Increasing the competitiveness of MSMEs by promoting innovation and entrepreneurship (ProSME)​​

Client:
GIZ.
Region/country:
Albania
Period/Year:
05/2016 – 12/2016 (Phase 1)
11/2017 – 12/2019 (Phase 2)
Business Area:
Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Business Development, Women entrepreneurship.
Project Description:
On 24 June 2014, Albania was granted EU candidate status. However, the country still needs to establish the foundations for a functioning market economy. This in turn will serve as a basis for Albania to move closer towards EU membership. Although Albania’s business climate improved last year according to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2015 (from position 108 to 68) thanks to reforms in the areas of business registration, property registration and issue of construction permits, it still ranks below the regional average. Despite progress in establishing market-oriented institutions, Albania continues to face considerable political, legal and institutional challenges in its efforts to comply with international and European standards. Due to that, the project’s objective is: “The competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in key sectors is increased by the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship”. At national, regional and local level, the programme focuses on three core areas which were also identified in the EU-compiled SME Policy Index 2012 as posing the greatest challenges to the development of the SME sector. These are (women’s) entrepreneurship, innovations and green economy for increasing the entrepreneurial skill set among owners of SMEs wanting to expand their business in order to increase their potential competitiveness in the national and global market to contribute to the Investment Development Strategy 2016-2020 of Increasing Labor Force Qualification.
Services provided:
The programme focused on increasing the entrepreneurial skill set among owners of SMEs wanting to expand their business and start-ups in order to increase their potential competitiveness in the national and global market. CEFE International offered the following services: Steering and supporting local experts/ elaborating design and methodology of entrepreneurship trainings and their implementation/ conducting Training of Trainers (ToTs) / backstopping and supervising national coaches and trainers/ drafting and editing of a practical guide on entrepreneurship training / communication with key partners and ensuring the operating schedule of the assignment/ initiating a network of business coaches / promotion and execution of a business plan competition in all over Albania. A national business plan competition for 1300 beneficiaries with focus on the empowerment of women and innovative business ideas has been executed. CEFE trainers and business coaches have been licensed and a contest of all participants resulted in 17 finalists and 5 winners. Cooperating with AIDA, ProCredit, Yunus social businesses, Biznes Albania, Deloitte – linking them with grant schemes, mentors and business angels.

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