UNDP Albania

Economic Recovery and Resilience

Summary 

Against the backdrop of the post-crises recovery work, and with the vision to tackle the systemic challenges facing the Albanian private sector, UNDP launched the Economic Recovery and Resilience Programme (ERR). ERR aims to revitalize the Albanian economy by integrating MSMEs in global value chains, strengthening their competitiveness and increasing resilience to natural and human-induced risks and disasters.

To achieve the objective, ERR is working directly with the private sector, central and local government, chambers of commerce, business associations and development partners to implement two internationally tried and tested approaches – In Motion and the Supplier’s Development Programme (SDP). These methodologies belong to a set of inclusive business development tools and have been successfully implemented by UNDP in several countries over the last 15 years.  

In addition to the direct private sector support, ERR also aims to support legislative and regulatory reform in support of economic recovery and resilience. Another key objective of the project is to provide support with reskilling and upskilling programmes to respond to the needs of the beneficiary businesses.

Background

Funded by the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of Netherlands, ERR aims to stimulate the economy through revitalizing the competitiveness of micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSME-s). MSME-s constitute the backbone of the Albanian economy, accounting for 99.8% of the total number of enterprises and 81.6% of all employment. Supporting their recovery and resilience capacities is thus deemed to be crucial for the revival of the economy.

The main objective of this 3-year programme (January 2021- December 2023) is to support the private sector through two successfully tested business development approaches focused on MSME-s – In Motion and the Supplier’s Development Programme.  

In Motion seeks to boost productive capacities and broaden market reach for micro and small enterprises by supporting them in innovating traditional business models, improving business infrastructure, and strengthening their commercial image. The methodology was first piloted with 15 micro enterprises in the Municipality of Durrës in the aftermath of the November 2019 earthquake, facilitating their reopening through grants for the purchase of damaged equipment, as well as support to improve entrepreneurial skills and recreate their businesses’ commercial image. After the pilot intervention, In Motion was scaled up to support respectively 35 and 13 micro enterprises in the municipalities of Tirana and Kavajë, with Lezhë Durrës and other municipalities to follow during 2023. In practice, In Motion is implemented through thoroughly certified local business consultants, who provide training and tailored consultancy to selected businesses. 34 business consultants have been currently certified in the In Motion methodology. Beside the support from business consultants, beneficiary businesses also are supported by graphical designers who provide assistance in rebranding their commercial image.

The methodology was first piloted with 15 micro enterprises in the Municipality of Durrës in the aftermath of the November 2019 earthquake, facilitating their reopening through grants for the purchase of damaged equipment, as well as support to improve entrepreneurial skills and recreate their businesses’ commercial image.

The In Motion methodology was first piloted with 15 micro enterprises in the Municipality of Durrës in the aftermath of the November 2019 earthquake, facilitating their reopening through grants for the purchase of damaged equipment, as well as support to improve entrepreneurial skills and recreate their businesses’ commercial image.

UNDP Albania

The Supplier's Development Programme, on the other hand, is a market-driven business methodology that aims to strengthen local value chains, by building local suppliers’ capacities to develop better business practices and improve quality. Essentially, the program aims to develop national suppliers, with the ultimate goal of boosting exports and increasing employment. SDP is a tried and tested approach which has been successfully implemented by UNDP in +900 value chains of different economic sectors, in 12 different countries, over the last 15 years. A cohort of 11 local business consultants have been certified in the application of SDP methodology in Albania to date. A value chain, Starmar, a touristic complex in Lalzi Bay in Durrës municipality, was selected for the pilot intervention, along with six strategic suppliers, including 4 local businesses operating in the food industry, one medium-sized business operating in the construction sector, and one local micro business in the services industry. The participating businesses have embarked in a 12-month journey of tailored technical assistance and training sessions on how to improve the quality and standards of their goods and services and increase market access. UNDP Albania aspires to extend the support it is providing through the Supplier’s Development Programme to an increasing number of local value chains, ultimately offering an effective solution for public policy strategies aimed at improving MSMEs competitiveness in the country.

The participating businesses have embarked in a 12-month journey of tailored technical assistance and training sessions on how to improve the quality and standards of their goods and services and increase market access.

The Supplier's Development Programme - The participating businesses have embarked in a 12-month journey of tailored technical assistance and training sessions on how to improve the quality and standards of their goods and services and increase market access.

UNDP Albania

Major achievements

  • In Motion and SDP methodologies have been adopted and adapted to the Albanian private sector context. 

  • 52 business consultants trained and certified in both methodologies (34 In Motion; 11 SDP; 7 GYB).
  • 112 micro and small businesses recovered and upgraded through In Motion.
  • 1 value chain in the Tourism sector, encompassing 7 MSMEs strengthened through the Supplier’s Development Programme.
  • 8 small businesses forging stronger links with local and international value chains through Growing with Your Business.

Project outcome

The expected project results include:

  • 165 micro and small businesses recovered and upgraded through In Motion.
  • 2 value chains, encompassing approx. 20 MSMEs, strengthened through the Supplier’s Development Programme.
  • At least 45 local business consultants trained and certified in both methodologies.
  • Innovative policies and tools in place in support of economic recovery and resilience.
  • Reskilling and upskilling programmes to respond to the needs of the beneficiary businesses.

Impact

START DATE

October 2020

END DATE

December 2023

STATUS

Completed

PROJECT OFFICE

Albania

IMPLEMENTING PARTNER

United Nations Development Programme

DONORS

Banka Amerikane e Investimeve sh.a

MPTF-ALB SDGs Acceleration Fd

Unspecified

TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS

$1,797,256

DELIVERY IN PREVIOUS YEARS

2020$78,039

2021$344,441

2022$316,327

2023$613,675

2024$126,079

Full Project information