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.
The FEGO project aim 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:
Cultivating business-to-business micro/small entrepreneurship initiatives for the development of rural tourism:
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.
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.