The Promoting Private Sector Employment (PPSE) project in Kosovo, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Kosovo (SDC) and implemented by Swisscontact (lead partner), Riinvest Institute and PEM Consult, aims to assist small and medium size businesses (hereafter SMEs) operating in competitive and well-organized economic sectors, where public policies better match private sector needs, to provide increased sustainable employment for women and men. The main domestic partners are the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce (KCC).

PPSE utilizes the Market System Development (MSD) approach (formerly the Markets for the Poor or M4P approach) specifically focusing on market facilitation through new business models to ensure large-scale sustainable change. The program outcomes/objectives are: 1) The increase in productivity, additional income and employment generation; 2) The influence of well-established and organized SME’s on sector policies; 3) The reduction of barriers for women to access sustainable employment while their decision-making power is increased.

In selected sectors, SME’s increase their productivity and generate additional income and employment, enabling service and input providers to develop advanced and sustainable products (goods and services) and production practices. Moreover, PPSE will enable service and input providers to deliver market system processes in specific value chains.

In regard to the private sector development governance, PPSE will design specific interventions which will support SMEs internal organization and sector organization in the project related sectors. Transparency, accountability and efficiency are fundamental good governance principles that will be addressed initially in order to target advocacy initiatives and policy changes.

At the impact level, there is a considerable gap in employment between men and women. Women in Kosovo represent an untapped resource, underemployed and underrepresented as business owners and managers. To decrease gender inequality and provide equal benefits for both genders, a Women’s Economic Empowerment outcome and strategy is a cornerstone approach. As a result, the enhanced access to employment and decision making for women is key to a sustainable and gainful employment.

Based on expected results, seven hundred and fifty SME’s of selected sectors will increase their productivity and generate additional income and employment. As such the program aims:
o Net income increase of CHF 1,900,000 across selected sectors
o The creation of 800 additional FTE’s, 30% attributed for women

Initially, the program is focused on two main sectors: the food processing sector (specifically the fruits and vegetables processing and the non-wood forest products sub-sector), and the tourism sector (concentrated in the west of Kosovo). Both, offer excessive potential improvements for employment and asset utilization through removing hurdles uncovered by our alpha to omega analyses of the sectors.

PPSE Project initiated the inception phase in October 2013. The implementation phase is launched in November 2014 and will be active through November 2017. Pilot interventions have been implemented for the tourism and food processing sectors. Moreover, the project has established an opportunity fund – an additional instrument to boost growth and employment creation for Kosovo entrepreneurs. The PPSE project uses a solid Monitoring and Results Management (MRM) framework on establishing baselines, assuring output quality, defining indicators, estimating impact, and reporting data per each intervention. PPSE project is the first program in Kosovo that uses the DCED (Donor Committee on Enterprise Development) standard for quality assurance. Mainstreaming of women, governance, and minorities as cross cutting issues are crucial in all interventions. The project will disaggregate data along ethnicities and a special effort will be given to include K-Serb SMEs.

    A sector with potential for growth and employment.

    Mountain ranges such as the Cursed Mountains in Western Kosovo (Bjeshkët e Nemuna/Prokletije) allow similar tourist experiences as in the Alps, in much less overcrowded unspoiled nature areas, off the beaten track. Peja/Peć, the biggest city lies immediately at the entrance of the Rugova valley. The karst mountain range with Mount Gjeravica/Đeravica, 2656m the highest mountain of Kosovo, provides an ideal area to develop nature and adventure tourism products for both, summer and winter mounta

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    Food Processing
    A growing sector in Kosovo.

    here is a growing demand for the processed fruits and vegetables in Kosovo. Particularly, the demand for processed vegetables is high and increasing in urban areas. However, the majority of the domestic supply is imported, domestic processors still lack competitiveness to substitute imports, even though there is preference for domestic products. An important market for domestic processing companies is also the export market, processing companies are increasingly engaging in exports – especiall

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