Uplift Albania is an early-stage startup accelerator programme focused on growing business and increasing valuation. Founded by ICTSmedia publishing house in cooperation with SOVVA and SlovakAid, Uplift Albania is a golden opportunity for Albanian startups but also a regional innovation ecosystem and attracted startups and young entrepreneurs from nine different industries and six regional countries.
On Friday 29 January 2021, Uplift Albania hosted ‘Demo Day’ during which the latest winners from their programme were announced after 4 months of training and mentoring. The second batch winners were Crossplag, Hermex and Udhë.
Demo Day is the final step in the Uplift Albania acceleration programme and features an Investor Connect session where startups meet a panel of investors, as well as startup pitches to an audience of investors, partners, and experts from Israel, Slovakia, Germany, the US and startup communities in Albania. Within the acceleration programme startups are mentored and trained and learn how to attract investors, to protect their intellectual property, to improve their business models, and to build a better future by transforming themselves to successful businesses.
Read more about the Uplift Albania event here.
Uplift Albania comes as a close cooperation of a broad network of partners and supporters led by ICTSmedia, SOVVA and SlovakAid with the support of Vodafone, Raiffeisen Bank, Huawei, Albvision, EU for Innovation, Municipality of Tirana, Swissep, ICTSlab, PCWorld Albanian, CIO, SCAN TV and Geek Room.
ICTSmedia co-founder founder, Kushtrim Shala was featured in the 2018-2019 European Commission Secrets of Success brochure. Make sure to follow his entrepreneurial journey and learn about the birth of ICTSmedia and his story of success.
Would you like to feature on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal or in the SME Week newsletter? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org we would love to hear your stories!
Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we are speaking to one of the 2019 finalists of the SME Week Youth Essay Competition. Aureliano Ulndreaj from Albania, first impressed the jury in Round 1 with his speech as the new EU Commissioner for SMEs and Entrepreneurship.
His speech highlighted his vision for the EU institutions and Europeans to collaboratively find the solution to enable Europe to keep up and exceed global entrepreneurial standards. He also presented his ideas for an educational system that embraces entrepreneurship, the need for EU policy makers to symmetrically develop SMEs throughout different EU regions and the administrative burden faced by European SMEs.
Read Aureliano’s speech here.
In Round 2 Aureliano came back with another strong submission which highlighted his belief that “a multidimensional problem requires a combination of various recommendations and solutions in order to be resolved” and showed his strong understanding of the “Think Small First Principle” with suggestions to use it to ease SME administrative burden and reduce SME VAT rates.
Read Aureliano’s second submission here.
We asked Aureliano to gives us some insight into what it was like to participate and be a finalist in Helsinki, as well as a sneak peek at some of his future plans.
What made you enter the SME Youth Essay Competition?
I was intrigued by the essay topic. Being a student of political science, the format of the essay (a political speech) made it a very attractive opportunity for me to test my abilities. I also saw this competition as a very interesting challenge, as I was not very familiar with the field of SMEs. However I believe that the unknown (in this case the field of SMEs) is always worth exploring.
How did you feel when you found out that you were going to Helsinki?
Awesome! Receiving that kind of news gives you a great sense of achievement as it shows that the time and effort you spent on something has been appreciated and as such, you are given the chance to experience something new.
What did you think about the SME Assembly 2019?
Prior to attending the Assembly, I thought that the people participating in this event would be focused only on the field of businesses, but to my surprise this was not the case. It was a great pleasure, because apart from discussions upon topics of an economic nature, I had the chance to discuss other subjects, such as politics and the future of EU, with other participants. These discussions brought up very interesting points of view regarding EU policy-making and were overall really insightful.
What was your main takeaway from the SME Assembly 2019?
The memory of that unforgettable freezing air which would hit my face every time I stepped out on my way to the conference building! Jokes aside, I would highly recommend participating in future editions of the Youth Essay Competition, as both the professional and personal benefits are hugely valuable.
What is next for you? Any exciting plans to share?
My main focus is now my post-graduate studies, which I plan to follow up with a Doctorate in the domain of international relations. I am also volunteering for an NGO in Albania which provides technical assistance to the state regarding the country’s EU Integration process.
Congratulations on being a 2019 finalist Aureliano! Want to hear from another 2019 finalist? Come back to the News Portal next week to find out who we will talk to next…stay tuned!
Are you a young entrepreneur under the age of 35? Are you based in one of the following countries: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia and Turkey?
The ARLEM Award is looking for its next winner, and it could be you! The award is looking to award an entrepreneur up to the age of 35 that runs their own company and has had their company registered for at least three years. The company will be evaluated on the following criteria:
- Impact on the community, social progress and development
- Support received from the local or regional authority
- Impact on job creation
- Percentage of women in its workforce
- Degree of innovation
- Respect of workers’ social rights
- How the project can serve as a model for other countries in the region
Registration is open from 16 September 2019 to 31 October 2019.
For more information on the award visit: cor.europa.eu/arlem-award-2020.go
What makes an entrepreneur successful? How do entrepreneurs define their success? What are the secrets behind their inspiring journeys? Promoting Enterprise presents the ‘Secrets of Success 2016-2017’ brochure, which answers all of these questions and more. So what is inside? This year the brochure features interviews with 33 successful business owners from across Europe, under the themes of: Concept/Idea, Drive, Leadership/Team, Success and finally Europe.
From Albania to the United Kingdom, tourism to medical innovation, the entrepreneurs and businesses featured in this brochure offer something for everyone. Each entrepreneur provides details of their personal success, as well as encouraging and inspiring words for other entrepreneurs to learn from and reflect upon. Each profile is also available in the native language of the entrepreneurs, so why not browse through and discover the some of the inspiring minds of Europe in the field of SMEs, startups and scaleups.
Read the brochure here.