The social business week in Albania, from 3-8 November in Tirana, was launched by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and HE Prime Minister of Albania Mr. Edi Rama. Two Senior Ministers and two Deputy Ministers were also present during the social business conference which had a number of activities planned for the week including a series of activities such as boot camps, workshops, a conference and social business field trips.
Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama and Professor Yunus made field visits to the social business sites to get feel if the social business in operation. They visited three newly created social businesses including a coffee house run by disabled people as well as a senior citizens’ home which is a social business that offers high quality services to promote independence, dignity and quality of life for the elderly in Albania.
The opening of the conference was followed by a high level Consultation Session on the “Future of SB” with the participation of bilateral and multilateral organizations.
In addition, Yunus Social Business Albania, in partnership with UNDP, Austrian Development Agency, Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth and other national and international partners, launched the second round of the Accelerator Program, which will be held during November 2014 – February 2015. It serves to spread awareness of social business, foster discussion and collaboration between involved stakeholders over a few days of meetings, forums and workshops.
During the week, the Albanian Ministry of Economics and Social Welfare & Youth, the Austrian Development Agency and Albanian Excellence Network of Albanian Entrepreneurs Worldwide signed three MoUs with Yunus Social Business Albania.
Yunus Social Business Albania was created in mid-2012 with the aim to promote and support development of social businesses in various sectors. Till today, the initiative has supported over 150 entrepreneurs, provided seed financing for five companies and has received over 250 business plans for its accelerator program just this year.
Yunus Social Business – Global Initiatives (YSB), headed by Saskia Bruysten, is a social accelerator that incubates and finances local entrepreneurs to build solutions from the ground up. Headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, YSB is active in eight countries: Albania, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, India, Kosovo, Tunisia, and Uganda.