“3rd Social Business Day” at Epoka University was held on 21st of May 2021, hosted by YCSBS. 3rd SBD was organized in form of online symposium and brought together representatives of different international Yunus Centers, national and international stakeholders, social business entrepreneurs, professors and students.
The third social business day was organized into two sessions. The first session was opened with the welcome speech of the director of Yunus Center for Social Business and Sustainability of Epoka University, Dr. Erinda Imeraj.
Dr. Malgorzata Bonikowska, Yunus Social Business Chair in Poland, shared with the audience her experience in the social business field. Coming from a cooperative system, Poland and Albania share quite similarities on business booming after the 90s. But the new generations are not choosing to work only for money but for a social global change.
Dr. Enrico Testi, Director of the research center ARCO and Yunus Social Business Centre University of Florence, shared with us his experience working as Director of a Yunus Center. In Italian culture, the term of social enterprises is quite popular compared with the philosophy of social businesses. Dr. Testi mentioned that pandemic give other perspectives in solving social problems.
Dr. Gelanda Shkurtaj, Lecturer at Epoka University made a great presentation about the Legislative View of Social Business in Albania. Dr. Shkurtaj concluded that there exists a lack of clear definition of social businesses in Albanian legislative system and they are mostly perceived as Non-Profit Organization or charity programs.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Xhimi Hysa, Lecturer at Epoka University, shared with our audience the reasons why a social business is sustainable, how the circular economy opened a new perspective for the social businesses.
Dr.Audrone Urmanaviciene, Lecturer at Tallinn University shared with us CA project SHINE presentation. Mrs Audrone made a presentation about the working groups, design thinking, and responsible innovation and innovative solutions to social challenges.
Mr. Arben Shamija, YAPS founder made a presentation of the Yaps activity and the social contribution they are offering through their operations. The successes story of YAPS lies behind the good management of people and funds.
Dr. Jorge Alejandro Garcia Ramirez shared with the guests and students the successes story of BIVE, social business operating on the healthcare system in Colombia. The incentive that they started as students now has become a sustainable social business that aims at closing the gap in healthcare system between rural and urban areas.
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Schäfer, Head of Start Up Center, Hochschule Kempten, Germany shared with the audience the reasons why Germany is not the best country for a social business enterprise. Prof. Schafer concluded that “Economy for the good” is the only solution and we should move in a model of a good life for all.
The second session of 3rd SBD was dedicated on the student’s initiatives. Moderated from Dr. Esmir Demaj, Head of Business and Administrative Department of Epoka University, this session was opened from Mrs. Ardiola Alikaj from Partners Albania. Mrs. Alikaj presented the new opportunities have students now through the new platform launched from them, Dua Partner Invest, the platform which train and support the start-ups initiatives of students and as well offer opportunity for professionals to share their experience through consultancy sessions. Mrs. Erilda Duzha Krasi re-shared with us her experience as a social business entrepreneur. 1001 Albanian Adventures is a great model operating in Berat, offering their social impact through employment.
The student’s competition gave space to four groups of students to present their social business plan ideas, which were very well prepared and presented. The winning idea was selected from the jury and was “BIOALPS”, presented from Aleksandra Kaba, Brijana Mekolli, Igli Mura, Orgest Tahiri, Ortencia Laci and Rei Kalo.
Social Business Day, a tradition now, hosted by YCSBS will hopefully motivate future collaborations, research and new entrepreneurs to do social business and make a difference.