Global Banking &Finance Review ka vlerësuar Fondin Besa SH.A me Çmimin prestigjioz si Kompania më e Mirë Mikrofinanciare në Shqipëri: “Ne vlerësojmë Fondin BESA për dedikimin dhe nismat e shkëlqyera që ndërmarrin duke dhënë kështu një kontribut të madh në zhvillimin e sektorit të mikrofinancës në rajon. Fondi BESA SH.A përpiqet të krijojë dhe të ofrojë produkte dhe shërbime që përmbushin nevojat e klientëve. Investimi i tyre i vazhdueshëm në zhvillimin e produkteve, teknologjisë, zhvillimin e personelit, qëndrueshmërinë financiare dhe menaxhimin shumë të mirë të riskut, është ai që i dallon ata si fitues të këtij viti,” u shpreh Wanda Rich, Botuese e Global Banking & Finance Review.
Even in the current difficult and delicate conditions, our goal to realize the institutional objectives of the Besa Fund remains a priority!
These objectives are particularly related to the capacity building of our staff. From the period ending June 2020, the staff of the Fondi BESA has periodically increased by 3-5%. In this context, training of the new officers has a special role for strengthening the activity of each Regional Branch and the sustainable growth of the Institution.
The most recent training on lending procedures for 12 new loan officers took place on 5-6 November 2020, in support of the staff of the 9 Regional Branches in different cities of the country.
The “Borrow Wisely” campaign is an international campaign that is directed to actual and potential clients of Fondi Besa. The campaign is organized by Microfinance Centre – an international organization that promotes international standards in the field of client protection and financial education. The campaign is held at 14 states including: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Moldova, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Romania, Greece and Tajikistan.
How much can I afford to borrow?
• Learn to calculate accurately your monthly savings.
• Monthly loan repayments should not exceed 70% of your monthly savings.
E.g. If Income = 1000 and Expenses = 800 then Savings = 200. Monthly repayments = 140 max
• Take a loan in the same currency as your income.
• Fondi Besa will also assess your capacity to pay to ensure you can afford the loan.
Do I know how much I will pay?
• Learn how to compare different offers to make an informed choice.
• It is a everyone right to ask information about loan costs.
• Remember, a lower interest rate does not guarantee a cheaper loan.
• Ensure you include all costs and charges when calculating your monthly repayments, not just interest payments.
• Beware of aggressive lenders – special offers are seldom special.
• Carefully analyze the length of the loan – lower payments over a longer period may not work out cheaper.
• Fondi Besa discloses all charges including arrangement fees and penalties – not all loan providers do.
Do I fully understand the contract?
• Read the contract from beginning to end/ Your loan officer should give you enough time for this. Understand the costs, penalties, timings and mechanics of payments
• Ask your loan officer for help to understand every point. Always ask for clarification of professional/financial jargon used in the contracts (e.g. ask for explanation of terms like: APR, annuity method, nominal rate, prepayment commission etc.)
• Take your time – take it home and consider – don’t be rushed into signing something you don’t understand
What should I do if I need to complain?
• Please tell us if you are not satisfied.
• Always execute your right to complain.
• In case you need to complain, please contact the credit officer, the branch director, send an email or call in the toll free number which is in the contract. You can also fill the complain form that you will find in our offices and send it by post or you may write in the section Complains in Fondi Besa webpage.
• Your opinion helps us provide a better service for our customers!
Control debt – don’t let it control you!
• Too much debt can lead to problems with repayment.
• Avoid multiple loans: with several loans you are at greater risk of over indebtedness.
• Take loans for investments, avoid taking loans for things you desire but don’t need.
• Care about your credit history the records are there forever. Don’t take out a loan for someone else.
• Be careful about being a guarantor for someone else’s loan.
• Talk to your loan officer if you are in trouble we are here to help.
Pursuant the concern of Fondi Besa about the client protection, this year we joined the international educational campaign “Borrow Wisely”.
Please find below the video on the campaign “Borrow Wisely”:
In the framework of cooperation with various
partners and donors, today, December 6th, 2019, Fondi BESA sh.a. and Rural
Credit Guarantee Foundation-Albania signed the Agreement to issue Fondi BESA a
Loan Agreement Guarantee for loans from commercial banks.
A loan guarantee up to € 5,000,000 or the equivalent
in Lek is a secure guarantee of any loan agreement that Fondi BESA sh.a. will
sign with commercial banks operating in Albania.
The purpose of the guarantee is to facilitate the lending of Fondi BESA Sh.a to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, with an increased focus on the agricultural sector and rural areas. This will contribute to promoting growth and employment in Albania, particularly in the agricultural sector. Through this Agreement, Fondi BESA, as a leading Microfinance Institution in Albania, aims to expand and efficiently use all available mechanisms to meet its needs in order to realize its ambitious targets for expanding its activity.
Albanian Besa Capital Foundation – partner in the implementation of the project “Building Communities of knowledge for competitive MSEs”, Project in the framework of the “Balkan – Mediterranean Cooperation Program 2014 – 2020 “.
Albanian Besa Capital Foundation is a partner in the implementation of the project “Building Communities of knowledge for competitive MSEs” with the acronym skills4MSEs, as part of the “Balkan – Mediterranean Cooperation Program 2014 – 2020 “.
On September 27, 2019, Albanian Besa Capital Foundation organized the Project Launch event. The event was organized at Hotel Rogner, Tirana, with the participation of 28 people from various microfinance institutions, ABC Foundation and its partners and stakeholders as well as interested parties in the project.
Duration of the Project is 24 months and it is co-financed by the European Union and the National Funds of the participating countries.
Main objective of the project is the development of an integrated cross border learning structure for the provision of Business Development Services and other business support tools for existing and potential MSEs (micro and small enterprises) in both electronic and physical form, focusing at:
• Basic entrepreneurial skills
• Soft skills
• IT skills
The main project partner is the Center for Business and Cultural Development – KEPA, while other partners include:
• University of Macedonia (Department of Applied Informatics, Research Committee of the University of Macedonia (ELKE), Thessaloniki, Greece;
• Microfond Sofia Foundation, Sofia, Bulgaria;
• SCA “FED Invest”, Tirana, Albania;
• Albanian Besa Capital Foundation, Tirana, Albania
So, this Project will be implemented in the three following countries Greece, Albania and Bulgaria and targets micro and micro enterprises; Start – ups; Social enterprises; Second chance entrepreneurs that want to restart after bankruptcy; Immigrants with permanent residence at the project implementation site.
The event presented the project description, which will address the main challenges (i) High unemployment rates, especially long term and youth unemployment (ii) Labor skills shortcomings and brain drain especially of skilled people (iii) Inability of people to integrate to the labor market (iv) Need for linking the overall business’ support to vocational training
The Balkan – Mediterranean area is characterized by high unemployment rates, exacerbated by the crisis in certain regions. Moreover, long term and youth unemployment are far above the EU average indicating that there is a profound and urgent need to enhance these categories and implement measures that will improve their entrepreneurial skills and promote their integration to the labor market.
Bearing also in mind that the Balkan Mediterranean area also suffers by labor skills shortcomings and brain drain especially of skilled people, it is important to foresee knowledge transfer and skills’ development, linking the overall business’ support to vocational training.
The SWOT analysis of the programme area highlights that there are strong economic regional disparities & areas with low competitiveness’ performances. These areas are mainly isolated and economically deprived because they are away from the big economic centres and lack in competiveness and existence of capable workforce.
The economic recession and the low growth levels that characterize the area is another drawback factor that hampers its economic development. However, despite the negative economic climate of the area, there are also strengths and opportunities that can be exploited and lead to economic development. Specifically, the strong entrepreneurial spirit that exists in combination with the present EU initiatives that promote employment creation (including self‐employment) create great potential for economic recovery as long as proper and efficient development measures are put in practice. At the same time there is an increasing recognition of vocational education and training as well as relatively high skill levels in some regions able to contribute to competitiveness and innovation. The Skills4MSEs project aims to develop an integrated cross border learning structure for the provision of Business Development Services and other business support tools for existing and potential MSEs (micro and small enterprises) in both electronic and physical form.
Education and training will enable existing and potential entrepreneurs to acquire the necessary skills/tools and thus enhance their capacity, boost their competitiveness, grow towards other markets and introduce innovation in all phases of their business cycle. The delivery of business development services (BDS) for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) has received much attention during the past years.
This attention results from the growing recognition by microfinance institutions and others involved in MSE development that the poor, in order to establish, operate and eventually grow their businesses, need more than access to loans and credit. While financing continues to play a critical role in enterprise development, the delivery of non-financial services, also called BDS, has become an increasingly important component of MSE development initiatives and interventions.
Moreover, special attention is granted to special groups of people that require immediate business support. Migrants in specific, represent an important pool of potential entrepreneurs. As they are often more likely to start businesses than natives, they can substantially contribute to growth and job creation in the EU. The European Commission aims to create policy that helps attract talented would-be entrepreneurs from non-EU countries and ensure that business support services reach all potential entrepreneurs. Formerly bankrupt entrepreneurs and those at risk of bankruptcy is another group targeted by the project while the EC highlights the importance of the second chance for honest entrepreneurs as one of the key elements for the improvement of the entrepreneurial culture in the EU.
Specific objectives of the project
• Enable existing and potential micro entrepreneurs to acquire the necessary skills/tools and thus enhance their capacity, boost their competitiveness, grow towards other markets and introduce innovation in all phases of their business cycle.
• Increase employment in the programme area and reduce brain drain
• Explore new innovative training methods through the use of an electronic training platform providing business support and development services on a free basis.
• Encourage social entrepreneurship as well as start‐up businesses.
• Support micro entrepreneurs through linking them with microcredit providers for the provision of financial support in order to finance their business
• Share and exchange of best practices between the participating regions
• Contribute to EC goals by granting special attention to the business support of migrants and formerly bankrupt entrepreneurs and those at risk of bankruptcy
• The integration to labor market and the enhancement of self-employment of 50 persons in each participating region.
• At least 30% of total participants benefiting from the capacity building will be women (equal opportunities)
• 500 unemployed and small entrepreneurs increase their skills and capacity though the training and support provided by the project (registration either on line or in the physical workshops)
• 50 people from NEET (Not in Education Employment or Training) situation will generate income activity by receiving training and support (including financial support though the cooperation with microcredit providers)
• 20 migrants develop business activity or getting employed
• 20 former entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs get assistance in order to start a new business
• 4000 people informed about the project
• The results of the project promoted in 12 other rural regions
• Participating staff of the organizations increase capacity and expertise
• Knowledge exchange between the participating partners
Fondi BESA sh.a Lending Institution for Businesses, announces competition on vacancy notice in the position of IT SPECIALIST in the headquarters.
Main requirements for candidates in this position are as follows:
• Higher education in the field of Informatics, Computer Engineering;
• Substantial knowledge of operating systems Linux, Windows Server 2012 and newer versions;
• Substantial knowledge in Backup data systems (Tape Server);
• Substantial knowledge in basic services of Active-Directory and mail client;
• Substantial knowledge of operating systems Windows 7,8,10 and their troubleshooting;
• Substantial knowledge in the data security systems such as antivirus, etc.
• Substantial knowledge with Printers, Photocopy devices and scanners;
• Substantial knowledge of networks based on OSI model, switching, routing and wireless;
• Substantial communication capacities at work and in group;
• Other qualifications in the field of information technology;
• Preferably experienced in similar sectors, banking and financial system;
• Preferably in possession of a driving license;
• Not to have been dismissed due to disciplinary measures;
• Substantial knowledge of English as a foreign language.
All candidates must submit the following documents:
Photocopy of University Diploma accompanied with a list of grades
Various qualification certificates
Professional reference from the recent employer
Photographs (1 piece)
The required documentation must be submitted within October 11, 2019 and must be delivered in a sealed envelope to Fondi Besa Headquarters, located at: Rruga “Brigada e VIII”; Pallati Nr. 5 (zona e ish bllokut), Tirane.
For any other information you can visit our website www.fondibesa.com and for any ambiguity you can contact Department of Human Resources & Services at the Headquarters, telephone no: 04 2253841/842.
Established in 1994, just two years after Albania’s transition to democracy, Fondi BESA’s commitment to offering micro, small and medium loans helped the organization grow while also spurring economic growth at a time when obtaining credit was difficult. Today, it is the country’s leader in microfinance with 600 employees and 80 offices country-wide. Besides achieving sustained growth as a financial organization, it has provided over €600 million in loans that have led to the creation of thousands of new jobs, significant poverty alleviation and improved financial literacy throughout the country. Here, the financial institution’s executive director Prof Bajram Muçaj explains the organization’s milestones and strategy for creating evermore win-win opportunities
How would you describe the sector of microfinance in Albania?
Microfinance is considered an important part of the financial sector to achieve balanced economic growth, providing financial support for micro, small and medium enterprises, which are vital for medium to long term economic growth. The Albanian economy, to a large extent, depends on the micro and small businesses. Almost all enterprises in Albania are classified in this category. About 99.9 percent of active enterprises are small and medium and approximately 90.1 percent of them are enterprises with one to four employees and their contribution on total employment is 47.7 percent.
With highly a fragmented economy, based mainly on family-owned business and with a population that is more than 40 percent rural, Albania has a strong demand for microfinance products.
The microfinance industry’s roots in Albania go back to 1994 when it started as a project for poverty alleviation. Currently, in Albania 31 non-bank financial institutions are operating. Of those, eight are registered to perform regular lending activities (solely or combined with other services), five to conduct microcredit activities, and the rest offer leasing products, factoring services, and payment services. They are fully regulated and all institutions involved in lending are licensed by the Central Bank.
Credit organizations are the second biggest player in the financial market after the banks. It is the banking sector that dominates the market (bank assets in 2017 stood at 92.5 percent of GDP), while non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) that include microfinance institutions (MFIs), leasing, factoring companies, and savings and loan associations are small in terms of their assets. As of December 2017, the NBFIs total assets amounted to €363 million, accounting for 3.1 percent of total banking system assets.Non-performing Loans (NPL) of the microfinance sector are about 4.4 percent, while the banking sector has a ratio of over 11 percent. The quality of their portfolio clearly shows their ability to lend, while also managing risks.
The sector is developing continuously, applying user-friendly and transparent procedures, thus making it possible for everyone eligible to have access to loans. There is constant geographical expansion with a growing number of new MFIs and expansion of the existing ones.
The Bank of Albania credit register has included reporting even from MFIs, which helps them gather necessary client credit information to prevent over-indebtedness and maintain high portfolio quality.
As mentioned earlier, the sector is growing continuously and, based on the MFI success, banks have started to become interested in the potential of this business. Several commercial banks have started to accommodate these types of clients even by establishing a separate dedicated department. However, banks still target medium and large scale loans and the average loan size is generally very high compared to MFIs average loan size.
Our retention rate is 78 percent. Repeat clients are the most distinguished testimony to the strength of our business, the efforts of our staff and most importantly, the trust that clients have in us
What are the most important factors that account for Fondi BESA’s positive contribution to the socioeconomic development of Albania?
Fondi BESA’s mission is to assist economic growth and poverty alleviation by promoting the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Albanian urban and rural areas by supporting them with credit. Certainly, the market demands for financial services are different, but Fondi BESA focuses on its market segment, offering qualitative services and products. Fondi BESA is designed to provide customers with high standards of quality, in a swift and fully transparent approach. We want our impact not only be measured by our profit but also in terms of the benefits arising from the increased economic activity we create.
Certainly, Fondi BESA’s activity positively contributes to society by granting loans for market segments that are practically excluded from the banking services. We focus mainly on such market niches, reaching clients who, due to several constraints, fail to benefit from such banking services. With a sustainable network with distinguished capacity and a 25-year history, experience and expertise, Fondi BESA has a lot of advantages in comparison with other potential actors in the sector.
We aim at designing products that answer customer’s needs, desires, expectations and preferences. This requires efforts to study the market and identify products that clients need most, identify what competition offers and then design products and identify delivery channels that can be easily reached by clients.
We also believe that a close relationship with clients, based on honesty and mutual trust, nurtured throughout the credit cycle, is a factor that makes Fondi BESA successful.
One important contribution of Fondi BESA is job-creation. Throughout its activity, Fondi Besa has dispersed about 213,000 loans with a total volume of about €600 million.
Outstanding loan portfolio from year-to-year has gone up by about €100 million. Compared to the beginning of Fondi BESA, activity the loan portfolio has increased 60 times. According to our estimates based on studies we have conducted, each new loan we disburse creates 0.504 new full-time jobs and 0.209 part-time jobs. Job creation, especially among the most vulnerable groups like youth and women, besides strengthening economically, has a strong impact on their social integration. At the same time, through several programs for financing young people, Fondi BESA hopes to have further contributed by restraining some emigration.
Which sectors of Albania’s economy are most ripe for entrepreneurial activity?
The sectors that contribute mostly to GDP are: services and trade, agriculture and tourism. These are also the ones that play an important contribution to employment – agriculture makes up 41.4 percent and services, 40.3 percent.
Recently, the tourism sector has increased its contribution to total GDP and this sector is predicted to mark significant growth in the near future. The tourism sector is traditionally an important source of income, particularly during the summer months, but more recently during the winter months as well, due to an increase in popularity of snow sports such as skiing. With over 3.8 million tourists annually, tourism generates revenue in excess of €1.5 billion. Albania is ranked among the top 25 most popular tourist destinations in Europe and was voted one of the world’s top tourism destination in 2014 by The New York Times and Lonely Planet.
According to this Forbes Magazine, Fondi BESA is ranked among the best 50 micro-financial institutions in the world
What is in store for Fondi BESA in terms of expanding financial products and services?
Lending is and will remain the main pillar of Fondi BESA’s activity. Considering the high importance that lending has in income-generating, institution sustainability and activity expansion, Fondi BESA has put great efforts to further diversify the loan products range during the following years. The increase in lending volume and product diversification will help us meet the needs of the target market.
Our strategy is to be as close as possible to clients with the most adequate products for them. Because we have paved our road towards future development, we foresee expanding our geographical area and covering in depth those areas that offer potential regarding economic and business development and the development of the trade, services, agriculture and tourism sectors.
As the evolution of microfinance institutions has shown, it is important for an MFI to keep its good clients. In Fondi BESA, we consider our existing good clients as assets and the main source of activity growth to maintain financial sustainability. That is why we constantly conduct market research to understand what their demands are.
On the other hand, we pay special attention to new clients to ensure the continuity of the activity. In terms of expanding we have a double objective: expansion in new areas with existing products and intensifying our lending activity in existing areas by offering new products and services
Currently, Fondi BESA offers business loans, consumer loans, tourism loans, green loans, youth loans and agriculture loans. Aware that recently there has been an added interest in agriculture, Fondi BESA has intensified its lending activity in this sector. There was a significant growth of loans disbursed in agriculture during the last two years and we are working on designing specific agriculture loan products designed on the basis of the agriculture cycle. We intend to offer new products, mainly to respond to clients’ demands, but at the same time to boost growth and profitability and then maintain and even expand outreach to new areas.
Despite the fact that rural clients are perceived as riskier, less profitable and lacking in proper collateral, Fondi BESA believes that the agriculture sector needs financing. Recent trends reflect the potential for a more modern and competitive agricultural sector if sufficient private investment is made and the right policy is built. The main challenges for rural and agricultural policymakers are the transformation of agriculture beyond consumer-oriented production to a modern, commercial and competitive one, parallel to the creation of alternative income opportunities for the rural population that is moving away from the sector.
Over the next three years (until 2021), we estimate that we will disburse around €300 million in loans.Fondi BESA will remain loyal in the future to its clientele and the microfinance market. Depending on future legal amendments, in cooperation with the Bank of Albania, there could be an opportunity to have a microfinance bank that has status between NBFIs and second level banks. This change would appear to be positive both in terms of providing the need to increase funding and enhancement of competition as well as increase and development of ongoing products.
Fondi BESA’s case has shown that the right business models can be successful even in difficult economic environments of immature and turbulent markets, and indeed these models can survive and flourish in such economies
What are some of the main achievements that you are particularly proud of?
Fondi BESA is the pioneer in Albania’s microfinance sector. As mentioned, its roots go back to1994, right after the collapse of the communist regime. Thanks to our financial stability, social responsibility and reliability, Fondi Besa has obtained a great reputation and credibility in Albania and beyond.
First and most importantly, is that together with our clients, our lending activity has had a positive impact on financial education, which still remains an important factor in our activity. We started when there was no tradition of individual lending in Albania and now we have prepared bankable clients that manage important businesses.
Fondi BESA has established a wide network of 80 offices and we are present all over Albania, even in remote areas, where people totally lack banking financial services. Fondi BESA is developing together with its clients by expanding its intervention and designing new innovative products for the target clients. The proximity of service and quick access to our products will be another competitive advantage of Fondi BESA.
In our path towards development, Fondi BESA has endured several crises, when many similar companies found it difficult to provide clients with financial services. However, Fondi BESA evaluated the risk and was there for its clients even at difficult times. Moreover, it was the time when we expanded. In regard to the volume of its assets, capital, outstanding, active clients, Fondi BESA is the leader in the microfinance sector of Albania.
At Fondi BESA we are proud that the service we deliver to our clients is rewarded – our retention rate is 78 percent. Repeat clients are the most distinguished testimony to the strength of our business, the efforts of our staff and most importantly, the trust that clients have in us.
Fondi BESA, though it has been a joint stock company oriented towards profit since 2009, has always tried to maintain a balance between financial and social objectives, which links it closely to its mission to contribute in the country poverty alleviation. Fondi BESA has improved activity and financial performance year after year and has been awarded by the President of Albania for its contribution for poverty elevation and job-creation though crediting. We have also been granted the award of certification for compliance with the European Code of Good Conduct for microfinance provision by the European Commission.
Based on the information gathered by MIX – Market and analyses performed by well-known rating companies like Micro-Credit Ratings International Ltd and MicroRate, Forbes Magazine published a list of these institutions for the year 2007. The rating is made based on some key indicators like portfolio, expenses, loan outstanding, etc. According to this rating, Fondi BESA is ranked among the best 50 micro-financial institutions in the world.
Do you have relationships with any German organizations?
Fondi BESA dedicates its success, besides other things, to the close cooperation with local and international banks and partners. Among many, I am delighted to mention several German companies from which Fondi BESA has obtained loans or technical consultancies like Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Bank Im Bistum Essen, Finance in Motion, and the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE). EFSE is initiated by KfW, who is also a lead investor and is supported, among others, by the EC, the German government and the Albanian Government.
Fondi BESA has also established a fruitful relationship with Invest in Visions through Developing World Markets (DWM). We believe that this cooperation will continue in the future.
What final message would you like to send to readers of Die Welt?
Fondi BESA’s activity originated in 1994 as a project of credit for urban areas, financed by the World Bank. The starting of this project was just two years after Albania came out poor and deprived of the communist regime. Fondi BESA’s activity grew rapidly in an economy that had a huge demand for loans, but that faced unexpected event such as the crisis of the 1997 pyramid schemes collapse. Fondi BESA’s impressive performance over the years is credited to its well-designed strategy, its adaptability to the economic environment and the very special relationships that it has established and consolidated with its clients and partners.
Fondi BESA’s case has shown that the right business models can be successful even in difficult economic environments of immature and turbulent markets, and indeed these models can survive and flourish in such economies. Therefore, I encourage investors to consider Albania as a good business opportunity and Fondi BESA as a financial investment opportunity and a good partner.
Fondi Besa is pleased to announce its support as one of the sponsors of the 22nd MFC Annual Conference, which will take place in Istanbul, Turkey, on 30 – 31 May 2019.
This year, Istanbul will be hosting the MFC Conference, an important
event for the Microfinance sector. The event will be a meeting of minds and
ideas and will be the perfect opportunity for financial inclusion professionals
to network, exchange experiences, learn from an impressive line-up of guests
and even lay the groundwork for successful partnerships going forward.
During the two days’ informative sessions and
industry-specific presentations, the conference will bring together more than 500
key players, practitioners and sponsors of the microfinance industry from East and
West Europe, Central Asia, the Caucasus and even further afield.
This year, the
conference theme will be “Demystifying
Digital in Microfinance”. This 22nd MFC Annual Conference
will tackle the practical side of digitalization in the financial
inclusion sector through case studies, trend analysis and discussion of
emerging best practice.
Fondi Besa welcomes all interested parties to
visit our stand and get to know more on Fondi Besa activity.
The Microfinance Centre is a social
finance network that promotes fairness, inclusion, equality and responsible
service. It unites 113 organizations (including 77 MFIs) across 37 countries of
Europe, Central Asia and beyond, who together deliver responsible microfinance
services to over 1,000,000 low-income clients.
For the third year in a row Fondi Besa participates in Career Fair at Agricultural University of Tirana (UBT) that has been transformed into a successful tradition.
This activity represents an exceptional opportunity of interaction among the university, public institutions, entrepreneurships as well as organizations of various profiles throughout Albania.
This event paves the way to bring closer the request and offer, therefore serving as an important window of communication among employers such as public institutions, private entrepreneurship and different organizations, which represent students of UBT. Likewise, it serves as an opportunity for UBT students to carry out professional practices at participating institutions in the fair.
The Albanian Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness organized on May 04, 2019 at the Hall of Tirana University of Arts the Cup of Albania in Bodybuilding and Fitness 2019. Attending this important event were 46 sportspeople from different Albanian cities.
Likewise there was the biggest participation ever of sportswomen divided into 7 categories, who by their performance added more values to this sporting spectacle, becoming an inspiring example for other girls. In the bodybuilding category it is worth mentioning the big and qualitative step of sportspeople, who constitute the basis of our national team in international activities.
Under the ongoing support of Fondi Besa for the development of arts and sport in Albania, it was not difficult for us to say yes to this sponsorship, considering that bodybuilding is among those sports that require devotion and determination, values that take an important place in our institutional culture.
Fondi BESA will continue to support important activities of culture and sport given that social responsibility is one of our priorities, becoming an example for business sensitization in support of culture and sports in Albania.
The distinguished violinist Olen Çezari returns to Albanian stage with his band “International Clandestine Orchestra” in order to furnish the audience with an unforgettable night by his exceptional artistic performance and best sounds of Albanian and world music.
The event is held on April 23 – 24, 2019, at Palace of Congresses.
Fondi Besa sh.a is one of the sponsors of the event.
Through the support of this event that conveys universal values of music, Fondi Besa revealed once more its attention paid to art, culture and music.
The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) provided its third Micro-SME Facility to the Albanian Fondi BESA Sh.A for the amount of EUR 10 million. The three-year loan will contribute to the institutional development of Fondi BESA resulting in further business growth and improved liquidity and client service. In turn, this, will promote job creation and income generation with a positive impact on poverty alleviation in Albania, a member-country of BSTDB.
The new facility brings the total amount provided by BSTDB to Fondi BESA to EUR 21 million. The previous two successfully utilized facilities were provided in 2014 and 2016.
Prof. Ass. Dr. Bajram Muçaj, CEO of Fondi BESA SH.A. said: “We highly appreciate the cooperation with Black Sea Trade and Development Bank and its continuous support that will help Fondi BESA fulfill its mission of contributing to the country economic growth, reduction of poverty in urban and semi-urban areas through the funding of micro, small and medium sized enterprises and in job creation in Albania. This agreement is an expression of consolidation and long-term cooperation between Fondi BESA sh.a. and BSTDB.”
Signing the loan agreement, BSTDB President Dmitry Pankin said: “We are pleased to enhance our partnership with Fondi Besa, which has proved to be a reliable partner and market leader in Albania. Our long-term cooperation demonstrates BSTDB’s commitment to supporting the country’s economic development, where small and micro-sized businesses play an increasingly important role. Therefore, facilitating microfinance will remain our strategic priority in Albania in the years to come.”
* * * * * * * * * * *
Established in 1994, Fondi Besa Sh.A is a market leader institution of Albanian microfinance and has consolidated its activity and presence through a network of 80 offices all over Albania. The company has more 33,000 active clients and with a loan portfolio of over 95 million EUR. Its mission is to help the economic growth and poverty reduction in urban and semi-urban areas of Albania by promoting micro, small and medium enterprises through the creation of a private micro-financial Albanian fund which is self-sustainable. Clients of the Fund include people from all socio-economic layers, including unemployed and start-up businesses. It has clear and ambitious plans to expand in the years to come with other financial products and services. For information on Fondi Besa, visit www.fondibesa.com
The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) is an international financial institution established by Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. The BSTDB headquarters are in Thessaloniki, Greece. BSTDB supports economic development and regional cooperation by providing loans, credit lines, equity and guarantees for projects and trade financing in the public and private sectors in its member countries. The authorized capital of the Bank is EUR 3.45 billion. BSTDB is rated long-term “A-” by Standard and Poor’s and “A2” by Moody’s. For information on BSTDB, visit www.bstdb.org.
CEO’s Statement at the Signing Ceremony with Black Sea Trade and Development Bank
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Fondi Besa has inaugurated on March 12, 2019 the Green Energy Efficiency Fund (GEFF) that will support investments in the residential sector in Albania.
The agreement between EBRD and FONDI BESA aims at promoting investments in the green energy in houses in Albania through the funding of 3 million Euros for a 3 year term.
These investments will aim at improving power efficiency, generating power saving, improving living conditions and reducing environmental pollution.
The EBRD has created GEFF Program to support individuals and businesses that will invest in projects with positive impact on the environment. The GEFF in Albania is part of a roughly 85 million Euros of EBRD Green Economy Funding Program for Western Balkans. The program is a joint initiative of the European Union and Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance along with participant countries in the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).
“The Green Loan – GEFF” will be focused on individuals who aim to carry out investments in their houses focused on efficiency and power saving.
What is particular for this program after the house owners have carried out these investments, is to provide them with opportunities to apply for an EU grant 15% – 20% of the value of their investment.
The Fondi Besa has been part of similar projects focused on power efficiency and I think we own the necessary experience and expertise as well as a professional staff in order to realize this project at the best.
We hope that this initiative will serve as an incentive for decision makers in order to think actively and to increase investments in the renewable energy sector that has a significant impact on a cleaner environment.
The implementation of this project by Fondi Besa will simultaneously serve to well-designed similar loan products in the future with the focus to power efficiency.
The launch of the “Green Loan – GEFF” will have a dual impact both for the institution and the beneficiary, as well as will respond directly to the greater attention on national scale and beyond as to environmental protection, affecting the improvement of the quality of the lives of citizens.
As leader in microfinance sector in Albania, we deem that this experience will serve as orientation for other microfinance institutions in order to diversify their activity in this sector as well.
The Fondi Besa has a long experience of cooperation with EBRD and we are fully convinced that this project will also be successful.
Attending the launch event in Tirana were the stakeholders of GEEF Program, including Mr. Matteo Colangeli, Director of EBRD in Albania, Mr. Luigi Soreca, Ambassador of EU in Albania, Mr. Erion Luci Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy, Mr. Erion Veliaj, Mayor of Tirana, Mr. Leander Treppel, Member of EBRD Board for Austria, Mr. Bajram Muçaj , Executive Director of Fondi Besa, other donors, representatives of local government, partner financial institutions, producers and distributors of green technology for residential sector.
In the framework of the project “Zana e Maleve – Giovani e Territori: radici di una comunità in cammino verso l’ìntegrazione con la famiglia europea “, on March 5th, 2019, the Fondi BESA, in cooperation with VIS Albania and the PfD Foundation organized a training on ” How to start your business “in Shkodra.
The purpose of this training is to guide young people to explore self-employment opportunities and advise them on the steps they need to pursue to start a business. Participants in this training were young people in the district of “Malësi e Madhe”. Among the specific objectives and topics addressed in this training are:
1. How to do a market analysis;
2. How to Design a Business Plan;
3. Resources for financing a business;
4. Effective management of financial resources.
On March 5-6, 2019, a training course was organized for the new staff of credit officers employed in Fondi Besa during January-February 2019.
The activities of this component are developed in harmony and full support of the other components of the Institution for the achievement of its objectives.
During the two days, 14 new credit officers were trained, hired in 12 Regional Branches of Fondi Besa sh.a. The necessary information was delivered for the rapid inclusion of new staff in the day-to-day work for the well-functioning of the credit system, in support of entrepreneurs. Fondi Besa representatives referred practical and up-to-date information on the daily work of the company to face the Institution’s challenges and socio-economic developments in the country.
On February 14-16, 2019, it was held annual analysis of Fondi Besa activity for 2018, which followed discussions in every regional branch.
The preceding year confirmed the sustainability of the institution. Its activity went on expanding, remaining well-capitalized, liquid and profitable.
In his speech, the Executive Director Mr. Bajram Muçaj, tackled the particular importance of the annual analysis in the progress of work, determination of arising problems, their settlement and the intensification of work to achieve objectives in the succeeding year.
In continuation, the accomplished indexes were presented as below:
For 2018, the Fondi Besa appears to have 32,575 active clients, with a surplus loan over 11,4 billion ALL. In terms of loan disbursements the results have been very good and appear to be 21, 413 disbursed loans with a volume of roughly9,9 billion ALL.
Since the start of the activity, the Fondi Besa has disbursed 208,034 loans with a volume of 71,9 billion ALL. The rate for the bad loans went on improving and amounting to the value of 2.88%.
As a result of the committment of all employees, increase of their work responsibility, organization and strengthening of team work, it has been observed an increase of productivity and efficency of the work of all departments, with an increasing trend to the accomplishment of objectives and further expansion of activity.
During January-December 2018, the Fondi BESA has paid particular attention to the improvement of office infrastructure in order to enhance the effectiveness of the institution and expand its presence in the targeted market. With a personnel of 549 employees, the Fondi BESA aims at being an accountable employee who furnishes employees with good working conditions and promotion opportunities. That is why we are trying to establish a cooperative, open, innovative culture that attracts and motivates the employees.
These achievements come as a result of committment and professionalism of the personnel. The Fondi BESA continously invests in the enhancement of human resource capacities through professional trainings of all levels, which regards them as part of employer’s responsibility.
In his closing speech, Mr. Muçaj delivered the up to date assessment and performance of the Fondi BESA, highlighting that “That is the opportunity to express delight on the increasing engagement of our institution, given that the well-management of lending activity, modernization of systems and processes that enhance efficiency and productivity, increase of transparency towards our clients, shareholders and partners, are challenges faced by the institution in its daily work. The sustainable and increasing performance of this institution during the recent years will also continue in the succeeding periods, providing our clients with access to financial services and products as to timely accomplishment of their needs for development. We aim to be their most trusted partner.
Fondi BESA sh.a Lending Institution for Businesses with roughly 32,575 active clients and surplos loans over 11.4 billion ALL, which has lent since the start of its activity some 71.9 billion ALL or over 208,000 loans and exercises activity in 82 offices throughout the territory of the country, announces competition on vacancy notice in the position of DESIGNER / SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER & WEB PAGE in the headquarters.
Main requirements for candidates in this position are as follows:
• High education in the marketing , business or information technology fields.
• Similar experience in the promotional field of products or services through WEB or social networks.
• Must have ability to analyze various information related to market and market research.
• Experience in the marketing and promotion field.
• Good organizational and communication skills
• Team work abilities
• Good knowledge in Microsoft Office programs.
Other requirements :
• Maintains excellent writing and language skills.
• Design web pages
• Must have ability to navigate web pages in order to absorb qualitative information.
• Displays in-depth knowledge and understanding of social media platforms, their respective participants (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest etc.) and how each platform can be deployed in different scenarios.
• Check incoming and outgoing information using efficient methods.
• Ensure that content must be high in search engines.
• Collect information from most searched pages.
• Create advertisements in internet.
• Monitor on-line the reputation of the company.
• Manage comments in blogs or articles.
• Highlight and encourage positive comments.
• Follow up comments.
• Encourage reaction of clients and create improvement campaigns.
• Create marketing strategy for projects including the company website and social medias.
• Must cooperate with Marketing Department in the development and implementation of the products.
• Analyze data for highest campaign efficiency.
• Design, create and manage promotions and social ad campaigns, being sure to integrate with company’s overall marketing campaign plan and channels.
Necessary documents to apply for this position:
1. Cover letter
2. Curriculum Vitae
3. Copy of University Degree and the list of grades
4. Training or other qualifications
5. Reference letter from the last employer
6. Personal photo (1)
The required documentation must be submitted within May 11, 2019and must be delivered in a sealed envelope to Fondi BESA Headquarters, located at: Rruga “Brigada e VIII”; Pallati Nr. 5 (zona e ish bllokut), Tirane.
For any other information you can visit our website www.fondibesa.com and for any further information you can contact Department of Human Resources & Services at the Headquarters, telephone no: 04 2253841/842.
Fondi BESA sh.a Lending Institution for Businesses with roughly 32,575 active clients and surplus loans over 11.4 billion ALL, which has lent since the start of its activity some 71.9 billion ALL or over 208,000 loans and exercises activity in 82 offices throughout the territory of the country, announces competition on vacancy notice as to the position PROGRAMMING SPECIALIST at the headquarters.
Main requirements for candidates for this position are as follows:
* Higher Education Studies on Informatics or Software Engineering
* 2 year+ verified experience as developer on web applications
* must have carried out projects successfully in mid and enterprise level
* 2 year + experience in Php , Java or Python
* must have shown professionalism with one of frameworks Php , Java or Python
* 2+ year experience in SQL SERVER 2012/2014
* ability to understand, develop schemes and tables in databases
* must testify satisfactory programming abilities in Transact-SQL and Store Procedure
* must have experience in identification of users and their automatization
* able to follow up independently design requirements and specifications in order to build qualitative applications
* good communication skills at work, in group and willing to solve problems
* Preferablly experienced in similar sectors such as banking and financial system;
* must have not been dismissed or suffered disciplinary measures;
Other qualifications in the field of information technology:
All candidates must submit the following documents:
1. Employment Request
2. Curriculum Vitae
3. Photocopy of University Diploma accompanied with a list of grades.
4. Different qualification certificates
5. Professional reference from the recent employer
6. Photographs (1 piece)
The required documentation must be submitted within March 11, 2019 and be delivered in a sealed envelope to Fondi BESA Headquarters, located at: Rruga “Brigada e VIII”; Pallati Nr. 5 (zona e ish bllokut), Tirane.
For any other information you can visit our official website www.fondibesa.com and for any inclarity you can contact Department of Human Resources & Services in the Headquarters, telephone no: 04 2253841/842.
This lecture was referred by representatives of Fondi BESA Mr. Robert Lukaj, Director of Risk Management Department and Mr. Altin Muçaj, Director of Marketing, Training and Development Department.
Such lectures are considered as an opportunity to explain the reality of microfinance in Albania, rules and procedures on developing activity and risk management and act as a linking bridge among universities and our institution.
One of the components by means of which Fondi BESA aims at accomplishing its social mission is also the integration of young people in society through financial education, opportunity to carry out learning practices or towards employment after the termination of university studies as well as the funding of their ideas to start a business.
Attending this lecture were students and pedagogues of the European University of Tirana.
As all the other components and activities of Fondi BESA, the training component is responding to the staff needs for capacity building and supporting the ambitious objectives of the Institution for 2019.
On January 15th – 16th, Fondi BESA organized the training of 19 newly recruited staff employed in 16 Regional Branches. The training sessions treated topics related to the functioning of credit system in the credit officers daily work, role and functions of credit officers, how to find new clients, credit producers etc.
Fondi BESA uses the internal resource persons for such trainings and will continue to organize trainings for all staff levels aiming to keep them continuously updated with the financial market innovations, the Institution’s challenges and the socio-economic developments in the country.
Our recent workshop, entitled “Applying for and Contracting EaSI Financial Instruments for Microfinance Institutions” was designed to help Albanian MFIs learn what services are available under the EaSI TA Programme and understand how to apply for EaSI Financial Instruments. The workshop took place in Tirana, Albania on 13 December 2018, and was co-organized by the Albanian Microfinance Association.
The workshop was comprised of three sessions:
1. An overview of EaSI Financial Instruments and application requirements, presented by Simone Uccheddu, a European Investment Fund representative
2. A case study highlighting useful information about the application process and contractual arrangements, delivered by Altin Muca, a BESA Fund representative
3. A review of technical assistance services available to MFIs as part of the EaSI Technical Assistance Programme, delivered by Grzegorz Galusek, Microfinance Centre representative.
The workshop topic proved both interesting and useful for participants, with one commenting:
“This event was well-organized and structured with relevant information and practical advice.”
This loan will support Fondi BESA to expand its loan portfolio aiming at financing small and medium businesses as well as farms in Albania. The successful implementation of this Loan Agreement will contribute to our clients’ economic growth in urban and rural.
Actually, Fondi BESA, as one of the most important institutions in the Albanian microfinance market, has consolidated its activity and presence through a range of activities across the country with 78 offices and a clear and ambitious expansion plan in the coming years.
Fondi BESA has currently over 32,300 active clients, an outstanding of about ALL 10.9 billion and since the beginning of the activity has disbursed about 205,800 loans in the amount of about ALL 70.5 billion.
This Loan Agreement signing is part of the institution’s strategy in the context of diversifying resources to meet the needs for funds as well as realizing the ambitious objectives of growth and consolidation of activity as well as building a long-term partnership with serious donors and financial institutions.
BlueOrchard is an institution founded in 2001 by initiative of the UN as the first commercial manager of microfinance debt investments worldwide. It offers premium investment solutions to qualified investors and provide debt and equity financing to institutions in emerging and frontier markets.
To date, BlueOrchard has invested USD 5 billion in 350 institutions across 80 countries, providing access to financial and related services to over 37 million low-income individuals.
Fondi BESA, the largest microfinance institution in the country, receives the first tranche of Euro 1.5 million of a total loan of Euro 3 million accorded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in the framework of the Program for the Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF). This loan will be released under the EUR 85 million Program for the Western Balkans for Green Economy Financing and will be used to finance investments in high-performance energy efficiency projects in private dwellings. Clients will be able to invest in insulation, solar panels, efficient boilers and other green technologies.
Fondi Besa, as a microfinance institution, maintains a balance between its financial and social objectives. In this context, Fondi Besa contributes to the preservation of energy and encourages the use of its alternative forms.
We are aware that energy plays an important and irreplaceable role in modernized human life. But its environmental impacts are also rather pronounced. Whatever the mode of energy production, it has a significant environmental impact due to the operations from the provision of raw material and its transportation to the production process and energy utilization itself. Direct impacts have also the emissions from the power line including water, air, soil, waste, noise and radioactivity pollution.
The investments in the green technology are expected to lead to energy savings of more than 68,000 MWh per year and the reduction of annual gas emissions by more than 21,250 tons of CO2.
The program is a joint initiative of the European Union (EU), bilateral donors and beneficiary countries cooperating under the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) and is implemented in partnership with the Secretariat of the Energy Community. The Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance will provide incentives and technical cooperation in support of green technology investments.
The GEFF program supports financing for improvement of energy efficiency in private dwellings through a network of more than 130 local financial institutions across 26 countries supported by almost €4.2 billion of EBRD finance. This has enabled more than 120,000 clients to save a total of almost 8 million tons of CO2 emissions a year.
The EBRD has invested €1.2 billion in 84 projects in Albania, where it focusses on the sustainable development of the private sector, enhancing the commercialization of infrastructure projects and promoting sustainable energy and environmentally sound investments.
Fondi BESA has more than 32,200 clients in Albania with a loan book of €87 million The company has been an EBRD partner since 2010 and provides micro-lending to individuals and small businesses across Albania.
The European Commission is sponsoring a microfinance workshop in Albania, organized under the umbrella of the EaSI Technical Assistance for Microfinance programme.
The Program for Employment and Social Innovation is a financing instrument at European Community level to promote a high level of quality and sustainable employment, Guarantee and Social Protection, Fight against Social Exclusion and Poverty, and Improvement of Working Conditions.
It aims to help all interested Albanian microfinance institutions understand better what services are available to them under the EaSI Programme and how to apply for the Financial Instruments in particular.
The workshop is co-organised by the Albanian Microfinance Association.
Access to funding is an important and often challenging topic for many microfinance institutions, especially for smaller institutions which may not always be aware of all opportunities available to them.
The participants are representatives of Albanian microfinance institutions, who would learn how to access EaSI funding under the guidance of peers and experts.
The workshop is comprised of three sessions:
1. An overview of the EaSI Financial Instruments and application conditions
2. A case study delivered by a peer organization – Fondi BESA, presenting their application process and contractual arrangements
3. Technical assistance services available to microfinance institutions to increase the quality of their internal processes
Thanks to the European Union’s support under the “Employment and Social Innovation” Program, to enhance the development of the agricultural sector and for supporting the entrepreneurial youth initiative, Fondi BESA and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have signed a Guarantee Facility to supporting these activities.
In the framework of this cooperation, Fondi BESA offers borrowers more competitive and attractive loan conditions than the normal credit conditions for agricultural loans provided so far.
So, customers benefit:
• Reduced Interest rate
• No collateral
• Customers may decide for themselves how much money they want to repay monthly, thus pursuing their cash flow cycle.
During the seminar, Fondi BESA gives a detailed presentation of the entire process of application and implementation of the “Social Employment and Innovation” program as well as the process for obtaining the Cerificate of the Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Providers. Fondi BESA was awarded with this Cerificate on 20 April 2018, which once again confirms Fondi BESA position as one of the best microcredit providers in the country, being one of the few institutions in Europe and the only one in Albania qualified to receive this Certificate.
Building staff capacity at all levels of Fondi Besa jsc is one of the main goals of this Institution, in support of the achievement of projected results and ongoing progress. Meanwhile, the harmonization of managerial capacities with the staff professional skills at different levels is another objective, which creates, among other, the necessary spaces needed for sustainable promotion of staff. To this end, the training process is a continuous process in response to needs and developments both in Fondi Besa context and in the financial environment and Microfinance in Albania.
In this context, we organize periodic training with the new credit officers, the last one held on 13-14 November 2018. In this training activity, 15 new credit officers from 10 different Regional Branches participated. They join 350 other specialists of this level at the Institution. Even though their background is mainly economic and finance, there are also employees with different background such as agriculture or the exact and social sciences.
As part of the staff capacity building, during this week, Fondi Besa has organized trainings in several branches of Tirana district, in cooperation with the GEFF Albania Project office, in the framework of the cooperation agreement of Fondi Besa and EBRD.
Fondi Besa considers its human resources as an important asset and factor, which represents the main force in the institution’s development.
During this year, we are committed to increasing the expertise and professionalism of the staff with an increased focus on training at all levels.
During October 2018, Fondi BESA organized the marketing campaign “Agricultural loans and advantages offered by Besa Fund with this product”. This campaign was organized in Lushnje, Fier and Berat districts.
During this campaign, we contacted farmers and traders of agricultural products who discussed the types of agricultural loan products we offer, loan terms and conditions, prudent and wise use of the loan, the advantages of lending from Fondi BESA as well as opportunities and development potentials in these areas.
In the Reç chestnut forest, a natural monument and part of Shkreli Natural Park in Malesia e Madhe, it was organized the Agroturistic Day.
On this occasion there was organized a fair with traditional local products and dishes, highlighting the values of Agrotourism and Agrobiodiversity and the potential for development in the area of Malësia e Madhe.
Fondi Besa Fund also participated in the fair, offering opportunities for financial support of businesses in the field of agriculture and agrotourism.