FACT SHEET: Tourism Investment and Finance Fund

A man hangs a sign for the "Dumrea Pedal" bike rental shop
Dumrea Pedal is one of several start-up businesses supported through the Tourism Investment and Finance Fund
Tourism Investment and Finance Fund

CURRENT PROJECTS

Name: Tourism Investment and Finance Fund
Duration: May 2016 – January 2020
Budget: $1,435,628
Implementer: Center for Economic and Business Education (CEBE)
 

For entrepreneurs in Albania’s tourism sector, lack of capital and business acumen are prohibitive factors to tourism-led growth. The inability of micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) in tourism to obtain affordable capital from banks means that they are often underfunded and therefore have limited growth potential. An alternative source is necessary. 

USAID, the Embassy of Sweden in Tirana, and the Center for Economic and Business Education (CEBE Albania) are implementing a $1.435 million, 32-month project, which will establish a Tourism Investment and Finance Fund in Albania. The Fund will be a multi-partner, member-owned, nonprofit financial association that will provide capital and technical assistance to MSMEs operating in Albania’s tourism sector. The Tourism Investment and Finance Fund (TIFF) contributes to improvements in tourism sector, including Albania’s business enabling environment and workforce capacities, and to serve as catalysts for job creation and economic growth. The Fund will concentrate efforts to develop the agro-tourism and eco-tourism communities in rural, and natural and protected areas. 

PROGRAM AREAS

EQUITY AND BUSINESS ADVISORY SERVICES

The Tourism Investment and Finance Fund will provide co-investment opportunities followed by expert advisory support to strengthen that investment and increase its probability of success. Entrepreneurs will be evaluated by a number of criteria: feasibility of interventions, level of business acumen, competitiveness of establishment, nature of intervention, disposition to work with other entrepreneurs to create a pool of resources and services to improve the overall appeal of the destination.

PARTNERSHIPS WITH CENTRAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

The fund has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Urban Development. The Municipalities of Tirana, Belsh, and Korca are eager to partner with the Fund to spur economic development in their communities. It is expected that the municipalities and the Government of Albania will contribute equity funds to support the project and foster a business enabling environment.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

CEBE will cooperate with the Marketing and Tourism Department at the University of Tirana and the American Bank of Investments to provide business advice to TIFF-selected micro, small, and medium sized enterprises. Beneficiaries will receive pre-investment orientation, post-investment training, and capacity building assistance.

EXPECTED RESULTS
  • More than 70 MSMEs supported through equity and business advisory services
  • 110 new jobs will be created directly, and another 100 in supporting industries
  • Enhanced infrastructure and increased property value (15%) for each establishment
  • Improved business models for at least 50% of the applicants subject to funding
  • Increased number of officially registered businesses, thereby increasing the tax base and pension contributions
  • Increased quality in service, and certification of services for at least 50% of the applicants subject to funding (Authentic Albania Quality Mark Program and American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute cooperation)
  • Increased financial literacy, credit awareness, and bankability of applicant enterprises

Last updated: July 26, 2018

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