SmartCapital breaks some of the traditional barriers SME’s face, by providing access to Capital and Smart Technologies directly to Entrepreneurs. The 5-year program, which started in September 2016 will facilitate $33 Million of Investments, $22 Million of Financing and create 1500 new jobs.
SmartCapital is implemented by CBS through four distinct components:
Component 1 Access to Capital for SMEs and Municipalities
Agribusinesses are served through a team of experienced Business Advisors from four locations in Tirana, Korca, Fier and Peshkopi
Advisors work closely with agribusinesses to upgrade technical and entrepreneurial capacities, while raising capital and implementing investments. Investments Grants including AZHBR, IPARD, SARED and other EU-grant financing have become attractive to agribusinesses but hard to benefit due to complex requirements. CBS works closely with entrepreneurs to achieve investments and financing including a range of traditional options from banking sector while upgrading the beneficiary’s absorbing capacities. CBS will support partner Municipalities with access to finance from available instruments for local governments as well as implement projects with local and regional, rural and economic development focus.
CBS Services for Agribusinesses
Component 2 Develop, Deploy and Grow Innovative Financial Technology & Trade Platform
CBS believes strongly that smart use of technology can accelerate trade and finance for entrepreneurs
Building upon the successful experience of LORES, AGIS and Agroweb CBS under SmartCapital will continue to develop and upgrade its innovative products that intersect technology with trade and financing. Under the program, LORES will expand its customer base by addressing other SME segments (non-agro), while opening up to external agents to refer loans. AgroTrade is an innovative e- trading platform that will connect local agro-food suppliers with regional and international buyers through integrated trading procedures reducing time, effort and costs in the process.
Component 3 Business Development Services for SMEs
SME’s often require substantial services to support their growth but market offers little assistance
SMEs often require substantial services to support their growth but market offers little assistance. CBS has an active relationship with over 450 clients, which may require a more specialized approach to growing. Services include Business Plans, Digital Marketing, International Food Standards Certifications and Export Readiness services. These services are customized for each client and designed to deliver immediate economic benefits and long-term growth. SMEs will be assisted to obtain Brand Albania’s OriginAL certification- the national umbrella brand for authentic 100% Albanian agro-food products.
Component 4 Promote Improvement in Business Environment for SMEs
Private Public Partnership is key to Local Economic Development
Through this component, CBS will facilitate dialogue between the public and private sector with a focus on policy improvements in support to Euro-Atlantic integration of private markets. SmartCapital will establish a permanent Coalition that will act as an advocacy tool for legislative and policy issues in alignment with Albania’s EU accession. A Public Private Coalition will promote local economic development and improvement of business environment.
Program is financed by USAID and implemented by CBS (Creative Business Solutions)