FACT SHEET: SmartCapital

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SmartCapital provides enterprises with professional business plans to kick-off their business operations and raise capital.

CURRENT PROJECT

Name: SmartCapital
Duration: September 2016 – September 2019
Budget: $1,200,000
Implementer: Creative Business Solutions

 

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are the engine of Albania’s economy. They represent over 95 percent of total businesses, employ 83 percent of the workforce, and generate 75 percent of country’s annual GDP. Yet, only 28 percent of total financing goes to SMEs – much lower than what is needed to support growth for this vital economic segment. Many SMEs lack formal business plans or accounting records, leading to a perception of high credit risk. Though banks and financial institutions have excess liquidity, high rates of Non-Performing-Loans (NPL) limit their ability to offer credit to SMEs. In addition, the distribution of credit has been disproportionate between the urban and rural enterprises.

SmartCapital aims to boost economic growth through access to finance and smart technologies to SME entrepreneurs. The 3-year program will mobilize a significant contribution of resources on a 1:3 basis, through innovative and market-based solutions. SmartCapital interventions will be country-wide with attention to rural and under developed areas. Growth oriented services will be delivered through sustainable practices and a wide network of partners and beneficiaries.

PROGRAM AREAS

FACILITATE ACCESS TO CAPITAL FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

SmartCapital will facilitate access to a range of financing options while assisting small businesses to absorb financing. Full grant application packages including business plans, investments, agro-technologies, permits will be provided to businesses to access IPARD-EU funds, National Grant Schemes (AZHBR), SARED, SME Italian guarantee scheme funding, among others. Businesses will be assisted with grant related loans and loans from the banking sector and improvement of environmental standards.

DEVELOP INNOVATIVE FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY AND TRADE APPLICATIONS

SmartCapital will expand LORES, a loan referral platform that has facilitated more than $3 million in agriculture investment, into a multifunction marketplace. Additionally, the project will expand AGIS, a digital reporting solution that analyzes agriculture-based data into a wider economic reporting tool. SmartCapital will build a Trade Platform to connect local suppliers with international markets and an “Agro Technology Card,” a scientific data-driven tool to improve the quality of banks’ decision making.

IMPLEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY INITIATIVES

SmartCapital will assist SMEs with access to financing for investments in clean, efficient, and renewable energy projects. SmartCapital will implement internally the environmental management system to demonstrate long term economic benefit and to offer energy audit services to SMEs engaged in energy efficiency projects.

PROVIDE 360 PACKAGE OF SERVICES TO BUSINESSES

SmartCapital will provide start-ups and non-agro enterprises with professional business plans to kick-off their business operations and raise capital. Established SMEs will be supported with services as growth analysis, accounting, tax reporting, and digital marketing. SmartCapital will facilitate international certifications for SMEs to expand trade to EU markets.

DELIVER CONSULTANCY AND ASSISTANCE TO MUNICIPALITIES ON RURAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

SmartCapital will facilitate municipalities to absorb EU funds, IPA cross-border, Horizon 2020 and other donor funding. Municipalities will be supported with project implementation on rural and economic development projects. Special collaboration will be built with Regional Development Agencies.

EXPECTED RESULTS
  • Generate $21 Million Direct Economic Benefit to assisted enterprises
  • Facilitate $15 Million in Financing
  • Create 1,070 New Jobs
  • Leverage $3.8 Million investments realized by beneficiaries

Last updated: July 26, 2018

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