Professor Muhammad Yunus Launched Social Business in Albania

Professor Muhammad Yunus signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a Vocational Training Social Business Joint Venture with Tirana Business Park (an Albanian investment of the German company Lindner Group) in his first day visit on 21 January 2013 of his three day visits. The ceremony was held at the Tirana Business Park construction site in Albania, in the presence of the Prime Minister of Albania, Sali Berisha. The vocational training centre will provide much-in-demand technical skills to unemployed young people. The centre will initially train new plumbers, electricians and industrial mechanics, with more subjects being added in later years. The school will be sited on the Tirana Business Park campus and will draw on the vast knowledge and expertise of these professions within Tirana Business Park sh.p.k. and its German parent company.

Professor Muhammad Yunus started his three-day visit to Albania by meeting women from two handicraft workshops in the northern Shkodra region. Prof. Yunus met goat milk producer Mr. ToninKoleci and local “slow food” restaurant entrepreneur Mr. AltinPrenga.

On 22ndJanuary 2013, Prof. Muhammad Yunus attended at Albania Social Business Day as a guest of honour. Prime Minister of Albania, H.E. SaliBerisha, as well as several other distinguished members of the government, including the Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Mr. Spiro Ksera, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Ridvan Bode;the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. GencRuli; andthe Minister of Education, Mr. MyqeremTafaj also attended in the program.

Then Prof. Muhammad Yunus signed another Memorandum of Understandings with eight universities in Albania on behalf of Yunus Social Business. The universities are- the University of Tirana, the Agriculture University of Tirana, Epoka University,the European University of Tirana, Elbasan University, Korce University, the University of New York in Tirana and Tirana Business University. The MoUs pledged a joint effort to include social business theory and practice in teaching, mainstreaming the idea of social business into research, and other joint activities. He also signed MoUs with UNDP and UN Women, and with AIDA, the Albanian Investment Development Agency, to promote the concept of social business and to collaborate in creating programmes for the support of social businesses.