BUSINESS INNOVATION PROGRAMS

Articles - BIP Kosovo



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KS & BIP TRAINING YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS IN KOSOVO
From skipping school to Summer Camp

New teaching methodology and practical approach for 3 Municipalities; 4 Schools; 8 Teachers; 30 Companies; 120 students.

Kosovo – Beginning of December 2007, period of big political expectation for the region, but not that important for 120 students of vocational schools from three Kosovo municipalities: Fushe Kosova, Drinas and Obilic. KS (The Norwegian Association of Local Municipalities) & BIP Norway, organized the Second Young Entrepreneurs Fair in Kosovo for 30 student companies under the supervision of 8 teachers. Teachers and students, with the assistance of KS & BIP, organized two-day Fair, as the final face of the one year work on development of business plan.

BIP’s approach to the business plan development brought the new teaching methodology into selected vocational schools. Replacing the traditional ex-cathedra teaching approach, where teacher is in the center of the learning process, with modern teaching methodology, where teacher has the role as the consultant and moderator keeping the students in the center of the learning process.

Schools in three Kosovo municipalities, even being vocational and technical schools, are not providing any practical teaching for their students. BIP’s extra-curricula program of business plan development provided the practical teaching and was met with enthusiasm from all sides: teachers, students and BIP & KS.

Bringing new teaching methodology in schools changed the way of teachers’ behavior as well as the behavior of students.

During the Student Enterprise Fair, KS & BIP representatives were approached by grateful parents who said that their sons were skipping school before BIP introduced the Program for business development, but now they are members of the winning student company that will participate at the BIP’s Summer Camp in Montenegro in 2008.

Traditional approach for decreasing of the number of school drop-outs could have been organized through dialog with educational authorities, but sometimes the complex problems could be solved by simple solutions. BIP’s practical business plan development initiated the higher interest in education among young people. Young people organized companies offering the small solutions for the everyday problem – electricity blackouts. Out of 30 companies seven offered different solutions for the alternative electricity sources: from the solar plates, over the door lights, to the book-holder light.

The experienced gained in Kosovo proves that even the small changes in the educational approach can have significant impact on students future life and the society they live in.


The Student Enterprise (SE) project in Kosovo

This project was introduced in 2005 and implemented in 2006. During BIP`s visit in November 2005 the staff at KS Kosovo was trained in order to implement an introductory seminar for selected teachers in December 2005. Additional training for the teachers was held in February 2006, with follow up in June and September from Business Innovation Programs. Additionally, the staff at KS Kosovo had the responsibility for the daily follow up of teachers and students. A designated person, Driton Ramajli, from the staff at KS Kosovo was given the responsibility for the SE project. He was supported by Bejt Latifi and two certified trainers; Myrvete Haxoli and Rexhep Sylejmani.

There were five participating secondary schools, one in Obilic, two in Fushe Kosova and two in Gllogovc, with a total of 28 student enterprises involving 133 students.

The Student Enterprise fair was arranged at the Fushe Kosova Sports Centre on the 6th and the 7th of November this year. KS Kosovo provided stands for each student company. A substantial result was achieved thanks to excellent and enthusiastic work by KS Kosovo, the Business Centres, the schools, teachers and students involved. The fair was visited by a large number of visitors, estimated to be between 2.000 and 3.000 people. As such, the exhibition hall was crowded with visitors the two days the fair was open. Additionally, thanks to good local media contacts, the television channel KTV made a 7 minute program from the fair.

The prize for the overall best Student Enterprise was awarded the company Electronic Arts. They will together with their teacher come to Norway in February 2007, to attend at the regional Norwegian fair in Østfold County.


Business development in Kosovo

The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) is running a threefold development project in Kosovo covering municipality development, entrepreneurship and agriculture. Municipalities in the Hamar region of Norway are cooperating with three municipalities in Kosovo. On the behalf of KS, Business Innovation Programs is in charge of the entrepreneurship scheme. This includes training local entrepreneurs, following up existing companies, establishing business centers and last but not least: implementation of the subject Student Enterprises in upper secondary schools’ curriculum. When it doesn’t conflict with local production, BIP will also assist in finding and sending used equipment from Norway. The project will run until the end of 2006.

Link to The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS).


Entrepreneur training in Kosovo

The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) has started a project in Kosovo to develop the municipalities of Gllogovc/Glogovac, Obiliq/Obilic and Fushe Kosova/Kosovo Polje. The project is funded by The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As a sub supplier BIPs task is to focus on stimulating business development in the municipalities. The organization “Norges Vel” is participating as a sub supplier within development of the agricultural sector and the Hamar-Region as a sub supplier for local government support

BIPs goal in the project is to develop entrepreneurial skills in the municipalities and to assist SMEs in improving their businesses. The first step of the work in Kosovo was to train local project coordinators and inform representatives from the municipalities involved. In this “training of trainers” the local project manager Skender Halili, the three project coordinators Boban Stankovic, Myrvete Haxholli and Rexhep Sylejmani plus 6 municipality representatives and 2 participants from the Agricultural School in Lipjan, altogether 12 people, participated.

The local partners selected the entrepreneurs to attain to the business plan development training. The training of the entrepreneurs took place in Bresovica in November (2004). 22 entrepreneurs participated, 1 woman and 21 men. 17 of the participants were Albanian and 5 Serbian. Some of the participants wanted to start a new business while others wanted to expand their already existing businesses. The training was carried out by BIP represented by Bjørn Reite and Wiggo Slåttsveen with assistance from Skender Halili and the project coordinators.

The following activities are planed carried out in 2005:
  • A micro-credit program will be established by KS in order to support the entrepreneurs.
  • 4-5 training programs will be arranged for local entrepreneurs
  • Support to local entrepreneurs and businesses with second hand equipment and competence transfer from Norwegian business to businesses in Kosovo in co-operation with Norges Vel.
  • Implementation of the concept Business Strategy Implementation, to support existing businesses.

For further information please contact Skender Halili or Wiggo Slåttsveen.

Contact information Kosovo
Skender Halili
Sunny Hill New Shopping Centre
Office nr. 16
UNMIK KOSOVO
Phone: +377 44 156 295
E-mail: ks@ks-kosovo.org



Picture: Rexhep Sylejmani advising local entrepreneurs in the product market matrix.