For six years now Kosovo has been part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), where many opportunities were given and many stories were shared for people who were willing to join the labour of Kosovo. In 2018, KUSA together with IPKO Foundation organized Barcamps in Mitrovica, Peja, Gjilan, Gjakova, and Ferizaj. Guest speakers shared personal experiences in entrepreneurship and engaged with participants and made this event very inspirational for many people.
This year, GEW was hosted by Innovation Center Kosovo and was organized together with 46 partner organizations and companies. The aim of GEW is to promote entrepreneurship, startup businesses and sustainable development of ecosystems. It is great to see that Kosovo is going on the right path by making many efforts to contribute to the community, and we are happy that KUSA is one of the stakeholders in this direction.
This year, on 22 and 23 November New Age School in partnership with KUSA is organizing a Fundraising Activity for Thanksgiving, in order to donate for the Abandoned Babies of SOS Children’s Villages Kosova. Students will bring sweets and food and sell them to different schools and institutions to collect money for charity. The price of an item will be only 50 cents.
During the last two years, students with the unsparing support of parents, through this activity have collected around 500 € with which they bought clothing, blankets, and other accessories for the Special Entity in Shtime.
It is never too much to say that we are giving something too small, but for innocent babies, it means more than that.
If you have more questions, please do not hesitate to contact us or New Age School.
The second phase of the Alumni Engagement on Extracurricular School Activities project has begun!
KUSA met with the directory of education in each municipality, Ferizaj, Shterpce and Kacanik, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding which stated that KUSA can implement this project in primary schools.
The selected schools are: Ganimete Tërbeshi in Ferizaj, Jeta e Re in Greme, Ali Asllani in Doganaj, Nazmi Osmani in Elezaj, Razim Cokli in Brod, and Sarski Odred in Shterpce.
KUSA team continued the implementation process by meeting with representatives of each selected school. Through this meeting, we helped these schools either activate or re-activate four clubs: Art, Debate, Technology and Outdoor Club.
KUSA was established as an association in 2007, in honor of its 10th anniversary we organized a big networking event. The event gathered more than 300 participants, aimed to help alumnus connect professionally by building constructive relationships between them and bring about social, economic, and political change. The event served as an opportunity for our alumni to meet people with which they share the same community and/or interests.
The event included speeches from keynote speakers, the U.S Ambassador in Kosovo, Greg Delawie, and the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj. In order to mark the 10th anniversary, we distributed significant awards to our alumni who have shown great work and commitment to our society. The winners were selected through online voting, where all alumni had a chance to nominate and vote. Below is the list of our alumni who earned the vote of their fellows:
This project aims to establish or re-establish four clubs of extracurricular activities in the municipality of Kacanik, Ferizaj, and Shtërpcë. The project includes two primary schools in each municipality. The activities will be implemented by the clubs and will be assisted by KUSA members.
The established/ re-established clubs will be on Arts, Debate, Information Technology, and Outdooring.
Activities that will be implemented in Art Club are: Let’s paint together; Colour my school; Sculpture me; Map of Kosovo; The Debate Club activities will be: Introduction to Debate; Guest Speaker; Watch a Documentary. Information and Technology Club activities will be: Software and Hardware; Basic programming skills; Basic of networking; Robotics; Visit to the company “Formon”; Visit the “Digital School”.
Also, Outdooring activities will be implemented in cooperation with Kosovo Alpine Club experts: Basic outdoor skills; Excursion to public spaces and parks; Two-day Camping.
The project for extracurricular activities will have a significant impact on the schools and students, as well as our alumni. Each of these clubs includes alumni volunteers as participants and mentors to the students. The aim of the project is to provide new opportunities for alumni community service, while also providing youth with constructive and empowering activities outside the classroom. KUSA staff together with the club coordinators and KUSA members will plan a syllabus and the required materials for each school and each club. Activities will be planned so that they would fit the school syllabus, which is why some activities are different from school to school.
As a sixth-time partner of Global Entrepreneurship Week, this year KUSA is organizing activities along with 35 other local partners, with ICK as the main organizer. During GEW Kosova, different activities will take place in various locations.
In 2017 we organized “Startups 101” which aimed to give young entrepreneurs and new startup owners the basic necessary skills that are needed to set their startup on the right path towards efficient growth in their market. During this activity, the entrepreneurs went through a “crash course” of sorts in each topic, thus getting a clearer idea of how the startup ecosystem and ‘industry’ works, and how to be prepared to take their startup to the next level.
This activity lasted for 2 days (each lasting approximately 5 hours for two topic lectures) and included 4 main topics we have identified as necessary for startups to center around:
Financial concerns as a business function
Business and Entrepreneurial Law
Marketing and Digital Marketing for Startups
The importance and challenges of modern human resource management
The conference “Education for the Future” aimed to address the missing link of cooperation between Kosovo’s Higher Education Institutions (HEI) and the economy. The main focus of the conference was on reducing the mismatch between knowledge, skills and the competence that the HEIs are providing to the graduates and the needs of the labor market.
The Conference gathered around 181 participants for two days representing: media, higher education institutions, the business community, academia, and government. On the first day of the Conference, welcome speeches were delivered by:
Greg Delawie, U.S. Ambassador in Kosovo
Shyqyri Bytyqi, Minister of Education, Science, and Technology
Visar Ramajli, Business Representative
In order to Introduce Kosovo HEIs with examples from the United States of cooperation between universities, industry, and government (U.S keynote speaker) Dr. Jason Lane, The State University of New York at Albany, delivered a presentation. His presentation was about “Universities and Colleges as Economic Drivers: Learning from the Triple Helix of Higher Education, Government, and Industry”. Dr. Jason Lane was met by the Open World Alumni during the study visit hosted by MERCY College and was identified as a potential speaker.
In addition to the plenary session, there were parallel sessions (4 per day) organized on the following topics:
Curriculum Design and Labor Market needs
New skills for new jobs
Intellectual Property Rights in the Academic Setting
Fostering University – Business cooperation
The transition of the graduates from university to the labor market
Student-centered Learning, Teaching, and Assessment
Integration of new technologies in the teaching and learning processes
Continuous improvement of the study programs based on the needs of the economy
Dr. Sheila Offman Gersh, Mercy College, had an interesting presentation on “Aligning the Mercy College Curriculum with the Job Market: Locally, Globally and Glocally”. Dr. Offman Gersh participated in the Conference, financed my Mercy College as a follow-up communication with the Open World Alumni in this regard to further strengthen cooperation with Kosovar HEIs. In this regard, Mercy College and the University of Prishtina signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on April 27, 2018.
In order to further get a different point of views on the targeted topic of the Conference, there was a panel organized on “Strengthening cooperation among Kosovo higher education institutions, government and private” with the following representatives:
Safet Gerxhaliu, President of Kosovo Chamber of Commerce
Arian Zeka, President of the American Chamber of Commerce did not participate
Burim Gashi, Acting Director of the Higher Education Department at MEST
Egzon Osmani, President of Kosovo Student Union
The final report consisted of recommendations from the plenary sessions can be found in the link below.
The second phase of the project “Removing Ceiling for Equal Opportunities” provided professional development training for a selected group of professional women with different backgrounds. The training modules were within a framework of the certification program, which equipped participants with necessary skills to exercise a decision-making position, and it changed attitude and practice by reducing gender stereotyping in the workplace. It was designed to remove some of the impediments related to barriers that women face.
The majority of participants in the training sessions were KUSA Alumnae who had the opportunity to gain knowledge on how to achieve and hold decision-making positions. This project increased awareness about the glass ceiling that professional and competent women in Kosovo face when they are eligible to hold decision making positions within private and public institutions.
The certification program is designed to cover key areas of corporate governance and decision making and is organized in two stages. The first stage was implemented in 2017, consisted of the following modules:
“Ethics, Integrity and Transparency” presented by Afrim Atashi, who elaborated how companies’ ethical and moral behavior can change a companies’ course, and how to look forward to a fully transparent company future;
“Strategic Planning – Developing and Implementing Organizational Strategy” presented by Merita Gjyshinca Peja who talked about how an organization defines its strategy and how it allocated its resources to peruse this strategy;
“Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)” presented by Arjeta Spahiu who talked about the ethical principle that an organization should be responsible for how its behavior might affect society and the environment. We were also honored to welcome Robert Wright, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank Kosovo, as a keynote speaker during this module.
The project “Labor Law” has achieved to enforce labor law, reduce the level of law violation, and improve employee-employer relationships. This was achieved by conducting the research and compiling the report based on research findings. The report consists only data communication and not further or in-depth analyses. The results of this report will further serve as a baseline for further analyses i.e. focus groups and market analyses. Hence, the questioner was conducted to serve as a baseline of analyses on key elements derived from the Labour Law i.e. contract, working hours, gender equality, probation period, work insurance annual/weekly leaves and support for further development. The report contains recommendations to these companies on how they can change their structure, which helps in the restructuring of their company as well as improve their working conditions.
Through this project, we are aiming to improve the working conditions in Kosovo, reduce the level of violation on the law, protect employees from discrimination pertaining to gender stereotypes, nationality and religion in public and private institutions who agreed to collaborate with us about working rights.
The project “Lead by example” aims to fight and reduce corruption in public institutions by tackling this issue from a different point of view. The “lead by example” online platform presents efforts and excellent behaviors of public officials in fulfilling their working mandate within public institutions as a recognition and public support for outstanding courage and public service. Through this project, KUSA actively promotes how these individuals have shown determination and high integrity in terms of public interest as well as how their actions have contributed to improving citizen’s lives. This project has made a great impact on the attitude of all participants, which includes public officials who shared their success stories, as well as the audience who reads and follows the website. Due to the fact that Kosovo has a high rate of corruption, our organization is encouraged to take action through creative initiatives and campaigns with the aim of fighting corruption instead of taking offensive actions. Therefore, we strongly believe that by introducing real examples of public officials and how they have impacted our lives by fighting corruption will affect the credibility of institutions, raise awareness among citizens, and increase public accountability towards Kosovo’s citizens.
Here you can visit the webpage: http://leadbyexample-ks.org/
On 10th of December, during “Anti-corruption week”, we launched this platform as an open space for officials to share their positive examples of fighting corruption. Rozafa Ukimeraj, Project Coordinator and Head of Rule of Law Committee, presented the platform and its purpose, followed with a speech by Erin M. Mains, U.S. Embassy Kosovo Representative, and Frasher Murtezaj, Head of the Division for Prevention of Conflict of Interest at the Anti-Corruption Agency.