Entrepreneurship in Albania
Albania is a small European country, the Balkan nation is one of the poorest in the European region. Oppressed for decades by the communist regime brought the country close to bankruptcy. Transitioning into a democratic system has improved the country’s economic situation quite a bit over the last 30 years.
The ease of doing business report by the world bank has ranked Albania at 63 of the 190 countries in 2018, jumping from rank 103 in 2015. Agriculture is the dominant occupation of most Albanians but services and tourism sectors are gaining importance gradually.
The ecosystem to encourage Albanians to launch new businesses is in its early stages. Oficina is the only startup accelerator in the capital city of Tirana. Albania Business Generation (ABG) founded by Rodrig Naska is a young company with a mission to improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country, by organizing workshops and programs in high schools and universities to groom young Albanians to launch businesses.
The problem of managing homegrown talent is a big worry, as most Albanians choose to leave the country for better pay and prospects abroad. The failure of a pyramid scheme in 1997 resulted in a majority of the population losing its savings, and forcing them to migrate to neighboring countries. Population drives consumption, that in turn creates a sustainable environment for businesses. Failing to maintain the population within its borders results in a failing environment.
The people don’t have many local success stories that are solving problems for Albania. In the absence of validated case studies, entrepreneurs don’t have the aptitude to present their ideas or startups that can attract investor interests.
Due to the talent and market problems, startup funding is lacking in terms of angel investments or venture capital funding by domestic investors. Foreign investment is slow, as the ecosystem is not as vibrant as they may find in other geographies.
Albania is ripe for making a mark in the world of entrepreneurship, as most of the above missing parts for creating a sustainable ecosystem, turns itself in to a big opportunity to get the systems in place by taking advantage of the government measures towards ease of doing business, launching startup accelerators, incubators, co working spaces and to conduct programs and workshop that could train entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to sharpen their skills, thus making the system more vibrant and attracting global interest.
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