The DRC Social Business Incubator team invited Mitrovicë/a Municipality representatives, Mr. Erol Zekerija, Deputy Mayor for Communities, and Mr. Mehmet Bajrami, Coordinator in the Department for Public Services and Infrastructure, for a 3-day best practice exchange visit in Bulgaria.
The aim of the visit was to exchange best practices regarding the design and running of Business Incubators and effective ways of providing business support services to start-up micro-enterprises.
The delegation from Mitrovicë/a first visited the Business Incubator - Entrepreneurship Promotion Centre in Gotse Delchev. The Director of the Business Incubator Ms.Rosita Djambazova introduced their activities and events held in the Centre. The Business Incubator targets start-up businesses, established companies, agricultural producers, minorities as well as unemployed job-seekers. Similar to the DRC-run Social Business Incubator (SBI) in Mitrovicë/a, businesses in need of support services can rent workspace at the Incubator and take advantage of business, computer and language trainings.
Businesses supported by the Business Incubator
With support from the local municipality and central government, the Business Incubator supports a wide range of businesses and initiatives in the region including textile, furniture, agriculture/food processing, tourism sectors.
The Incubator also generates income from providing vocational trainings and trainings for job seekers through contracts with the local employment center. The sustainability of the Incubator is therefore a combination of income generated through service provision and public funds. In addition, the Incubator is working towards establishing a more formalized Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the local and central government on vocational trainings and other services offered by the Incubator.
For the delegation from Mitrovicë/a, the visit to the Business Incubator in Gotse Delchev and surrounding municipalities provided valuable insights, which they will be able to put into practice in their work with the Social Business Incubator (SBI) in Roma Mahalla, Mitrovicë/a. The SBI currently offers, subsidized workspace and business trainings to micro-businesses as well as preparatory vocational trainings. The SBI is supported by Sida through the Support to Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Communities in Mitrovicë/a project.