Women-Owned Businesses: Challenges and Opportunities

Friday, June 19, 2020
Women in business discuss current issues and challenges
Checchi and Company Consulting Inc.for USAID Kosovo

Women-owned businesses gathered virtually to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the time of COVID-19.  Working from home, while also managing a household, including for some as mothers and wives, has been particularly difficult for women in business.  In addition to the three panelists and the female moderator, more than 30 online viewers joined the virtual roundtable organized by the American Chamber of Commerce and the USAID Commercial Justice Activity.

Even with the easing of measures in Kosovo and the restart of operations for select businesses, most women business owners have been unable to resume operations as schools and daycare centers have remained closed, according to the panelists.  Because of this disproportionate impact, women representatives suggested during the roundtable that the government should consider prioritizing subsidies for businesses owned by women, micro-businesses, and homegrown businesses. 

In addition to discussing the challenges, the panelists also highlighted the many opportunities that have arisen due to the public health emergency.  They discussed the rise of e-commerce and the opportunity to continue selling products online even after the restrictive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 relax.  While working from home, the women have started buying each other’s products and services online.  The panelists pointed out that the pandemic has even led them to begin examining opportunities to collaborate rather than compete among businesses.  Looking toward the future, the women business owners have begun to reassess how to conduct business in Kosovo, as they consider continuing to work-from-home to reduce both commuting and office space costs.

The virtual roundtables with businesses are in lieu of physical roundtables during the public health emergency.  The schedule includes six topics ranging from court approaches for business disputes to enforcement measures and force majeure in the time of COVID-19.  To date, four of the six roundtables have successfully concluded with over 150 viewers, while another two virtual roundtables are scheduled for the end of May and the beginning of June.  The roundtables are open to the public and can be viewed online on Gjirafa.com.  

Last updated: July 07, 2020

Share This Page