Partners Albania believe that entrepreneurship is one of the key and most effective active labour market policies that can be utilized to address the high level of youth unemployment. Supporting youngsters to start their own business ventures is an effective mechanism to by-pass the challenges of getting an entry-level position in the market.

Our newest initiative in this regard aims to contribute to increased employability and fostered social inclusion among young people in the cross-border area Albania – Montenegro. It will have a specific focus on creating an enabling environment for the community of young entrepreneurs in the cross-border area committed to starting their own business (Shkodra region in Albania, and municipalities of Podgorica, Tuz, and Bari in Montenegro).

Using a participatory approach that involves the participation of youngsters, local authorities, public institutions, universities and schools, and private companies, we will work to create a group of skilled and motivated young people in the cross-border area, ready to start their own enterprise and to create employment opportunities for other youngsters.

A series of activities to be conducted in two years include Research in outsourcing of jobs that can become a business opportunity and problems that are slowing down the progress in micro-enterprises that could be solved through new services and businesses; Innovation Boot Camps and Individual training program, joint cross-border cooperation forums, policy documents etc.

These activities are expected to achieve: Improved youth abilities for developing their own business ideas based on innovative skills, new competencies and knowledge; Increased opportunities for support to start-up businesses of young people in the target area; Increased support to young entrepreneurs and self-employment through local policies and incentives.



The project was officially launched in June, in two kick-off events that took place in Podgorica and Shkodra, followed by a series of information sessions held in six cities in Albania and Montenegro where interested young people of the age (18 – 30) from both sides of the border areas were invited to participate in the INNOVATION BOOT CAMPS.

The “Innovation Boot Camp” for the participants from Albania was organized on 12-16 July 2021, and the one for the participants from Montenegro was organized on July 21-25 in Ulcinj. During the 5 days of the program, the youngsters developed business plans of their ideas and prepared the pitching for presentation in front of a jury of experts from the business sector, public institutions such as the Municipality of Shkoder and the Employment Office (for Albania) as well as mentors of the Boot Camp.

At the end of the program, 8 most innovative business ideas in each country were selected for further support. They will continue to be supported and promoted by the project to expose them to opportunities for funding, mentorship, development, etc.



The initiative is implemented by Partners Albania for Change and Development, in partnership with Association for Democratic Prosperity – Zid in Montenegro and Intelektualet e Rinj, Shprese in Shkodër, Albania. The initiative is funded by the European Union through Cross Border Cooperation Programme Montenegro – Albania 2014-2020 under the IPA II.

Factsheet on the Work4Youth Initiative Download
ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SELF-EMPLOYMENT OF YOUTH IN THE BORDER AREA OF ALBANIA AND MONTENEGRO: current conditions, perspective, and cross border cooperation Download