Meet Çlirim: A 20-year-old CEO who Works in Youth Empowerment!
One thing we love about Prishtina is that you get to meet all kinds of people. And still, it’s not all that often that you bump into a 20-year-old CEO who regularly has 14-hour workdays, hastily squeezing meetings in between college classes while also managing other responsibilities!
“The fact that there’s ‘not much’ around here in Kosovo to me means that there’s everything here; you can create anything you want if you’re hard-working,” says Çlirim Sheremeti, who is not one to shy away from expressing his positive outlook on Kosovo’s future.
For someone his age, Çlirim has an uncanny development and business acumen. Still a student at AUK, Çlirim is the founder and CEO of 4H Kosova, a branch of the renowned 4H organization which works to help instill in youth skills that help them become change agents and actors in community development. He is also an active volunteer for more than 8 years now.
Recently, Çlirim took part in the EYE-supported ‘Social Enterprise Kosovo Activation (SEKA)’ of Sustainability Leadership Kosova, a programme which teaches business and organizations about social enterprises, transformational leadership, and sustainable business models.
“I always found that social entrepreneurship is the ideal model for reaching genuine impact, with the end-user being much closer to you,” Çlirim says. “I applied to SEKA because I wanted to create a component of financial freedom within 4H.”
“When we talk about sustainability in Kosovo, I’ve found that people think of it from a financial point of view. But sustainability to me is how to use resources in a way that they’re available in the future too and don’t get exhausted. [At SEKA] we also discussed how to integrate sustainability models closely linked to social entrepreneurship within each of our organizations,” he says.
EYE supported this social enterprise activation training as part of our Opportunity Fund, a mechanism which co-finances initiatives which show potential for positively influencing the labor market system and improving job opportunities for youth.
The training managed to prepare a cadre of new leaders for emerging career opportunities in sustainability leadership—pioneers to drive positive business trends in Kosovo and the region.
Rather than any specific skill that he acquired, Çlirim says that the best part about the SEKA training was that it engendered a mindset shift. “We went from the traditional mindset of ‘help us so that we can help people, to ‘let’s create shared value together’,” he says. “Now we’re exploring creating a social entrepreneurship component within 4H where we could also generate revenue.”
“I meet young people like me who have the same potential as I do, but not the same drive. And it’s these trainings like SEKA that’s fueling my drive. So, I want everybody to have opportunities like this,” Çlirim added.
At EYE, we partner to create a dynamic and socially inclusive labor market to provide decent jobs –including self-employment—for young people in Kosovo. Find out how we do it at www.helvetas-ks.org/eye/