On June 28th, 2017, US Deputy Chief of Mission Colleen Hyland together with USAID Mission Director James Hope visited EMPOWER Private Sector beneficiary Solid Shoe Company, a family owned shoe-making business in Suhareka. In 2015, EMPOWER Private Sector in partnership with Sida – Styrelsen för Internationellt Utvecklingssamarbete, supported Solid Shoe Company with a grant which enabled it to create a new shoe line for kids. The investment empowered the company to expand its production capacities and increase the number of employees from 138 in 2015 to over 300 in 2017. The majority of the company’s employees are women. During the visit, company manager Gresa Kuçi explained the process of shoe-making and talked about company’s plans for the future.
Solid Shoe Company was established in 1990 as a shoe trading company. In 1995, it became the country’s first shoe manufacturer. The company covers most of the domestic shoe market in addition to exporting to several European countries.