What can you tell us about the current startup scene in Albania, and how do you see it evolving in the near future? How is Armundia Group contributing to the growth and development of the ecosystem, and what opportunities do you see for young entrepreneurs in Albania?
“Although still in the early stages of development, the startup ecosystem in Albania has the potential to bring new opportunities and exponential growth in several sectors, including research, education, finance and culture in the medium to long term. Albania, as well as the entire Western Balkans region, has significant potential for innovation.
There is a considerable base of talent, with qualified IT professionals who have already created interesting initiatives. There is enthusiasm, there are ideas, there is the Horizon Europe program that the Western Balkans have joined, there are state initiatives and incentives, and several stakeholders interested in promoting innovative entrepreneurial projects.
If the growth trajectory continues in this fashion, Tirana can become the reference center for innovation in the region, although, in my opinion, it cannot remain the only incubator city and the ecosystem should tend towards a wider territorial dimension.
In this context, I am proud to say that Armundia Group was among the first to bet on Albania by founding Armundia Factory in 2015, in collaboration with the young CEO Stavri Pici from Tirana. We invested in this territory, aiming together with Stavri for a strategic approach that was respectful of the local population and culture.
Here we brought our vision of technological innovation for the digital transformation of the banking, finance and insurance industry. We did so with competence and reliability, always putting people at the center of the company. This model proved to be right over time, to the extent that Armundia Factory has become a SME that is by no means dependent on the parent company, and is capable of attracting the attention of foreign customers as well. In the coming years, we do not exclude opening our expertise and vision to benefit the inclusive and interconnected overcoming of the innovation gap in other sectors.
We believe that with the right support and a suitable entrepreneurial model, startups can grow and develop sustainably and harmoniously in the market. However, it is necessary to safeguard some of the themes on which the concept of startups is based. First and foremost, training. Albania is among the Balkan countries with the highest rate of emigration for highly skilled professionals. To fuel the startup ecosystem, it is necessary to focus today on creating a qualified and educated workforce in the field of intelligent digital technologies. But it is also important for the training to continue within the company, with professional paths aimed at developing the know-how and skills of human resources, because focusing on people is the real distinguishing and competitive factor in such a rapidly changing technological scenario.
To all the young entrepreneurs out there, my advice is to be patient and give yourselves time to grow. Don’t rush to reach your goals, because success takes time to achieve. Embrace your experiences, acquire new skills, and develop the maturity needed to manage your business successfully. Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination”.
The WMF International Roadshow Albania, which will take place on March 15th, 2023, in Tirana, aims to promote global cooperation and idea sharing in the digital, social, and entrepreneurial sectors. The event will be organized in collaboration with Moneys Magazine. Albania Economia, Camera di Commercio Italiana in Albania, and Edona Bilali, Minister of State for the Protection of Entrepreneurship.
The winners of the startup competition at the WMF International Roadshow Albania will be invited to attend the event in Italy. The International Roadshow covers five continents and makes stops in 29 countries, bringing together the brightest minds in digital innovation to learn, connect, and grow. Topics such as sustainability, accessibility, legality, and digital intertwine with inspiring speeches, startup competitions, and networking activities during each event.
In conclusion, supporting the Albanian startup ecosystem is crucial for promoting global cooperation and idea sharing in the digital, social, and entrepreneurial sectors. Companies need to provide the right support, innovation vision, and entrepreneurial model to position themselves in the market and achieve sustainable growth and development. The WMF International Roadshow Albania provides an excellent opportunity for startups to connect, learn, and grow in the global digital innovation landscape.
Albania Event: https://albania.wemakefuture.it/