Kosovo is the country with the youngest population in Europe. More than 70 percent of its people are under the age of 35, and economists estimate that nearly 30 percent of its people who are able to work live below the national poverty line. The highest rates of poverty are found among the unemployed – and the unemployment rate in Kosovo in 2012 was 30.9 percent.
Erëza Vela Berisha started her public relations business less than a year ago. Thanks to hard work and some financial support from the World Bank, she has managed to keep herself working in a country with an unemployment rate of over 60 percent among its young people.
“The award of this grant was a huge boost for me, as it helped me a lot in business,” says Berisha, referring to a Tools and Equipment Grant she got from the Kosovo Youth Development Project.
“When you open a business, any little help you can get at the beginning is a big contribution,” she adds pointing out to the still uneasy business environment of Kosovo. She also feels that being a woman does not make things any easier, as businesswomen are rare in Kosovo. According to the latest research, over 44 percent of working-age women in Kosovo are unemployed, that’s compared to 32 percent of the men.