First National Conference on Social Business held in Albania

Yunus Social Business Albania, in collaboration with Nxitja e Biznesit Social sh.a organized the first National Conference on social business: “Social Business Movement of Albania”, on May 30th. The conference gathered together about 170 people, across different groups of development actors, including entrepreneurs, public institutions, businesses, Ngo’s, professors and young people.

The conference was an enthusiastic starting point to introduce the concept of social business and be inspired by international and Albanian social business cases presented during the conference.

The event was opened by Prime Minister Sali Berisha. P.M Sali Berisha said that “Government will do everything to support social business and Yunus Social Business Albania, to inspire social businesses and extend the microcredit system wherever there is a big need by the citizens”.

Saskia Bruysten, Ceo of Yunus Social Business, spoke about the concept of social business and how it works, which was followed by Alexis Rawlinson, Director of the Programme for Albania, introducing successful international cases. Shkelzen Marku, Country Director of Albania and Ardita Bonatti, Executive Director of Nxitja e Biznesit Social sh.a, presented together for all participants the programme for Albania, its implementation and ways to get involved in the social business movement.

Seven aspiring and potential social business initiatives, which are being supported by Yunus Social Business Albania, presented their social business cases, respectively on Handicrafts (Rozafa Foundation), Bagels-creating jobs for victims of trafficking (D&E NGO), YAPS (UNICEF’s Initiative to create jobs for young people),  Waste Management (Rromani Baxt), Milk collection and processing (Mrizi i Zanave), Vocational Training and Employment Agency (Useful to Albanian Women), ending with an inspiring young creative social entrepreneur with lot of social business ideas, Ened Mato.

The second part of the day continued with an interactive session on social business, followed by seven different breakout sessions, where the participants were working together on social business plans and developing great ideas on real Albanian social business cases. Finally, the groups came together again and presented the results of each mini-lab.

Background information about the Social Business Movement of Albania:

The Social Business Movement of Albania is a programme started by Yunus Social Business in April 2012 to initiate and scale up social businesses throughout Albania.

Started at the request of Albania’s Prime Minister, and working hand in hand with the agency created by the Albanian government for the promotion of social business in Albania, Nxitja e Biznesit Social Sh.A., the programme includes the following activities, of which the first two, incubation and investment, are the most important:

  1. A social business incubator: consulting, coaching & network-building for social business projects – see box 1

  2. A social business fund: investment for the best social business projects – see box 2

  3. A social business ideas contest: business plan competition & roadshow across Albania

  4. Partnerships with local authorities: create “social business municipalities

  5. University activities: lecturing, student activities and social business chairs

  6. Public awareness-raising: media reports, social business “ambassadors” & public events

  7. International exchange and investment: bring the extensive Grameen/Yunus social business network to Albania

The Social Business Movement of Albania is still in its start-up phase. Social business projects are still being identified and more investors into the Fund are welcome. To get in touch, please send an email to albania@yunussb.com.

About Yunus Social Business:

  • Yunus Social Business (YSB) helps create social businesses around the world. YSB runs as social business itself by setting up incubator funds and providing advisory services to companies, governments, foundations and NGOs.

  • YSB has been co-founded ad is chaired by Peace Nobel Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus, and works hand-in-hand with its sister organizations, ssuch as the Yunus Centre in Dhaka and the Grameen Creative Lab in Wiesbaden, to promote social business. YSB's special focus is on incubator funds and advisory services.

  • YSB has a team of enthusiastic consulting, venture capital and development specialists and is located in Frankfurt, Germany with subsidiaries in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Tirana, Albania.

  • For more information about YSB please contact:

  • Yunus Social Business
    +49 69 90 55 90 30
    info@yunussb.com
    http://www.yunussb.com

    Yunus Social Business Albania
    +355 69 40 96592
    albania@yunussb.com
    www.facebook.com/ysba

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