Study Report “Building an Information System on SME-s to enhance innovative SME-s in Albania”. Phase 2 of the project:
Objective: The objective of the study was to collect and analyse data concerning the competitiveness of the Albanian industrial sector and in particular SMEs. Another goal was to identify/build suitable indicators to measure SMEs’ ability to compete on national, regional and international markets. The study addresses both internal and external factors affecting SMEs’ performance.
Project Implementation: The assessment of a company is a result of the following sources: insights from entrepreneurs and SME owners, collected through focus group discussions and interviews; contributions from SME experts, policy makers, representatives of associations of private enterprises, international and bilateral organisations dealing with SME issues; desk research and analysis, combined with the judgement of PRODAPS and METE experts.
Many indicators were evaluated for the purposes of this study. These include labour force availability (both qualified and unskilled labours), productivity, adopted technology, infrastructure accessibility, access to credit, access to both national and international markets, incentives and institutional support given in the Albanian market.
In order to measure to what extent the above-mentioned indicators are fulfilled, interviews with a sample group of 150 SMEs were conducted. This survey provided the key benchmark indicators for effective interventions and for future reference in assessing how effective the SMEs have been in achieving their objectives.
The survey targeted SMEs of four regions: North region (Shkodra, Lezha & Kukes), Central region (Tirana, Durresi, Elbasan), South West region (Fieri, Vlore, Berat), and South East region (Korca and Gjirokastra). The survey also took into account the gender partition of the business sector by adding a gender-disaggregated perspective to the overall situation of the surveyed regions.