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Women in Business

Logo Grate ne Biznes

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:

  1. Capacity building for women in the field of entrepreneurship, enabling them to contribute economically to themselves, their families and society overall.
  2. To consult and support women to establish and develop their enterprises by giving them access to local, national, governmental and non-governmental funds.
  3. To strengthen women entrepreneurs’ network and use of business experience among women.
  4. To represent women entrepreneurs, creating a safe and supportive business environment for women.

The main activities of GnB consist of:

  1. Networking among members, mentoring and promotion of value chains through conferences, B2B meetings, business lunch events, social events, Study Tours.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

Majlinda Mazelliu
Majlinda is the Deputy Executive Director of GnB and the contact person for the organisation in the project. She is a dedicated, resourceful and enthusiastic person and researcher on Women Entrepreneurship field, working for more than 15 years in the sector. She has completed her MBA at Staffordshire University in 2013. Majlinda has successfully undertaken academic scientific research during her MBA studies and her work, which has involved community assessments and presentations in the field of women entrepreneurship and women empowerment in Kosova. She has also published several research papers, with focus on labour market and economic growth of Kosovo, in international academic journals. Through her support for women empowerment programmes Majlinda has been a genuine resource in providing opportunities for Kosovo women entrepreneurs, enabling them to sustain themselves economically and develop their businesses. In 2010, together with two other Kosovar women she co-established the NGO Gratë në Biznes.
Hamide Latifi
Hamide is the Executive Director of GnB and she has shown her drive and fighting spirit at a young age. Coming from a rural background, she broke with tradition and studied Law, in Kosovo. She is quite enthusiastic, energetic, skilful and able to motivate and drive the community, especially women towards development and change. During her work Hamide has became an activist of women rights and has worked as a journalist for more than 17 years, as a volunteer with Mother Theresa for 10 years, and from 2000 she has been successfully engaged in women‘s empowerment programmes, changing the life of more than 25,000 women in Kosovo. With Gratë në Biznes Hamide has managed to grow the organization and support more than 800 women entrepreneurs develop their ideas and fulfil their entrepreneurial potential in Kosovo. Hamide has successfully represented and made the organization partner of important women entrepreneurship platforms worldwide. In 2010, she established the NGO Gratë në Biznes together with two other Kosovar women.

Contact Person: Majlinda Mazelliu