EDC has been awarded $12 million over five years to work with universities, employers, and U.S. technology companies in Southeast Asia to improve employment options for young people. Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the project known as COMET (Connecting the Mekong through Education and Training) aims to reach more than 20,000 youth in Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
In this blog post, EDC’s Gustavo Payan discusses the epidemic of violence affecting youth in Honduras, and how an EDC program is providing them the opportunity to earn an education and a living despite the challenges they face.
“With the help of USAID, we started monitoring newspapers, and now we are developing another application to monitor Twitter and Facebook,” says Arbër Ibrahimi of Prime DB, a media monitoring organization supported by the Young Entrepreneurs Program.
Mergïm Cahani of Phronesis Technologies went to school in the United States and then returned to Kosovo to work. “There are great opportunities in Kosovo, and they show great potential,” he says. With support from the Young Entrepreneurs Project, Phronesis has developed Gjirafa, a search engine, and Izi Survey, which helps users create online surveys.
Goran Milenković runs MG Mondial, a fast-growing cleaning business that works with local municipalities, nongovernmental organizations, and construction companies. With help from the Young Entrepreneurs Program, he is expanding his business with a new machine that plows snow in the winter and cuts grass in the summer.
Applying what he learned through the Young Entrepreneurs Program, Muhamet Duka today runs a successful raspberry-growing business. “When I started alone, I had a different management style.” he says. “But with the help of USAID, which organized gatherings and information exchanges, I learned different methods of how to deal with raspberries in the best possible manner.”
The Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP) is transforming the lives of youth in Kosovo by supporting the growth of small businesses. Watch as young men and women, such as Muhamet Duka and Flutura Dedinja, explain how support from YEP has enabled them to realize their dreams of launching their own businesses.
“I am one of those leaders who likes to run a business and likes to employ people,” says Flutura Dedinja, who runs a clothing design company. She dreams that her fashions will be sold in outlets throughout the region within two years.
A former teacher, Shpëtim Thaçi had a dream that Kosovo could produce its own chalk. With support from the Young Entrepreneurs Program, he was able to buy the equipment he needed. “The amount I could produce in three to four months would meet the annual needs Kosovo has for chalk,” he says. He plans to expand his business to Albania within the next few years.