Albania: IDEA Business Start-up Competition 2018 launched!


As it comes to the end of its transition to a market economy, Albania faces the challenge of strong unemployment and high levels of emigration from the country. According to Albania's Institute of Statistics, overall unemployment reached 17.5 per cent in 2015. The rate among 15-29-year-olds is particularly high, at over 30 per cent. Meanwhile, nearly 15 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line. A first round of entrepreneurship-trainings took place successfully within the GIZ project in 2016 and entrepreneurship trainers were certified. Also a brand for the trainings and start-up campaign was established (IDEA) and entrepreneurship-trainings were delivered nationwide.

IDEA Business Start-up Campaign 2018 & 2019

End of 2017 CEFE International in cooperation with PEM CONSULT started on behalf of GIZ the second enlarged round of large-scale start-up campaign IDEA. The target group of IDEA are men and women in the age of 18 to 34 who are in the early stages of their entrepreneurial activity. Early stage is defined as being in the process of setting up a business, of having done so within the last 3 years, of planning to innovate and to invest in scaling up a business or of being in the process to take over a family business. The duration of the consulting contract is until end of October 2019.

The entrepreneurship trainings and the support measures and trainings started in late 2017 and target 1.000 participants in two rounds aiming to create at least 140 new business. The tasks cover the following steps:

a.) Promote the IDEA-brand established in 2016: Identify main target groups (including returnees from migration experiences in Germany) and audiences and determine the communication mix; Prepare an IDEA PR/communication concept; Produce effective press releases, prepare information for media kits and develop and maintain IDEA internet web page and social media presence (IDEA-Facebook-Account); Manage special events such as the "IDEA-finalists" competition; Establish and maintain effective working relationships with local and municipal government officials and media representatives.


b.) Defining an application process: Announce the entrepreneurship trainings nation-wide and organize the application and criteria for the selection-process in a suitable fashion.

c.) Design & Implementation of a competitive training process: A training process was designed that provides solutions to the main challenges faced by start-ups and SMEs in Albania. Interactive, gender sensitive methodologies in start-up trainings are used and a training manual provided. The training course is designed in such a way that it contains different steps:

  1. Training of Trainers (ToT) for additional trainers to be trained in participative, interactive entrepreneurial training methods (January 2018).
  2. A nationwide competition to generate innovative Business Ideas all over Albania followed by a 2 days training on how to generate and select business ideas will take place in early March 2018. An intensive media campaign with outreach ensures sufficient participation. Successful providers of ideas may later on participate in the entrepreneurship trainings.
  3. Large-scale general entrepreneurship training for up to app. 500 entrepreneurs per campaign with the possibility to graduate from the program by moving to the following stages.
  4. Coaching and training for selected participants (approx. 120 from the 500 persons per campaign ) on business planning, financial management, innovation and entrepreneurial skills from which up to 45 graduates will be selected to participate the next stage
  5. Mentoring for the selected candidates for a period of 3 months. These last 45 will have the opportunity to present their business plans at a high-level closing workshop and will receive tailor made support, being introduced to potentially useful contacts (accelerators, incubators, business angels etc.) and get privileged access to the IDEA-Grant scheme (to be established by GIZ).

The IDEA 2018 campaign has just recently been launched. Additional information is to be found at: