Regional Start-up Ecosystem Development
Fuelling selected local start-up hubs across Albania by developing programmes, partnerships and capacities
Starting and scaling-up a business successfully depends on a variety of factors. Entrepreneurs act in an interconnected setting with multiple actors from the public and private sector and are influenced by cultural and societal conditions. Start-up activities and actors are often concentrated in and around capital cities or bigger municipalities. Local and regional start-up support mechanisms are often insufficient to provide appropriate support to aspiring and existing entrepreneurs.
As part of its mandate to strengthen the innovation and start-up ecosystem in Albania, the EU for Innovation project is supporting selected municipalities across Albania to develop programmes, partnerships and capacities to strengthen local entrepreneurs and businesses.
For this purpose, the project will work with policy makers, universities and Innovation Support Organisations (ISOs) in these municipalities helping them to offer tailored services and start-up support programmes and to embed them in the national and international start-up ecosystem.
Who are the project collaborators in the initiative?
In order to support the selected municipalities on ground an international and a local expert have been identified. Both experts bring in extensive international and national experience to support the development of regional and local start-up ecosystems.
|International Expert||National Expert|
|Eileen Trenkmann||Kushtrim Shala|
ICT HUB KORÇA
Located in the South-Eastern part of Albania, Korça is an historic city that in the past years has attracted increasing numbers of tourists, not only for its cultural assets: museums, traditional historic centre etc, but for its hospitality and culinary as well.
EU for Innovation along with the Municipality of Korça and various other partners is currently establishing the ICT HUB KORÇA.
The MISSION of the initiative is to enable actors in and around Korça to:
- COMMUNITY – Build an ICT community consisting of businesses, start-ups, freelancers, academic actors and the government, among others
- ENTREPRENEURSHIP – Offer entrepreneurship programmes for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs
- ICT SKILLS – Develop ICT skills through short and long-term programmes
The VISION of the initiative is to retain talent, foster entrepreneurship, develop a skilled labour force and offer job opportunities to the youth of Korça in order to increase the prospects of the citizens of the town and place Korça on the European map as an ICT destination for national and international businesses.
A dedicated business incubator has already been set-up. Furthermore, the municipality is currently developing an ICT co-working, training and start-up incubation hub for freelancers, aspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups. Additionally, the University of Korça has set up an Innovation Hub as part of an IPA project which conducts start-up competitions but also undertakes basic functions of a Technology Transfer Office such as supporting researchers to access public funds.
Upcoming Events & Programmes
Java Training Bootcamp
Between 13th October to 7th November, the ‘EU for Innovation’ programme implemented by GIZ and Sida, jointly with the Municipality of Korça and its partners from the two ICT companies Forward and Armundia Factory under the initiative “ICT HUB KORÇA” are conducting a four week intensive Java training bootcamp consisting of two online/offline sessions a week. The training is being conducted as part of the ICT skills initiative under the ICT HUB KORÇA and seeks to strengthen ICT skills among youngsters, students, aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals.
People signing up for the course have to be committed to complete the entire training bootcamp and shall possess the following qualifications:
- Bachelor’s degree in computer science or similar (engineering, informatics, business informatics) – bachelor diploma or final year of bachelor degree
- Knowledge/working experience on any programming language is a plus
You can find a broad overview about the sessions & topics in the agenda here.
The Java training bootcamp is restricted to a total number of 15 participants and participants must fill out the application form here: https://forms.gle/6572ViPhQwddkH4X7
Successful applicants will be informed about their participation on the 7th October 2020 and may undergo an interview process. The Java training bootcamp will be conducted in Albanian language.
The EU for Innovation project is supporting start-up ecosystem stakeholders in the selected municipalities during collaborative workshops and roundtable meetings to develop individual and joint strategies with the aim to foster and support aspiring and existing entrepreneurs. Objective of the intervention is to converge the different start-up actors, create synergies and concrete action plans for the benefit of entrepreneurs and start-ups in the selected municipalities.
The municipality of Korca is seeking to develop the local library as an ICT co-working, training and start-up incubation hub. For this purpose, dedicated space has been made available for freelancers, aspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups. Next to the library a business center is being constructed that will host dedicated office space for existing national and international ICT businesses that want to expand to Korca. The EU for Innovation project is advising and supporting the municipality to identify an internationally renowned service provider active in the start-up and business ecosystem who will manage both centers. The selected organisation will be supported to offer programmes and support mechanisms for businesses and start-ups in conjunction with other stakeholders in the city and beyond.
In order to increase the pipeline of start-ups and motivate youngsters to pick up entrepreneurship as a career choice, stakeholders in the selected municipalities will be supported by the EU for Innovation project to develop awareness campaigns to raise interest among locals on the advantages of becoming an entrepreneurs, conduct trainings and other entrepreneurship support formats on curated topics such as access to finance, product development or lean start-up methods, and to set-up long-term initiatives such as incubation and acceleration programmes.
The EU for Innovation project will equip local start-up ecosystem stakeholders through targeted capacity building interventions with tools, methods and instruments to support aspiring and existing entrepreneurs. For this purpose, these actors will also be integrated in other existing initiatives of the EU for Innovation project.