In cooperation with the Regional Development Agency of South-West "Vlora". On 1 November 2018, a seminar on "Italian-Albanian SME Development Program in Albania was organized in Vlora to respond to a new phase of Entrepreneurship, Growth and Competitiveness. Establishment of a Business Consortium ".
The purpose of this activity was to train and inform on the financial and non-financial components of the Program, the various players at production and processing levels along the value chain.
The seminar was attended by 40 participants from the Vlora region, including producers, agroprocessors, farmers, woodworking entrepreneurs, construction materials, representatives from the regional directorate of agriculture and private trade associations and banks.
Representatives of SMEs and private commercial banks discussed during the meeting on the challenges and opportunities related to investments for the development of their business. They emphasized that funding is limited to agribusiness, due to the high interest rate on commercial credit, high risk and lack of business planning among the players operating in this sector. This activity was designed in such a way to make available to Albanian entrepreneurs the necessary financial information provided by PRODAPS and IASME in support of Albanian SMEs.
The program trainers provided the necessary information to clarify the eligibility criteria and procedures for accessing the soft loans of the Program, and explained other issues raised by the participants, identifying key aspects of loan financing, interest rates, fund guarantee and grants support from the Business Support Program, as well as assistance with the present consultants. The presentations followed with interactive discussions during which participants exchanged ideas and suggestions. This meeting served as a good opportunity for addressing challenges and discussing opportunities related to the development of SMEs in the future.