TitleSustainable Economic and Regional Development, Employment Promotion and Vocational
Education and Training in Albania (ProSEED)
Type of projectPrivate Sector Development, Vocational Education and Training
Origin of fundingDeutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Duration11/2017 - 12/2019

With a real per capita income of €280 per month, Albania is among the poorest countries of Europe. The country faces the challenges of strong unemployment and high levels of emigration. Its official unemployment rate is 17.5% in 2015, with a particularly high rate among the 15-29-year-olds at over 30%. According to the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, Albania ranked on second position with 54.762 requests for asylum in Germany in 2015 but Albanians as economic emigrants are mostly not eligible to apply for asylum. Hence Albania has to address the issue of the returnees' reintegration. Meanwhile to progress with the EU accession process, the country needs to establish the foundations for a functioning market economy.

The ProSEED Programme implemented by GIZ builds up on previously isolated projects and aims at employment promotion, in particular of the 18-34 age group, within an integrated approach that bridges labour supply and demand. It thereby contributes to the achievement of several important development  goals of the Government strategies: a) Support to the Government's economic development strategies; b) Increased competitiveness of businesses; c) Improvement of employment opportunities and income, in particular for young people; d) Combat of root causes of flight and migration; and e) Increased EU-convergence.

The project awarded to CEFE International in cooperation with PEM CONSULT is part of the second action area "Fostering Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises" within the overall programme and comprise the tasks as follows: i) the implementation of entrepreneurship trainings; ii) the establishment and maintenance of a network of trainers; iii) the strengthening of an IDEA network of mentors and business angels; and iv) promotion of the existing "start-up eco-system" in Albania.

Within the GIZ project in 2016 a brand for the trainings and start-up campaign was established (IDEA), entrepreneurship trainers were certified and entrepreneurship trainings were delivered nationwide. The second enlarged round of large-scale start-up campaign IDEA for 2018 & 2019 was launched end of 2017. The entrepreneurship trainings and the support measures target 1.000 participants in two rounds aiming to create at least 140 new business. The target group of IDEA are men and women in the age of 18 to 34 who are in the early stages of their entrepreneurial activity. Early stage is defined as being in the process of setting up a business, of having done so within the last 3 years, of planning to innovate and to invest in scaling up a business or of being in the process to take over a family business.