The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has severely hit the Albanian economy resulting in limited to no income generation opportunities for the businesses of the tourism, agriculture and other sectors, such as retail and manufacturing.
Especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), which are the backbone of the Albanian economy, are affected by the impacts of the crisis. 95% of the 160.000 businesses have on average not more than 10 employees. These businesses are very vulnerable to economic shocks and usually have only limited means to overcome the crisis, especially when their business activities are at least partly suspended.
The Advisory Facility for the COVID-19 Crisis Mitigation is a joint initiative by the Albanian and German Government implemented by GIZ.
The overarching goal is to support MSMEs that are severely hit by the consequences of COVID-19 crisis in Albania. MSMEs will be strengthened not only to cushion the current crisis but also to put their operations on more solid ground in order to adjust to the new situation.
These goals will be achieved by providing the MSMEs with a tailor-made coaching based on their individual needs, including information on the access to finances, as well as small grants.
The goal of the advisory services is to create ideas for changes as well as to deliver information to access on finance for the needs addressed in the application.
The advisory and coaching process is structured into three steps.
The three steps are implemented step by step within a maximum period of 6 months depending on the needs, availability and location of the applicant.
The call is open to registered micro, small, medium sized accommodation businesses (hotels, agritourism, guesthouses, campsites), registered tour operators, as well es restaurants in rural areas that offer touristic activities.
The call is open to individual farmers, physical and juridical persons that own or represent MSMEs which are operating in production, collection, processing, marketing of agricultural products.
The call is open to MSMEs which are producers of textiles and clothing, leather and footwear, handicraft businesses, etc. as well as other businesses that have been affected from Covid-19 crisis.
In the call, MSMEs are required to submit applications that focus on defining a clear business need that has arisen in course of the COVID-19 pandemic in at least one of the following business operation areas:
All MSMEs which successfully attended the coaching and advisory services and are not eligible to apply to other donors’ financial schemes have the opportunity to apply to the small grants of this facility.
The selection process for grants will be done via a different call at a later stage. Further coaching will also be provided to MSMEs which did not request any financial support but need continuous advice throughout their change phase.
The first application period for the advisory and coaching process was opened from 25th of February, until 7th of April 2021.
In the first round, about 200 applicants were chosen for immediate support, while CoSolve-19 will support 900 affected MSMEs by Covid-19 pandemic, until the end of 2022.
The second application period was opened from 24th of November 2021 to 10th of January 2022.