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On Friday 26 of October 2018, CRLDS and EAR-AER  with the financial support of Government of Flanders, organised an open lecture in one of the aulas of the Economic Faculty of Vlorë Ismaïl Qemali University.

Almost 100 bachelor students and their professor attended the lecture produced by EAR-AER board member Mr. Louis Delcart. Ms. Luiza Hoxhaj, executive director of CRLDS insisted in her opening speech on the expectations the Albanian society has in its upcoming generation, the first that grew up as digital natives with a broadened interest in what is happening in the rest of the world.

Mr. Delcart emphasised during his lecture on the fact that the private sector in a democracy is responsible for creating jobs, that all over Europe, this task was accomplished in the first place by SMEs and that studies worldwide have proven that access to finance is the most important barrier for SMEs to spread their wings. He therefore developed on the access to finance for the job providers in general in Albania: public authorities, companies and especially SMEs and civil society. He presented new techniques used by development banks such as risk sharing tools, offering collateral to banks instead of the client SMEs provided the business plan of these last is promising. He elaborated also on venture capital funds set up in the Western Balkan and on the type of businesses they were involved in. Finally he insisted on the important role local authorities have to play in mobilising universities and technical colleges and employers organisations such as chambers of commerce in a common attempt to dynamise the regional level playing field and to promote business with a sustainable future. The students showed their appreciation for the lecturer by asking him a lot of interesting questions.

Mr. Delcart tried to show them that their starting position, coming from Eastern-European gymnasiums is not bad at all, since traditionally these have been focused on mathematics and sciences. He encouraged the students to use their creativity and their sense of innovation and especially to broaden their view on the world and to expand their contacts outside their country.

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