EBRD launches its Youth in Business programme in Albania

Automation & RoboticsBusinessSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 3/2023 • 11.09.2023

EBRD launches its Youth in Business programme in Albania

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is launching its Youth in Business Programme in Albania. It will support the financial inclusion of young entrepreneurs by helping them overcome barriers to accessing finance and providing advisory services.
Union Bank will receive a EUR 1 million loan for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) owned or managed by entrepreneurs under the age of 35. The project will also build Union Bank’s capacity to better understand and cater to this group of businesses, helping the bank establish its own unique business model for engaging with young entrepreneurs.


Young entrepreneurs will gain access to finance and overcome the barriers created by insufficient collateral, limited credit history and lack of business experience. They will benefit from capacity-building activities including advice on digitalizing business processes, training in digital solutions and tools, and building customized digital road maps. In this way, the programme aims to empower young businesspeople and demonstrate that youth-run SMEs can be a bankable segment when offered financial and non-financial products tailored to their needs.

“We are proud to launch our Youth in Business programme in Albania, reaffirming our support to the country. This is a great opportunity to empower young entrepreneurs, who are such a crucial part of Albania’s present and, most importantly, future. We believe that by introducing a unique business model and providing a product that is tailored to their needs, young entrepreneurs will thrive and embark on a path that will lead to a more financially inclusive and prosperous tomorrow”, said Ekaterina Solovova, EBRD Head of Albania.

Financing for the programme in the form of technical cooperation funds has been provided by the governments of Sweden, Italy via the Central European Initiative and Luxembourg via the EBRD Small Business Impact Fund. These funds will support Union Bank’s capacity building and advisory services and training for young people running SMEs.