On the September 17th 2015 The Business Support Center Strpce/Shterpce organized the 5th “Regional Entrepreneurship Fair”. This event was funded by SPARK through the MFSII Program and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation through Skills for Rural Employment project (S4RE). The fair was held to improve the existing business context for starting and developing SME´s in the Kosovo region; this was achieved through networking and business promotion. It was an absolute success as two business established cooperation agreements and over 200 units were sold.
60 exhibitors from 12 municipalities of Kosovo traded and there were over 500 visitors of different ethnicities. The exhibitors were businesses from the carpentry, metal work, handcraft light and food processing industry including dairy and agriculture. Participants from the Business Plan Competition and bank representatives from KEP attended also.
The 5th Regional Entrepreneurship Fair was officially opened with an introductory speech by Mr. Nenad Janicevic the Project Manager from the Business Support Center Strpce/Shterpce; many more honorary guests attended. All of the speakers emphasized the importance of organizing regional fairs as it enables cooperation among businesses, information flows, it increases financing opportunities such as the attracting donors and investors. Donors seized the opportunity at this fair to introduce their programs and invite participants to upcoming events within the Region.
The representative of the Dutch embassy highlighted how such events contribute towards the economic development of Kosovo; Mr. Amir Tusuni, on behalf of Spark congratulated the project team on the continuing success of this annual fair, which supports interethnic business communication. Mr. Luan Hoti, on behalf of Helvetas and S4RE project stated that this event “is a way to move forward into prosperity.”
Mr. Ivica Tanasijevic, Deputy Mayor of municipality of Strpce / Shterpce expressed gratitude to all donors and organizers and invited representatives of Helvetas, Spark and the Dutch Embassy in Kosovo to open the Fair officially, by cutting the ribbon. The guests then seized the chance to see, taste, and try the products on display. The international representatives were particularly interested to taste local honey, raspberries, jam, compote and juice. Finally, and most importantly, the businesses took the opportunity to establish new partnerships with the exhibitors from all over Kosovo.
Institutional Organizations: United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Austrian Development Agency, LDF, Caritas, CDF, Partners Kosova, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), USAID AKT (Advancing Kosovo Together), representatives of Kosovo Ministry of Communities and Return, RDA East.
Honerary Guests: Representative of the Netherland’s Embassy in Kosovo, Mr. Carel Brands, Mr. Luan Hoti from Helvetas, S4RE project manager and Mr. Amir Tusuni, Spark Program Manager in Kosovo and Mr. Ivica Tanasijevic, Deputy Mayor of Strpce municipality.