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Balkan Green Foundation (BGF), within the Balkan Green Ideas (BGI) program, organized the activity "Study visits for mentors and entrepreneurs", which took place in Albania from November 6-11.
Participants in this visit were mentors and entrepreneurs from the Western Balkans, offering them an opportunity to get to know positive examples of social enterprises in Albania, and their journey of enterprise development as well as to serve as an inspiring platform in the next steps of the development of their enterprise.
The first study visit included two social enterprises operating in the city of Berat. Rinora Handmade, as a social enterprise, focuses on the production of natural sponges and artisanal soaps, while Qukapiku - Educational Toys deals with the production of wooden toys, designed to stimulate the healthy development of the child's brain during the early stages. Both social enterprises were part of the Balkan Green Ideas 2020 and 2022 program, one being also announced as the winner of a grant of 5,000 dollars.
The second visit was orientated in the city of Tirana, to the social enterprise "Center for Culinary Education", a center that deals with the promotion of traditional food and local products. In addition, the center conducts intensive courses on culinary and pastry for students, offering the possibility of employment. The social enterprise "Pemla" focuses on the production of butter from almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts, using local and exotic ingredients, with the social aim of developing communities in rural areas.
The last visit took place in one of the well-known social enterprises in the field of agrotourism in Albania, "Mrizi i Zanave", located in Fishtë of Lezha. This company employs 100 employees who are involved in all aspects of farm production, food processing and restaurant service.
In addition to the three-day visits, the activity included two workshops, one focused on sharing their perspectives on the potential of young people in the development of green enterprises, as well as their positioning in this regard. The second and concluding workshop of the event focused on sharing the lessons learned during the study visit as well as their recommendations which will contribute to the further development of the Balkan Green Ideas program.
"Study visit for mentors and entrepreneurs" was supported by Erasmus Plus and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.