A five minutes walk in a Roma community from any of the countries in the V4 region is depressing: poverty, lack of infrastructure, discrimination. Governments do little to support the development of these communities. Majority populations in these countries generally perceive Roma people as lazy, unwilling to find and keep work and more interested in living on welfare. But we speak of few million people! Our long term goal is to change this in few communities by supporting existing Roma entrepreneurs and helping them start developing their communities from within. Later we will use it to challenge narratives! We clearly understand that this will not happen in 18 months.
This is as a first preparatory step for building partnerships, capacitate few local NGOs /stakeholders & identify few Roma entrepreneurs to validate some assumptions. What has been done on the field? ERGO Network is currently running a project which focuses on contribution of Roma entrepreneurs to their societies (in a Visegrad and EU funded project) working with some of the partner organizations in this proposal. Erste Foundation Roma Program (CE, Balkans, RO, BG 2012-2017) worked with entrepreneurs in the region. REDI Romania (2015) identified and supported Roma entrepreneurs in RO&BG. In 2017, the methodology was scaled-up to MK and RS. Now REDI Romania focuses on establishing the first Roma Fund (a Roma Microfinance investment vehicle) while REDI MK (set-up in 2018) is in charge of transferring the implementing and scaling-up the methodology in the region.
Project coordinator: Nadire Redjepi
Mobile: +389 78 327 846
The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.