The Community Development Fund (CDF) is a non-governmental organization dedicated to community development, integration, equal access, and inclusion. They achieve their mission through innovative solutions, support for local initiatives, and community capacity building. CDF is currently implementing the USAID-funded Kosovo Inclusive Economic Engagement (IEE) Activity, a five-year project focused on empowering and revitalizing women- and minority-owned micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The activity aims to increase economic opportunities and enhance the resiliency of target MSMEs, thus contributing to private sector growth and their integration into Kosovo’s broader economy.
CDF, through the USAID Inclusive Economic Engagement Activity, identified specific challenges in achieving its objectives. They needed a robust technical solution to address these challenges. The primary difficulties included the need to implement a Resilience Grant Scheme and an IEEA Entrepreneurship Toolkit. These initiatives required an online grant application platform and an educational toolkit integrated with the existing CDF website. The problems encompassed the absence of user-friendly online tools for grants management, data validation, role-based access, customized selection processes, and entrepreneurship support. Furthermore, there was a need for a secure and compliant solution concerning personal data protection.
The overarching goal of this project was to develop an online grant application platform and an educational toolkit integrated with the CDF website. The specific objectives included:
The project successfully delivered a comprehensive online grant application platform and educational toolkit, which addressed the identified problems and fulfilled the specified goals. The platform offered a wide range of validation options, user profile creation, and role-based access control for applicants, reviewers, administrators, and others. It included a tailored selection process for various calls under the IEEA Resilience Grant Scheme, online forms for reviewers to rate applications, and automated reporting processes. The platform also ensured compliance with the Personal Data Protection Law (06/L-082) and enabled data gathering through applicant satisfaction surveys.
The Entrepreneurship Toolkit provided essential resources such as business development guidance, standard templates, training materials, video content, and links to relevant institutional platforms. It facilitated event management and offered various forms as required.
The platform and toolkit, while fulfilling the technical and functional requirements, were designed to be interactive, professional, and user-friendly, catering to all stakeholders’ needs. They were available in multiple languages and followed the visual identity standards of CDF and the IEE project. On top of the successful implementation, the project included training for platform and database usage and provided ongoing technical support.
The completed solution has significantly improved CDF’s ability to support and enhance the resilience and entrepreneurship of women- and minority-owned businesses in Kosovo. This comprehensive technical solution contributes to achieving the objectives of the USAID Inclusive Economic Engagement Activity, promoting economic growth and inclusion. To access the platform, please visit https://cdfgrant.bbros.al/login