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Promoting Private Sector Employment (PPSE)

SMEs that operate in competitive and well-organized economic sectors, where public policies better match private sector needs, provide increased sustainable gainful employment for women and men in Kosovo.

Kosovo has grown moderately at an average rate of 3% in the last few years and is constantly facing growing labour force. The positive economic trends fall short to generate number of jobs needed to absorb those entering the market every year (around 30,000). Youth, women and minorities (particularly Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian minorities) remain most excluded groups. Formal employment makes around 75% (269,500 employees) of the overall employment, with public sector accounting for 25% of formal jobs. Lack of SME innovation as well as lack of relevant and affordable market support services are limiting SME growth. On the other hand, sustainable sector growth has the highest potential to create SMEs and employment opportunities. Therefore, private sector development and job creation remains the main goals of SDC and of the Kosovo Government.

The Project

The project contributes to innovations and credible visible changes in the Food and Natural Ingredients and Tourism sectors respectively. Building upon the objectives, achievements, and lessons learned of Phase I, in this current phase 2017 – 2021 the project will tackle private sector development and job creation with more emphasis on youth, women and minorities.

The Food and Natural Ingredients sector facilitates and supports opportunities in fresh and processed sectors of fruits and vegetables, medicinal and aromatic plants, and confectionary. Activities in this sector seek to improve the range and diversification of products, improve competitiveness of market actors; develop marketing and certification services, improve promotion and sales of products in local segments, and boost export.

The Tourism sector aims to directly contribute to increased numbers of tourists, who spend more and stay longer in the destination, thus leading to more income and employment. Activities in this sector seek to support development of new products throughout Kosovo, improvement of touristic attractions, intensified international tourism promotion, and provide short-term trainings for specialized tourism-related occupations.

The Opportunity Fund is an additional co-funding mechanism that aims to bring systemic change within the companies by testing out innovative ideas in sectors that PPSE work in. The Social Inclusion Fund supports private sector employment creation for the minority communities and other socially excluded groups, with particular focus on Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian.

PPSE collaborates and seeks synergies with the business sector, business organizations, central and local level public institutions, other donor agencies and projects.

Project goals

  1. Gainful and inclusive employment is created for young people, women and minorities in dynamic SMEs in growing selected sectors, which aims to facilitate the employment generation for the youth, women and minorities within the private sector at development and growth of the selected sectors; and
  2. SMEs improve their offer, efficiency and competitiveness in improved and better organized inclusive market systems, which aims at improving the businesses development service provision, organization and networking in the selected sectors to enable the SMEs to benefit from improved services and environment.


Project progress in Phase I, 2014 - 2017

  • A total of 850 FTEs created
  • 1,000 SMEs generated more than CHF 2,000,000 net additional income increase
  • Uptake of contract farming linking farmers with the processing industry, increased investment and product diversification by processing companies leading to increase in sales volume in different market segments. With the growth of the processing industry, the project has also contributed to the response of the support markets such as packaging, certification, financing schemes etc
  • Significant improvement of the tourism offer in Western Kosovo (and beyond), with newly developed tourism products where tourism actors have started to commercialise. Tourism sector in Western Kosovo recorded significant growth, with more than 75% growth in the number of tourists and overnights, 26% increase in employment and 48% in income during the four-year period. The sector was also characterized with higher involvement of the public sector and increased interest from universities and media.
  • Private sector governance activities, contract financing and advocacy initiatives with the public sector were initiated, thus improving the business environment

Project partner

  • Riinvest Institute

Project website


Project countries

  • Kosovo

Project duration

2017 - 2021


  • SDC

Working area


Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.org