USAID’s Young Entrepreneurs Program provides tangible micro and small business development support to Kosovo’s new and emerging entrepreneurs, ages 18-35. The Young Entrepreneurs Program recognizes that young entrepreneurs need more than mere training—they need capital and real-time support during the critical early business start-up period. To achieve this, the program provides business start-up matching grants and financing options with practical business training and sustained, hands-on coaching services for fledgling enterprises.
The project supports two types of young entrepreneurs:
- Fast Track Support targeting entrepreneurs with promising business concepts who have either graduated from entrepreneurship courses or own fledgling businesses in operation for up to two years.
- Intensive Track Support targeting nascent entrepreneurs who show an aptitude for business and have a business idea but have no prior business training or experience.
In addition to offering direct support to new businesses, the Program bridges the gap between financial services institutions (FSIs) and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Through the program, young entrepreneurs have access to loans with favorable conditions, while FSIs gain access to a group of well-prepared, fully vetted, and low-risk young businesses that offer strong growth prospects.
Finally, the Young Entrepreneurs Program improves the operating environment for young entrepreneurs. The program achieves its objective by supporting Kosovo’s emerging business technical assistance providers, entrepreneur networking initiatives, and linkages with public, private and donor resources dedicated to SME development such as the Chamber of Commerce, World Bank, Community Development Fund, EU SME project, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, Danida, USAID New Opportunities for Agriculture Program, USAID Business Enabling Environment Program, and USAID Kosovo Private Enterprise Program.
Project Duration: September 2010 – September 2013
USAID Contact: Merita Teliqi
Implementing Partner: Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
Last updated: December 27, 2013