Kosovo with many financial opportunities for women in entrepreneurship but most do not seek to use those tools
Prishtina, November 15, 2017 – For the fourth consecutive year, American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, proud partner of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2017 organized a discussion on improving access to finance for women entrepreneurs to raise awareness of numerous challenges they face. Starting from financing, owning, and growing a business, limited access to capital, a lack of networks and knowledge resources are a few to mention. The idea behind the discussion was to bring together women with entrepreneurial ambitions and people who have key positions in institutions that can provide valuable information concerning access to finance and knowledge resources for these particular businesses.
During the discussion, Leonora Kusari, Principle Manager at EBRD Advise for Small Businesses, talked about the activities of EBRD in all regions of Kosovo and shared several success stories of women in business, pointing out that the main challenge of the institution she represents is receiving requests for help from women entrepreneurs.
Kusari also expressed her deep concern that regardless of the effort and quality of help that EBRD offers, still they face challenges to receive satisfactory number of women entrepreneurs.
Bahrije Dibra, Senior Project Coordinator – Financial & Energy Sector at KfW, emphasized the importance of detailed financial plan for businesses that seek grants or loans. Another issue that Dibra raised as a barrier that relates to the aforementioned issue is the lack of professional staff. To close the existing gap of what businesses need and what educational institutions provide, KfW next year will launch a grant program that will connect the students with businesses through universities.
Arta Shehu-Zaimi, the co-founder of jCoders, discussed the challenges that women entrepreneurs face in Kosovo and how important it is to have financial incentives, as our culture did not promote readiness to take risks.
Melita Ymeraga, CEO and founder of Ymeraga & Partners, said that those who possess the spirit of entrepreneur should be true believers of their own idea and work for it. According to Ymeraga, once you have those two, the circumstances always turn in one’s favor and financial remedies will be resolved.
All those present in the discussion agreed that there have been improvements for women entrepreneurs, especially in the area of grants, however, there is more to be done for the future especially in the area of knowledge resources, and legal and policy obstacles to business ownership and development.