The member organization of the Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN), Sundimi i Demokracisë në Kosovë (SDK) within the framework of ongoing commitments to strengthen gender mechanisms in the municipality of Podujeva, has held a three-day training for the empowerment of women in business.The SDK Organization Holds Training for Women’s Empowerment in Business
The training was focused on women engaged in economic activities from various sectors such as agribusiness, handicrafts, traditional foods, and also included those who planned to engage in economic activities.
The purpose of the training was to professionally train women in business administration and support the promotion of their products/services. Specifically, the participating women gained knowledge in preparing a business plan, business management, and a portion of the training was dedicated to advocacy practices for affirmative policies at the local level for women entrepreneurs and building networks for businesswomen.
Besnik Muçaj, an expert in governance and local economic development, stated that these trainings help to better understand the context of women’s challenges in conducting business. They also address systemic issues in municipal policies and financing, as well as the friendliness of local affirmative policies towards women’s businesses.
“The problems of women in business in the municipality of Podujeva are not limited to the very fact of their work as businesses, but are closely related to other limitations such as the burden of caring for the family, property, access to funds, and access to the market and sales. Therefore, we are making efforts to address some issues starting from self-organization to address issues in municipal policies to build common management structures and connect women’s businesses and find markets for them,” he said.
The challenges faced by women in business in the municipality of Podujeva are not limited to the nature of their work as entrepreneurs but are closely related to other constraints, including family responsibilities, property ownership, access to funding, and entry into the market and sales. Therefore, we are making efforts to address these issues, starting from self-organization to tackling problems in municipal policies, establishing collaborative management structures, connecting women’s businesses, and identifying markets for their products,” he said.
Nazife Gashi, a participant in the training who works with traditional foods such as the preparation of baklava, said that despite all the difficulties, a job that, as she says, she loves with her soul, succeeds.
“The work you love, you have a passion for, although it is difficult, I think you can do it. Regarding help from the municipality, I have never received help or any financial push. I started with my own funds and it cost me thousands of euros, but I succeeded. I think that as a woman it is difficult to do business, but I succeeded, although I do everything myself.
She says that the lack of workers is making work even more difficult, as young people are fleeing the country.
“I used to have two drivers who distributed the food; they even went abroad. Now I prepare and distribute the food they order themselves, which is not easy,” she said.
The SDK’s activity was made possible through the grant received in the 18th round of the Kosovo Women’s Fund for core support, financed by the Sigrid Rausing Foundation.