV appearances, both as an entrepreneurship expert and Swiss EP team member. Finally, the true stars, entrepreneurs, also talked about the program on several occasions while giving interviews.

While we can’t be entirely certain of the reasons behind this new situation, we do have a few hypotheses::

  • Kosovo is a young nation, and entrepreneurship is an attractive choice for young people. So, televisions are simply trying to catch up and be a part of the general pro-entrepreneurial tendency.
  • Due to their work and success, some startup founders and entrepreneurs (such as Arta Shehu Zaimi and Leart Zogjani) have already become known to the general public.
  • Arta, our ecosystem facilitator in Kosovo, has a media background and network which she is leveraging to promote entrepreneurs, our work on community building, and results in company growth.

We also reached out to Gjylshahe Beqiraj Ibrahimi, author and moderator of the StartUp Show on RTV21, to get another take. Here’s what they said:

Startups are a great incentive for our citizens to think and find other work alternatives by being part of the entrepreneurial world. The media serves the audience with information that will influence people to see entrepreneurship as a career. In this regard, it will help the economic growth and wellbeing of the entire country.

Gjylshahe Beqiraj Ibrahimi, Author and Moderator of StartUp Show on RTV21

While Kosovo's startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem are still in an early stage, it's fantastic to see that different stakeholders are stepping up, contributing to the development of a grander system. In 2021, televised media took a big step forward, making entrepreneurship and startup household terms. Hopefully, journalists will continue to nurture an interest in entrepreneurs, giving them the tribute they deserve.