CoopEst and RIO launch the Roma Enterprise Development Initiative
The Roma population in Bulgaria and Romania is among the largest in Europe and yet exposed to an ingrained discrimination causing high levels of unemployment. To reverse this trend CoopEst, Open Society Institute – Roma Initiatives Office (RIO), and Impulse Europe launch the Roma Enterprise Development Initiative (REDI).
The REDI will set up, test, and demonstrate a replicable and scalable model to create employment and generate income for Roma communities in Bulgaria and Romania. The REDI model will support local Roma entrepreneurs in developing their businesses and strengthening their managerial skills. Roma entrepreneurs will improve their business know-how and build up creditworthiness. The REDI will also support non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) in the assessment of loan applications by Roma entrepreneurs. The focus of the REDI on the supply side of the financial market will facilitate the access to finance.
The REDI is co-financed by the Council of Europe Development Bank. In a later stage, REDI will expand its activities to Serbia and Macedonia (FYROM).