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Women in Business Day 3: Access to Finance, Legal Regulatory Framework, Micro Financial Management

On June 24th, 27th and 30th, 2014, CEED Albania implemented an “Empowering Women in Business” training program. This activity was supported and funded by USAID through its Regional Economic Growth (REG) program, and was the follow up of the opening event of the “Empowering Women in Business" project, which took place at the Tirana International Hotel on June 10th, 2014. The opening event helped to identify suitable women entrepreneurs to participate in the Empowering Women in Business training program. In addition to the opening event, other marketing activities for this project have taken place using social networks and direct mailings to CEED and other networks.

The overall objective of the training activity was to enhance leadership, management, and entrepreneurial skills of early-stage women entrepreneurs and managers, thus increasing the number of women entrepreneurs and managers who contribute to the national economy by owning or managing SME’s.

In accordance with the request from women entrepreneurs to organize trainings on non-consecutive days, this three-day training session was organized for June 24th, 27th and 30th, during hours which allowed women the flexibility to participate without it infringing on their business and personal agendas.  

The training was designed in line with the findings of a USAID study conducted in June and September of 2013 which highlighted the areas where women entrepreneurs needed to improve and enhance their skills, and provided case studies and practical, industry-wide examples. These findings were later grouped in three major areas of intervention, each of which became a focus of a single day in the training.

The first day of training was delivered by Eldisa Lloshi Zhebo, who was focused on basic leadership skills, self small-team management, personal sales skills, and micromanagement. Participants asked questions on best practices in the field, how to manage time during a day filled with a variety of tasks, and how to act professionally.

The training on the second day was conducted by Linda Dervishaj, and her main concern was preparation of the product or service, how to conduct market research, how to match your product or service with market needs, and which are the communication channels are best provided the business size and budget. Participants were very interested in how to find the best and most affordable ways to market their products.

During the third day, participants had the chance to learn more about the financial management of their newly established business in a lecture delivered by Blerina Daka. The trainer focused on the importance of building a system for recording data, and filing paperwork and documents according to tax authorities’ required standards. The trainer also provided practical examples of management of tax controls and other legal aspects of business, which participants were very keen to learn.

During the trainings, participants were involved in an intensive, interactive program relevant for their specific businesses and the environment in which they operate, and also offered the possibility to be part of a larger local and Regional network of entrepreneurs who share an eagerness to grow their businesses, meet new people, exchange business experiences, and find challenging opportunities.

The event was assessed on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is "very poor" and 5 is "excellent.” Based on the evaluation sheets distributed to participants, the overall score of the event was 4.67/5.

Participant list can be found here.