BarCamps have been spread all over major cities of Kosovo, particularly Prishtina, Mitrovica, Gjilan, Ferizaj, Prizren, and Gjakova. However, certain parts of Kosovo have remained isolated and somewhat neglected in terms of not having the opportunity to further excel in both academic and professional terms. The aforementioned municipalities have an already-established community comprised of zealous people and powerful talks, which seek to inspire innovation among young individuals. Thus, the main objective of this special edition of BarCamp was to motivate the youngsters of the targeted locations, i.e. Skenderaj and Roma Mahalla (Mitrovica) to become part of the pro-active community and innovate through creative ideas and projects.
The main theme of this BarCamp Bus was Entrepreneurship, as the event coincided with Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), which aims to promote the importance of encouraging new firm formation and creating healthy entrepreneurial ecosystems. Through this theme, BarCamp Bus aimed to introduce the wide scope of opportunities to the isolated youngsters of certain municipalities of Kosovo and inspire them to take matter into their own hand, while some of them may actually become successful entrepreneurs.
We took a minibus and branded it with a “BarCamp Tour” magnetic sticker. Four speakers were invited to make these communities aware of the available opportunities, as well as offer them a concrete example of how two individuals have used such opportunities and have turned them into beneficial outcomes.
The first BarCamp, in Skenderaj, was held in Public Youth Center (Qendra Rinore Publike) starting from 11:00, while the second one was held in RAD Center, in Roma Mahalla, Mitrovica. It was quite nice to see that the participants were quite interested in the activities that the representatives’ organizations engage in.
Moreover, during the BarCamp, we had a 10-minute icebreaker, by grouping the participants and offering them enough time to generate business ideas. Some of these ideas consisted of:
The speakers of BarCamp Bus, as well as the main discussions, were as follows:
Creating an animal shelter where abandoned animals would be treated and trained, and then sold;
Creating a service for job-seeking women who have been isolated in the past
Open a factory that recycles reusable material, in order to solve the problem of littering
Social enterprise – create a business to help vulnerable people
Driton Dalipi, a Managing Partner at MDA, talked about the activities of the MDA Foundation and how this organization continues to offer opportunities to different communities. The main focus was in start-ups and how the participants from the targeted communities can turn their ideas into reality through different means.
Venera Fusha, a Manager at Kosovo Association of Young Entrepreneurs (KAYE), offered her insights on the main activities of this organization. Since KAYE is comprised of young entrepreneurs, the organization has experience in terms of transforming young individuals into successful entrepreneurs. Venera did a good job in pointing out that these communities can also be a part of the era of change by applying to different opportunities that are offered throughout the year.
Getoar Krasniqi & Mensur Kosumi, winners of one of the incubators of UNICEF through their eKatun project, gave their insight on the way they have managed to benefit from these opportunities and gradually turn their idea into a practical one. eKatun aims to narrow the gap between sellers and farmers, with the former being farmers who have difficulties reaching out in the appropriate markets. Thus, these speakers gave a concrete example of how the participants can make use of their ideas through hard work and dedication.