Women-run businesses thrive in Albania's capital

Date: Friday, April 21, 2017

Alma Gerxhani, Administrator and Co-Founder of Visit Tirana tourist portal. Photo: UN Women Albania/Yllka Parllaku
Alma Gerxhani, Administrator and Co-Founder of Visit Tirana tourist portal. Photo: UN Women Albania/Yllka Parllaku

For travellers planning to visit Tirana, Albania, the Visit Tirana website has everything you need to know in order to enjoy the city to its fullest. This online platform for tourists is run by women who have received a grant for women entrepreneurs from the Municipality of Tirana – a first-time initiative in the city supported by UN Women.

Alma Gerxhani, an online editor who worked at the first online newspaper in Albania, teamed up with an experienced journalist, Eva Kushova, and initiated a voluntary project to promote the city of Tirana. They started with Twitter and Facebook three years ago, sharing information about the city’s attractions and events.

They applied to the “Competitive Fund for Women Entrepreneurs” of the Municipality of Tirana in 2016. Their innovative idea to create the first-ever online tourism guide for Tirana was selected among the winners. They received around 3000 dollars to develop a customized software and adapt information in three different languages, making it the only all-inclusive information hub for tourists.

The grant aimed to support the most innovative and comprehensive business ideas. UN Women supported the Municipality in setting the criteria for the grant, defining its geographical coverage, developing its management strategy, and organizing an information campaign. 

Forty-three women and girls living in Tirana submitted their proposals and more than half were selected to receive business training, which included developing business plans, building financial literacy and overall management skills and designing marketing and branding strategies.

 “The training gave us additional knowledge. It was necessary to foresee how the business would grow and be sustainable. We learned how to prepare a business plan or to assess the needs of the market,” says Gerxhani.

To see the full story, visit UN Women's regional website for Europe and Central Asia.