Shkodra Roadshow “Diversity and Inclusivity in Youth Leadership: Empowerment through Innovation”

Centre for Comparative and International Studies and Tech360 organised on 31st July 2019 roadshow in Tirana, Albania entitled: “Diversity and Inclusivity in Youth Leadership: Empowerment through Innovation”. This roadshow brought together Roma and non-Roma youth got who shared experiences and ideas on diversity and inclusivity and engaged in discussion how innovation can empower marginalised communities and particularly youth in North Albania.

The roadshow was organised at the ARKA Youth Centre in Shkodra. It was the third roadshow of the project, co-financed through a sub-grant provided within the project “Divided Past-Joint Future”, funded by the External Actions of the European Union.

Anisa Curraj, project coordinator, briefly introduced the project and its donor as well as the roles of CCIS and Tech360. Prof. Assoc. Dr. Nevila Xhindi, Community Liaison Expert and project manager at Mesdheu Centre, engaged the participants in discussions about current policies on diversity and Inclusivity of marginalised communities in Albania. Arta Nikolli, Executive Director of ARKA Youth Centre in Shkodra, did a presentation on leadership and how youth leadership is paramount to building respect for diversity and inclusivity particularly for remote communities and areas in North Albania. His presentation was backed up by testimonials of young leaders participating in the roadshow. Similar to other roadshows, Anisa Curraj, project coordinator, engaged the participants in discussions about the role of innovation in empowerment and inclusive society all the while keeping respect for human rights and diversity. All participants shared their views and experiences in their local communities regarding respect for diversity and inclusivity.

Roadshow Agenda (here)

Tirana Roadshow “Diversity and Inclusivity in Youth Leadership: Empowerment through Innovation”

Centre for Comparative and International Studies and Tech360 organised on 25th July 2019 roadshow in Tirana, Albania entitled: “Diversity and Inclusivity in Youth Leadership: Empowerment through Innovation”. This roadshow brought together Roma and non-Roma youth got who shared experiences and ideas on diversity and inclusivity and engaged in discussion how innovation can empower marginalised communities and particularly youth.

The roadshow was organised at the Youth Centre in Tirana in cooperation with local organisations such as Institute of Romani Culture in Albania, KPT Centre and Professional College of Tirana, Mesdheu Centre. It was the second roadshow of the project, co-financed through a sub-grant provided within the project “Divided Past-Joint Future”, funded by the External Actions of the European Union.

Anisa Curraj, project coordinator, briefly introduced the project and its donor as well as the roles of CCIS and Tech360. Prof. Assoc. Dr. Nevila Xhindi, Community Liaison Expert and project manager at Mesdheu Centre, engaged the participants in discussions about current policies on diversity and Inclusivity of marginalised communities in Albania. Bledar Taho, Executive Director of Institute of Romani Culture in Albania, did a presentation on leadership and how youth leadership is paramount to building respect for diversity and inclusivity. His presentation was backed up by testimonials of youth community leaders participating in the roadshow. The added value of the roadshow was the presentation of Lutjona Lula, Western Balkans Alumni Association (WBAA), who talked about youth activism in light of Europeanization. She engaged the participants in discussions about the role of activism in empowering marginalised youth and what does this mean in the European context and Albanian perspectives to join EU.

Finally, Anisa Curraj, project coordinator, engaged the participants in discussions about the role of innovation in empowerment and inclusive society all the while keeping respect for human rights and diversity. All participants shared their views and experiences in their local communities regarding respect for diversity and inclusivity. At the end video documentary with testimonials was prepared.

Roadshow Agenda (here)

Presentation on Youth Activism (here)

Roadshow in Fier “Diversity and Inclusivity in Youth Leadership: Empowerment through Innovation”

Centre for Comparative and International Studies and Tech360 organised on 19th July 2019 roadshow in Fieri, Albania entitled: “Diversity and Inclusivity in Youth Leadership: Empowerment through Innovation” whereby Roma and non-Roma youth got together to share experiences and ideas on diversity and inclusivity and engage in discussion with local stakeholders on how to partner for an inclusive community in the city of Fier.

The roadshow was organised at the Youth Centre established by Municipality of Fier and in cooperation with local organisations such as the Romani Volunteer Corps of Institute of Romani Culture in Albania. This activity served as a mobility empowerment tool for youth from Tirana and Fieri to encourage a culture of diversity and inclusivity together.

Juljana Sokoli, CCIS Executive Director, briefly introduced the project and its donor as well as the roles of CCIS and Tech360.

Anisa Curraj, project coordinator, engaged the participants in discussions about the role of innovation in empowerment and inclusive society all the while keeping respect for human rights and diversity. In addition, Anisa worked with participants in concrete tasks on how entrepreneurship and innovation can support their empowerment and inclusivity in local communities.

Bledar Taho, Executive Director of Institute of Romani Culture in Albania, engaged the participants in discussions on leadership and how youth leadership is paramount to building respect for diversity and inclusivity.

Finally, all participants shared their views and experiences in their local communities regarding respect for diversity and inclusivity. Youth from Tirana who were present at the meeting have been engaged for a long time as volunteer with the Romani Volunter Corps and thus recommended youth from Fieri to join organisations and similar initiatives as tools to be more empowered and better prepared for their future.

Roadshow Agenda (click here)

 

Launch of new project on diversity, inclusivity and innovation

Center for Comparative and International Studies in cooperation with business partner, Tech360, launched a new project entitled “Diversity and Inclusivity in Youth Leadership: Empowerment through Innovation”.

The kick off meeting was organised on 17th June 2019 in Tirana, whereby project leader and partner introduced the project objectives and activities to project team and local stakeholders, particularly education institutions, business and civil society.

in addition to project presentation, a discussion session was held on role of innovation, leadership and empowerment for respect for diversity and inclusivity. More so, one of the project experts also engaged the participants in sharing views on diversity and inclusivity of marginalised communities in Albania. finally, the kick off meeting ended with a common understanding of joining forces to better support empowerment of marginalised communities, particularly Roma youth through innovation.

Kick off Agenda (click here)

Mentoring session in Elbasan

Mentorship is considered a critical foundational component for building a successful startup. Great product/service for a searing pain point and good market traction are good, but a great mentor is equally important to sustain and grow these elements.
Center for Comparative and International Studies and Mesdheu Center has started mentor sessions in Elbasan for 35 women that started to develop an idea by being part of the intensive training sessions implemented by the EU supported project,  IPA CBC Macedonia –Albania project “Development of micro-enterprises of women in the cross-border area “
One of our mentors Dr. Elsa Gega, conducted a full day mentoring sessions with the young women from Elbasan and provided us with great insights from the mentoring process.
She provided generic advice to each of them and helped them to go through the process of entrepreneurship and be successful at it. She leverage her connections to bring in extended network effects that can provide the Elbasan women with early customer trials, strategic engagements, potential customers, interested investors and many more.
The feedback from the young women on mentoring sessions was really good. The project gave them the possibility to have great mentor.
Our great startup mentors will help the young women of Elbasan to find great solutions for the problems faced by startup—whether it be funding, technology, market access or organisation culture; build solutions to these problems creatively and efficiently, and bring forth his experiential knowledge to tackle similar situations; will also help look beyond the daily operational and tactical issues faced by startup and help build a grander vision for it. Our mentors will help them look at the evolving technology trends and changing market dynamics, help them build alternative revenue streams, and scale and solidify the position in the market.
Our mentoring sessions will continue…

CCIS and experts from Mesdheu center organized the 15.03.2019 with Investment workshop 5 – women company group with the topic: Subcontracting businesses, facon production and forms of franchising.

Some special forms of entrepreneurship are addressed in this topic, which are referred to as “safe business” in economic literature. Participants learn about the facon production, how franchises are organized, what are the advantages and disadvantages of these forms of business activity, how they can be involved in the upper stream of value chains, etc. Going through the analysis of examples of companies that have carried out such activities, we will try to analyze the trends of these companies and how often they become leaders in their industry. In the end of the session, the participants take knowledge about the cost and benefit of entering the market using the franchise forms and what is their future.

Investment workshop 4 – women company group- Selling and buying a business. Forms of financial assessment, market assessment called “off-balance sheet valuation”, was held today in Elbasan.

Often, a business can be restructured and expanded by buying another business. Nowadays there is a market for the sale and purchase of companies in Albania, and small and medium businesses are very exposed to this phenomenon. This process is in the focus of this topic, with strategic alternatives like mergers and acquisitions, as well as handing of business over to the next family generation.

Issues of discussion are: techniques of financial assessment of a business, assessment by means of development method, evaluation of business market power, and assessment of ‘off-balance sheet’ factors, related to legal business problems that will be sold. In the end of session, the participants should realize that a business has a value which can be estimated, after that it is the market deciding the real value.

Hacking policy issues in Albania and Serbia

Sixteen participation hackers gathered in Tirana on January 24, to discuss issues of concern to youth in Albania and Serbia as part of the HPiB Project funded by RYCO. The participants worked online through the digital mobility platform to prepare the first drafts of their policy hacks and had the chance to work together all Thursday on issues regarding the funding of higher education in Albania and Serbia, digital security for teens, decrease of discrimination for Roma pupils in Novi Pazar, Serbia, and Tirana, Albania, and the need for increase number of psychologists n state-run high schools in Tirana.

This was the final event of our project Hacking Participation in the Balkans – Innovative ways of empowering Balkans youth to impact policy-making processes – (HPiB) is a project financed by Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) in the first call for proposals “A better region starts with youth” under priority area 2: Active participation and social inclusion.

For testimonials from hackers check out our video of documenting the hackathon and entire project experience.


 

Investment workshop 2-3 for women company group for the project “Microenterprise development project for women in the cross-border area” were held on February 5 and February 7, 2019 in Elbasan.

Topic 2: Evaluation of the economic and financial position of a business in the market.
Companies face many difficulties dealing with the frequent changes in today’s economy, and company restructuring can be a short and long-term answer to maintaining company viability. With a challenging economy, in our geographical region one of the most common reasons for possible restructuring is the difficulty of keeping sales results above a financial break-even point. An additional key reason to review a business reorganization is the preparation for major growth involving new products or services. In some other cases, legal and financial reasons might dictate a restructuring alternative.
The main goal of this session is to acknowledge the participants with the indicators for determining the position of a business in the market. The most important part of restructuring lies in defining the problem and after that in postulating the solution. Regardless of the type of businesses chosen, there are ways of evaluating the competition, the factors that determine the dynamics of a particular market, the impact of regional development policies, and so on. The session will end up with the SWOT analysis for a company and the advantages it can provide. It is a simple but useful framework for analyzing an organization’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats that it is facing. It helps the company/ business to focus on the strengths and try to minimize threats. From the other side, it highlights the opportunities available and how to take the greatest possible advantage of them for the business. In any case, it should be emphasized that such analysis can help the company identify and understand key issues affecting the business, but it does not necessarily offer solutions.

Topic 3. Internet and Business- Business forms on the Internet.
This session provides the participant with knowledge about new business forms in the internet. Internet impact on society is now making economic, social, and political changes around the globe. It’s obvious a huge number of users, communities, cultures are using the internet in their daily life. It is very difficult to imagine how any business could operate during this time without the use of the internet. The development of the internet has significantly altered the day to day operations of a business; including how they communicate with each other and their audience. Information can be easily transmitted to any destination in a matter of seconds. The internet has become an essential tool for marketing and advertising. A business can present itself to customers with the use of a website or online advertisements. Many businesses now use the internet as a means of making customers aware of their current promotions. This can be very beneficial to businesses that are targeting a younger audience.

The huge development of this field enables vast new opportunities for investment and entrepreneurship even in our target region. Participants learn what are the necessary knowledge to be involved in such business, what are the legal forms of this business, how an activity is carried out in this type of business, and what is the role of banks in this process. A special place will take the discussion of matching the supply and demand for products and services that are offered in completely different distribution channels. Case “Grupon”.

  

CCIS and Mesdheu Center group of experts stated today to provide a series of workshops and technical support for the project “Development of micro-enterprises of women in the cross-border area” for increasing women’s competitiveness and recommending sustainable solutions for the development of the existing women’s micro and small businesses.

Increased competition, technological changes and government regulation are among the many challenges business owners face in today’s competitive world. The business model that worked in the initial phase of operation may no longer be profitable five years after start-up. Slow or no growth, market downturns, an inefficient structure and accumulating debt are a few of the signals that company restructuring may be in its best interest. Such situation is encountered in the regions this project intends to be implemented, consequently encourages us to suggest some ways of dealing with the problem.

In order to successfully realize this step, we anticipate a promotional campaign to recognize the Elbasan women’s business community with the expected results of this project. Providing information and drawing the attention of business women on the restructuring process is the first move towards a successful set of actions to the benefit of businesses and the whole community.

In order to reach a more realistic business plan for the expansion and restructuring of selected businesses, 6 seminar / training sessions will intend to enable the executives to evaluate the current situation of their business/ company, their restructuring opportunities and to increase their management skills.

We started with the topic “Evaluation of the economic and financial position of a business in the market”

Companies face many difficulties dealing with the frequent changes in today’s economy, and company restructuring can be a short and long-term answer to maintaining company viability. With a challenging economy, in our geographical region one of the most common reasons for possible restructuring is the difficulty of keeping sales results above a financial break-even point. An additional key reason to review a business reorganization is the preparation for major growth involving new products or services. In some other cases, legal and financial reasons might dictate a restructuring alternative.

The main goal of this session is to acknowledge the participants with the indicators for determining the position of a business in the market. The most important part of restructuring lies in defining the problem and after that in postulating the solution. Regardless of the type of businesses chosen, there are ways of evaluating the competition, the factors that determine the dynamics of a particular market, the impact of regional development policies, and so on. The session will end up with the SWOT analysis for a company and the advantages it can provide. It is a simple but useful framework for analyzing an organization’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats that it is facing. It helps the company/ business to focus on the strengths and try to minimize threats.  From the other side, it highlights the opportunities available and how to take the greatest possible advantage of them for the business.  In any case, it should be emphasized that such analysis can help the company identify and understand key issues affecting the business, but it does not necessarily offer solutions.