ConnectIT 2.0 _ 2nd Showcase event

On June 13th, the final showcase event of ConnectIT 2.0 took place in the premises of the Polytechnic University of Tirana. In the conference hall crowded with students, small business owners, university professors, government officials, project coordinators and GIZ representatives, seven digital solutions developed by the students for MSMEs, varying from website development and digital marketing to Learning Management system and E-commerce, were showcased.

Ms. Irina Kausch, Programme manager of ProSEED 2.0, recalled the first showcase event of ConnectIT taking place 2 years ago. She was enthusiastic about the initiative advancing further and having impactful figures such as: engagement of 210 students of 6 universities supporting 50 MSMEs compared to 138 students of 4 Universities assisting 22 enterprises during the pilot cycle. ProSEED programme, aiming at improving employability in Albania, is supporting the private sector development, hence its competitiveness, acknowledging the great need for digitization; on the other hand, via EU4I, it is supporting the universities to equip students with relevant digital skills and entrepreneurial competences making them highly employable.

Ms. Albana Tole, deputy minister of Education and Sports, expressed her appreciation for initiative such as ConnectIT that bring students closer to the private sector. She stated that the Higher Education Institutions in Albania have reached the point of understanding the importance of going beyond teaching and research, thus putting 3rd mission into action: that of actively contributing to the regional economic development by becoming more entrepreneurial and engaged in the ecosystem. She recognized that the digitalization of selected business processes presents a hands-on opportunity for IT oriented students to not only understand the digital needs of businesses, but also apply their IT and soft skills in practice.

Erisa Hajdari, founder of D-Studio, a company focusing on promoting traditional arts and culture, shared her great experience of collaborating with a team of skilled IT girls from UMT. That’s to their support, she surpassed the “fear of technology”, and saw ideas become virtually tangible. She is convinced that the established e-commerce platform and the digital marketing plan will positively impact her business, promoting and making it more competitive.

All students participating in the ConnectIT programme, were awarded certificate of achievement, besides receiving course/internship credits for their engagement.

ConnectIT programme is supported by ProSEED2.0 and EU4Innovation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economy.

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