The overall goal of C4EE (Coaching for employment and entrepreneurship) is to integrate 1 856 young people (45% women) with marginalised or migrating backgrounds into the labour market. Through teaching them basic tools, the beneficiaries will have a greater ability to make a living and to actively participate in society. This is facilitated by means of a coaching cycle which was developed in collaboration with HSLU (Hochschule Luzern).
Albania and Kosovo remain two of the poorest countries in Europe. The chances for young people to find paid work are very limited. Although, economic growth has been sustained in recent years, hardly any new jobs have been created. The lack of jobs mainly affects young people and people from disadvantaged and discriminated groups, who are often stigmatised. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), more than half of the young people in Kosovo are currently looking for work; in Albania, one third of the young women and men are out of work. The quality of vocational training is still inadequate, and measures taken for labour market integration, such as counselling or internships, are poor, fragmented or completely absent.
To promote the development of the young people, the project strives to resolve constraints such as lack of professional and life skills of young participants, lack of knowledge and orientation regarding labour market opportunities, lack of access and proper services in this context at different levels. This is achieved by training coaches who implement the coaching cycle. Also, the weak cooperation among state and private sector actors in the area of employment is strengthened.
The young beneficiaries are from Roma and Egyptian communities or have a migrating background. Some of them restore their confidence as an employee. Through internships in various sectors the participants learn about their individual skills which can be realized best. Others aspire self-employment. Swisscontact is guiding these young adults in this process. Some of the beneficiaries work as cooks in restaurants or hotels, as salesperson in a bakery or grocery store or are employed within the technical sector of construction and producing companies. Swisscontact likewise supports existing entrepreneurs in creating new jobs by outsourcing processes within the company. For example, a number of car dealers recognised the potential to hire young Roma or Egyptian integrating them in the cleaning process. This way, companies save costs (monetary and time resources) by washing the cars internally instead of taking them to external car washers.
An additional project component addresses the challenges of access to financial services and products for these disadvantaged, marginalised people. The C4EE Microfinance component presents itself as an opportunity for former or current participants of the C4EE coaching cycle who opt for (micro) entrepreneurship. It increases the value and impact of the acquired entrepreneurship skills, entrepreneurship coaching processes and development of sound business plans to apply for financial products These existing or new young entrepreneurs lack financial track records and collateral, which hamper their chances of accessing loans or other financial services. Access to financial services has been a weakness of the local market and its informal tradition of doing business within the country. This microfinance project component of C4EE will boost the capacities of the microfinance institutions in responding to a wider target group and, on the other hand, promote financial skills of these young, marginalised entrepreneurs. The project component is fully financed by EMF Foundation, Hilti Foundation and Medicor Foundation and is running from July 2019 until June 2021.
Project results 2017 - 2020