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 – 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

Expected results

• 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

DEVG7883-2

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