From a total of 2,100 registered businesses, only 5% are owned by women, says data from the offices of the Directorate of Finance in the Municipality of Klina.
There are businesses fronted by women in different fields ranging from health, education, gastronomy, food trade, and textile, as well as other industries.
Edita Gashi a 32- year- old from Klina, majored in pharmacy and for seven years has owned her own pharmacy. She explains her success and struggles to create this business. She gives credit to her mother, saying she was the one who encouraged her to open the business and then supported her every step of the way, not taking into account the prejudice of others.
Gashi emphasizes the difficulties she had in the beginning with her partners.
“They are more serious and behave differently if you are a man, but with time they understand that a woman can be successful as well and they change their minds,” she says.
Afërdita Binakaj like many other women in the municipality of Klina was judged in the beginning. She had lived in Italy with her family for a long time, and in 2001 decided to return to Kosovo. The sweets shop that she has owned for 15 years is called “Dollmiti”.
“As a women who owns a business, I was judged so gravely that it made me reconsider my decision and to wonder if I was doing the right thing,” says Afërdita, adding that it is essential to have a strong will in order to achieve all your life goals.
She explains how she started her business in the center of Klina with only one waiter, while now she has 15 workers in two locations. She adds that her parents and her husband were the ones who offered support in every aspect by motivating her to achieve her goals.
Another successful woman is Mevlude Murtezi, who in addition to being the director of the“Childprof-CIPOF” organization owns a kindergarten called “Margherita Kids” in the village of Zllakuqan in Klina.
This kindergarten used to work in the village Shtupel from 1999. It was directed by a group of Italian volunteers who decided to organize activities for children. In 2010, they moved to Zllakuqan.
The challenges to open a business like this were great because from 1999 until 2008 the kindergarten was free of charge and operated only by donations. In 2010, she had to find a way to earn personal income.
“This was the greatest challenge since the community was used to getting the service free of charge. However, I was able to surpass it by introducing the community to the idea that you have to pay in order to get a service,” says Murtezi.
She explained that in “Margherita Kids” there are around 50 children. The staff consists of two teachers, an assistant, a cook, a cleaner, a driver and a psychologist.
“In general I have a lot of confidence and for me, it was a struggle to convince people that I could do it, and I achieved that gradually,” she says.
She mentions cases when certain persons received funds just because they were men.
“Maybe if I were a man and went to lunches with them, I would have won certain funds as well,”Murtezi says.
She also has an encouraging message for active women.
“Don’t be afraid to express your ideas because they are worth a lot. Remember, when you are active as a woman you are more important to your family. This way you protect your value,” she says.