Albania is a country of many opportunities but with weak financial systems and business support. Many young people choose migration as a better option compared to seeking employment or starting a micro-business in the country.
Due to the informal tradition of doing business in Albania, access to business mentoring and financial services have been poorly developed for micro-entrepreneurs, especially those who are marginalised. Almost all lack education and skills and have no financial track records and collateral in order to access financial services. For this reason, most start-ups fail or remain at the subsistence level and do not evolve into catalysts of economic growth.
The project introduces sustainable propositions to enhance the business management capacity of young, marginalised entrepreneurs through business mentoring, e-learning on financial and business literacy and access to loan products.
A local network of dedicated business mentors for young, marginalised micro-entrepreneurs is being set up together with local partner organisations. These mentors pass on their hands-on experience in establishing successful businesses. Learning groups between the micro-entrepreneurs are being established to exchange experiences. Additionally, (e-)learning and advisory services on financial literacy and business development are developed and available via a platform to micro-entrepreneurs. And lastly, the project assists partner micro-finance institutions (MFIs) to establish and pilot functional models for access to formal financial products and services for marginalized (start-up) micro-entrepreneurs.
This project is financed by the Medicor Foundation. It is part of the Swisscontact Development Programme, which is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA.