Gratë në Biznes (Women in Business)
Gratë në Biznes (GnB) is an NGO established in 2010 to respond to the needs of Kosovo women entrepreneurs: to empower economically, challenge the barriers, and obtain the market opportunities. The organisation is a non-profit NGO with public beneficiary status, registered at the NGO’s Liaison and Registration Department at the Ministry of Public Administration in Kosovo.
The Mission of GnB is poverty reduction and sustainable economic development through women’s economical empowerment and mobilization of their full entrepreneurial potential, regardless of their age, level of education, religion, race or ethnicity.
GnB serves women entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurs Network “Gratë në Biznes”, which currently has 120 members operating in four main sectors: agro-business, textile, services and food/catering.
The main objectives of GnB are:
- Capacity building for women in the field of entrepreneurship, enabling them to contribute economically to themselves, their families and society overall.
- To consult and support women to establish and develop their enterprises by giving them access to local, national, governmental and non-governmental funds.
- To strengthen women entrepreneurs’ network and use of business experience among women.
- To represent women entrepreneurs, creating a safe and supportive business environment for women.
The main activities of GnB consist of:
- Networking among members, mentoring and promotion of value chains through conferences, B2B meetings, business lunch events, social events, Study Tours.
- Capacity building of women entrepreneurs in business management and leadership through mentoring programs among members and beyond, trainings in Business Start Up and Business Management and trainings in Leadership.
- Advocacy to improve women’s environment in doing business through participation in regional and international WE platforms, conferences, strategies, policy making, researches, meeting with decision makers local and international.
- Marketing and Access to Finances through organization of fairs, promotion events, links with investors and or markets, access to donors, investors or banks, finding of new markets and business partners.
- Other activities such as individual counseling how to challenge business barriers, business growth, possibility for internships and negotiations.
Successes to date:
As of 2010 GnB has successfully implemented more than 25 projects, which have served directly about 800 women entrepreneurs with a portfolio of around 600,000 Euros funded by different donors (Embassies in Prishtina, EU Office in Prishtina, EBRD, Local and Central Government Institutions etc). GnB has produced a documentary film which can be found in you tube and official web page of GnB named “Women Entrepreneurs”, where is presented how women entrepreneurs start from scratch and build their competitive enterprises in Kosovo. Two GnB members have been presented as role models of successful women entrepreneurs in the South East Europe area. GnB has organized and participated in almost 70 fairs locally and internationally. 60 women businesses have expanded their markets and have reported an increase of their businesses; GnB has managed to successfully establish a Agro-Business Centre in Shtime for farmers of four municipalities, in cooperation with EU Office in Kosovo and Shtime Municipality. Also in cooperation with the EU office in Kosovo and Prishtina Municipality and CEED Kosova, GnB has contributed in the successful establishment of Farmer’s Mobile Market in Pristina. The Women Entrepreneurs Network of GnB has become part of regional and international initiatives such as partnership with Charie Blair Foundation, Women World Thrive, Women Entrepreneurship Platform, etc.
Who makes this happen: GnB has an established structure of governance: with the Board of Directors consisting of three members, established statute/bye-laws and following regulations and policies, as required by statute and Kosovo applicable laws. GnB has 6 full time staff members and 2 volunteers.
Role of the University in this project
The role of GnB will be to participate actively in the development of cooperation between universities and enterprises (WP1), attending the meetings and seminars of the project in Kosovo ( WPs 2-4), publicising the SME Advice Centres to its members (WP5) and contributing to the discussions aimed at identifying the skills needed by graduates in Kosovo (WP3). GnB will also encourage its members to offer internships or placements to students of partner universities. It also will support the project with providing of case studies to be developed by the university partners. It will attend the Dissemination Workshops and promote the activities of the Project whenever possible through its own networks and contacts. GnB will support SU in WP8 by good record keeping and retaining appropriate documents.
Staff involved in the project:
Contact Person: Majlinda Mazelliu