The Economic Initiative for Kosovo (ECIKS) as a consortium leader, in partnership with the KMU Forschung Austria, has been awarded with the implementation of the project Kosovo SME Promotion Program (KOSME). The project started on October 16, 2012 and will last 36 months. KOSME is financed by the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) and Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), and co-financed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Republic of Kosovo.
The overall, long-term objective of this project is to contribute to the promotion of market-oriented private sector development in Kosovo and to foster global competitiveness of Kosovo’s SMEs in line with the principles of sustainable development, SME Development Strategy for Kosovo 2012-2016, and Small Business Act. The project puts special emphasis on the creation of opportunities for the poor – men and women, youth, and minorities.
The project is expected to deliver results in three components. It aims at assisting and strengthening Kosovo’s SME Support Agency (SMESA) in order to effectively support SMEs and private sector development. Also planned is the creation of a Voucher Counseling Scheme (VCS) to assist local and diaspora SMEs with consulting and training services offered by local business service providers. In addition, an Association of Business Consultants will be set up in order to provide certifications/accreditations. Finally, a market-oriented Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) setup is planned in order to improve the access of SMEs to finance, if findings from the inception phase show the scheme to be feasible.