Bujar Ibrahimi from Obiliq/Obilić was not going to let his dreams of having his own business fade away. Every day, he woke up with the idea of starting something on his own, and his plan was to have a barbershop.
Despite the challenges before leaving and after being repatriated to Kosovo, Bujar finally managed to open a, somewhat different barbershop, a cozy environment where people come not only for a haircut or a shave, but also for a chat to share their everyday life stories.
This was all possible only by a helping hand he received in 2018, as a beneficiary of the Self Employment Programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through ALMP2, in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MLSW)-Kosovo Employment Agency (KEA).
Bujar’s barber shop is warm and welcoming. It is also a place of memories of good friendship, and moments he cherished in life. You can see bits and pieces framed as soon as you enter the shop. He says looking at them motivates him to work more and try harder.
Since then, Bujar is not only successfully running his small business “Babyliss”, he has become the one who extends a helping hand to other people in need.
“I was ambitious, and I was optimistic, and I succeeded. Now I want to help others, especially young people, to give them a chance to work in my business and fulfill their dreams, just as I did”.
Samed Shabani, 19 years old, is one of these young people. Until recently, he was jobless, but registered at the Employment Office in Obiliq/Obilić, and Bujar gave him a job and the opportunity to learn the trade. Samed is a beneficiary of the Wage Subsidy Programme 2020, of UNDP/ALMP2 in cooperation with MLSW/KEA and in cooperation with the employer Bujar Ibrahimi.
Clients who come for a haircut or a shave like having Samed there. They’re not only satisfied with the service but Samed’s motivation for work and his positive and optimistic countenance makes them feel welcome every time.
“I live with my parents and I’m the only one employed in my family. I used to cut my parents’ hair at home. Having a job, now I can do both, cut their hair and provide for them food and better living conditions. Most importantly, I love what I do, and I look forward to learn so much more.”
Bujar Ibrahimi did not open his door only to Samed. It will remain open for any registered jobseeker in his municipality interested in having a decent training or a job. As he often says: “I want to share my workplace with other ambitious people. Together, we can achieve so much”.
After the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, as an immediate response, UNDP has increased its support for the jobseekers in Kosovo, creating more opportunities towards the sustainable employment and also helping employment institutions through several donations of protective items and other times for their staff, while they offer employment services.