On 22 February 2017 DRC organised a study trip to Krusevac Public Utility Enterprise Recycling Centre for beneficiaries from Kraljevo within the project “Empowering Roma Community for Socioeconomic Development and Environmental Protection in the City of Kraljevo”.
As an extension of business advisory training sessions organised within the project and based on beneficiaries’ fields of interest, 10 out of 40 beneficiaries visited Public Utility Enterprise Recycling Centre in Krusevac to learn more about their practices, get more business ideas and discuss possible challenges.
The team consisting of NGO Treehouse expert on recycling, Chief of the PUC Recycling Centre, the most experienced worker of the facility and the DRC representative welcomed the beneficiaries and informed them of all key activities in the Recycling Centre, management structure, needed resources, the profitability of the installation etc. The study trip enabled beneficiaries to get answers to their questions firsthand, network among each other and the mentors and discuss potential joint business ventures through cooperatives.
The participants learned about available start-up grants for self-employment offered by DRC within the project, as well as by the National Employment Service, that they could apply for as a cooperative to obtain items such as recycling press, trolleys, a scale and jumbo bags.
As a result of the study trip, five participants made a decision to try to form a cooperative that would apply for the IGA grant from DRC and start a small recycling centre. Other participants also considered that cooperative relation would be the most successful but concluded that it is also difficult to find reliable partners. Still, they gained ideas how to make their individual efforts more successful.
All participants expressed their satisfaction with the study trip, saying that it was a great experience from which they learned a lot and that they would use this knowledge to improve their daily activities to make their business more sustainable and generate more profit.