Fostering Employment and Growth Opportunities (FEGO)

The FEGO project aims to generate employment and income for women, men, and youth, presently living in poverty and socio-economic marginalization. The project seeks to reach sustainable and scalable growth of micro/small (family) business and start-ups, in three main sectors where the project is focused: apparel, furniture and rural tourism. 
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Pristina
42.6629138
21.1655028
Project duration
2022 - 2025
Financed by
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

The Project

Despite moderate economic growth in recent years, Kosovo is unable to address high rates of unemployment and poverty. The project targets the many women, youth and men that affected by various dimensions of poverty and socio-economic marginalization (23.1% of the population). Most of them are presently unemployed or informally self-employed - in family-run micro or small businesses. They face serious constraints to graduate out of their low incomes and socio-economic marginalization, as they lack market linkages, skills, access to services, technology, and information. Also, there are hardly any effective policies to create a favourable environment for their empowerment and development.  They are socio-economically trapped in unemployment and/or low margins of the informal economy and see their right to income and work structurally frustrated.

FEGO project aspires to bring about lasting structural changes in the market systems for three sectors furniture, apparel, and rural tourism, with a high potential for employment and income generation for its target group. The project FEGO aims to boost and contribute to more inclusive market systems through project interventions offering the chance to economically and socially disadvantaged people to improve their lives on their own initiative.

FEGO takes a grassroot approach: reaching and fostering sustainable and scalable growth of micro/small (family) business and start-ups; and generating income for the poor women, men and youth that own these micro-businesses, work for them or start new micro-businesses. It facilitates their successful integration into the apparel, furniture, and rural tourism value chains - removing present structural constraints and enabling them to seize strategic opportunities for socio-economic growth and inclusion. It applies a market systems approach, facilitating that the apparel, furniture, and rural tourism sectors function better and produce more (self) employment and income for the beneficiaries.

As the lack of innovation is one of the main bottlenecks for private sector development in Kosovo, the project actively explores opportunities and promotes innovative initiatives through the innovation fund for supporting the piloting, and subsequent expansion, of innovative business ideas and models. The project will support start-up initiatives and help them to improve their market linkages through the facilitation of access to B2B networks and services to address the demand of micro and small manufacturing businesses in the selected sectors, in function of the demand and needs of their buyers/distributors.

Some of the main activities of the FEGO project overcome the present critical constraints to their effective and favourable integration of micro and small businesses into the value chains.

In nutshell, in outcome 1 activities will be concentrated on establishing a first round of new business innovations, and the facilitation of the respective market linkages with buyer/distribution companies and support services; the establishment of a matchmaking facility; and a first round of training and mentoring of the first batch of micro/small businesses.

In outcome 2 the activities will concentrate on a first of the five tourist destinations: where a first round of training and coaching will take place, to improve and integrate the tourism offer; and at the same time a joint branding and marketing campaign will be developed; and a first batch of micro/small businesses will be matched to tour operators, diaspora organizations and direct marketing channels and supported in the business development.

Project Goals

The FEGO project aims to reach its outcomes through two main objectives:

Fostering the growth and development of micro/small (family) business in the apparel and furniture sectors, and facilitating their entrepreneurship growth:

  • Improving their access to services and equipment (output 1.1), to improve their quality and production capacities.
  • Improving their market linkages and access to B2B networks and services (output 1.2), for their business growth and improved marketing, sales, branding and digitalization.
  • Facilitating that they gain business knowledge (output 1.3) through networking, peer exchange, coaching and mentorship.

Cultivating business-to-business micro/small entrepreneurship initiatives for the development of rural tourism:

  • Improving the quality and branding of their products and services (output 2.1), strengthening their knowledge around hospitality, marketing, and promotion, and improving the quality of their products and services towards tourists.
  • Improving their access to sales channels (output 2.2), staging collective branding and digital marketing, and enabling them to penetrate and be promoted in specific market segments via tour operators, digital platforms, and info points.

Expected Results

The expected results have been derived based on the estimated benefit outreach of micro, small and start-up businesses in the apparel and furniture sectors.

  • 100 micro and small manufacturing businesses and 30 start-up businesses (at least 25% owned by women, at least 25% owned by youth).
  • 500 women, men and youth employed and benefitting (at least 50% women, at least 50% youth, at least 10% from minorities).
  • 3 million Euro cumulative additional turnover of micro, small and start-up businesses (at least 25% owned by women, at least 25% owned by youth) and their SME partner companies.
  • 2 million Euro cumulative earnings of women, men and youth employed.
  • 900,000 Euro cumulative amount of attributable investments generated by the private sector and local governments.

The expected results have been derived based on the number of rural tourism destinations that the project will work. Successful interventions in at least 5 destinations (local rural tourism areas), are expected to benefit.

  • 50 micro/small rural tourism or complementary businesses (at least 20% owned by women; at least 40% owned by youth).
  • 200 women, men and youth employed and benefiting (at least 50% women, at least 50% youth, at least 10% from minorities).
  • 500,000 Euro cumulative additional of the women, men and youth employed (at least 50% women, at least 50% youth, at least 10% from minorities).
  • 1 million Euro cumulative additional turnover of micro/small rural tourism or complementary businesses (at least 20% owned by women; at least 40% owned by youth).
  • 600,000 Euro cumulative amount of attributable investments generated by the private sector and local governments.