Women Entrepreneurs Lift Lives and Strengthen Communities

Friday, December 20, 2019
Administrator Green is presented with US and Kosovo flagged shoes at Solid Shoe Company
Armend Nimani for USAID Kosovo

A society can progress only when the entire population, men and women alike, are fully engaged.  In Kosovo, women face many challenges with more than 80 percent of women inactive in the labor force; of the remaining women who are active, the unemployment rate is 37 percent.  As entrepreneurs, women represent only 10 percent of business owners and own mostly micro and small businesses.  USAID activities are geared toward building the capacities of women entrepreneurs and creating conditions that will help women engage and thrive in the economy.  More specifically, the activities help women with enhanced job opportunities and business investments in different sectors by facilitating access to credit, job-specific training, and on-the-job mentoring.  Solid Shoes, which received a sub-grant under a USAID project to help expand into a new production line, is an example of a successful Kosovo business that has implemented gender-sensitive hiring practices and even financed a day-care center next to the factory.

Solid Shoes was the first stop for USAID Administrator Mark Green during his visit to Kosovo on November 11-12, 2019.  Following the tour of the shoemaking line, Administrator Green met with several women entrepreneurs and discussed with them the challenges and opportunities women face in private enterprises, and their experiences working in a male-dominated environment.  Administrator Green encouraged the successful businesswomen to continue to work toward reducing the gender gap in their sectors and to mentor the next generation of women entrepreneurs. 

 

Last updated: December 20, 2019

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