EYE helps young entrepreneurs turn ideas into businesses in Kosovo

By: Rilind Latifi    October 28, 2013

Encouraging Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) is a new initiative aiming to stimulate and support young entrepreneurs in Kosovo and diaspora to build new successful companies. EYE strives to support innovative entrepreneurs by offering them the needed financial resources to start new companies with a strong focus on social and environmental responsibility. Turning business ideas into real companies helps to address the high youth unemployment in Kosovo.

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eye Venture is an annual contest designed to promote young entrepreneurs with outstanding ideas, from Kosovo and the Diaspora, and assist them with financial resources and expertise, through the business planning process and in the initiation of their business. EYE offers coaching in creating business plans, tutoring and consultancy for management teams from a diverse group of mentors, as well as networking opportunities with different business partners. Most importantly, the winners of eye Venture receive startup capital in order to materialize their ideas. In short, eye Venture encourages entrepreneurship among the youth and helps them to convert concepts into successful growth companies. The winners of the first contest were announced recently and their ideas ranged from a pump prototype for renewable geothermal heating to a multipurpose e-commerce website including a secure payment system and a portal for Albanian and Kosovo businesses.

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Drini Xhiha, the EYE project coordinator for diaspora, pointed out that many of the winners from the first edition had previously studied or worked abroad. This has equipped them with valuable academic and professional experiences, which are relevant for turning business ideas into companies in Kosovo. EYE plans to continue supporting young entrepreneurs and contribute to the overall economic development of Kosovo.

Rilind Latifi

Rilind Latifi is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and holds an MA in International Economics and Energy/Environment Studies. Rilind has studied in the United States, Italy, and Germany. He was a fellow at the German Parliament (Bundestag) in Berlin and worked on various development projects in Kosovo. An avid traveler, Rilind is a contributing blogger for Kosovo Diaspora.

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