Albania hosts social business weekStar Business Report
Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama jointly inaugurated the event on November 3.
Two senior ministers and two deputy ministers of the Albanian government were also present at the social business conference, Yunus Centre said in a statement yesterday.
Rama and Prof Yunus made field visits to the social business sites to see their operations.
They visited three new social business ventures, including a coffee house run by disabled people, as well as a senior citizens' home 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 social business with the participation of bilateral and multilateral organisations.
During the week, the economics and social welfare and youth ministries of Albania, the Austrian Development Agency and a network of Albanian entrepreneurs signed three memoranda of understanding with the Yunus Social Business Albania.
The 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 Programme this year, according to the statement.
In addition, Yunus Social Business Albania in partnership with the UNDP, the Austrian Development Agency, the social welfare and youth ministry and other national and international partners launched the second round of the Accelerator Programme, which will be held during November 2014 to February 2015.
The programme will spread awareness on social business, foster discussion and collaboration between involved stakeholders over a few days of meetings, forums and workshops.