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Tropentag, September 14 - 16, 2022, Prague

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Women in business in Albania

Vjoela Allkanjari1, Zef Gjeta2

1Albanian Institute for Sustainbale Development, Albania
2Agriculture University of Tirana, Fac. of Agriculture and Environment, Albania


The social and economic progress of a democratic country is based on an active civil society in which men and women can develop their capabilities on an equal footing. Albanian women have long been a part of the country’s economy and social life, and have reached high levels of education. Even so, their situation is replete with contradictions. Albania has become a much attractive environment for the development of women's entrepreneurship. If women are provided with the necessary resources, skills and opportunities to create strong businesses, and if they are willing to pursue the growth potential of these companies due to a more favourable environment, will benefit from economic growth.
When it comes to gender equality in Albania, mainly it is meant to advance the position of women in society. Looking at the situation of women’s performance in the labour market, indicators are quite worrisome. Women are subject to a higher rate and longer term unemployment and reduced participation in the labour market (60% of women) (LFS, 2011), whilst their involvement in private self-employment activities is lower (Miluka, 2011) as compared to men in Albania. Another feature is women concentration in sectors with low productivity and a high rate of informality, such as agriculture and manufacturing. Seemingly, they are less involved in industry and service sectors as compared to men (ISB, 2013). Such concentration is partly a result of the educational system and of women’s overwhelming responsibility to tend to domestic chores.
Over 25.7% of active enterprises in Albania in 2018 were owned or managed by women, the Institute of Statistics (INSTAT). This means that women entrepreneurship is in a proper way to grow up. Women entrepreneurs run 40,953 out of a total of 162,853 companies of all sizes across Albania. The data confirm that 24.5% of all active enterprises began their activity before 2011. In terms of region, Tirana has the highest percentage of female entrepreneurs at 41.4%. Most companies run by women are small-medium sized enterprises. However, 19.6% of big enterprises, with 50 and more employees were managed or owned by women. In general, producer services prevail in the Albanian economy with 65% of active enterprises. Over 51/4% of producer services are based in Tirana, Durres, and Shkodra municipalities. Retail and trade account for 21.6% of enterprises, while accommodation and food services account for 12.4% of enterprises. Foreign and joint enterprises in 2018 accounted for 3.8% of all active companies and provided 9.6% of employment. Companies from the EU, accounted for 64.8% of most foreign/joint ventures. According to INSTAT, companies that offer management and consultancy services are mostly owned or co-owned by international citizens. Big companies with 50 and more employees represent only 1.2% of all enterprises. However, their contribution to employment is 48.1%. About 89.4% of enterprises are companies with one to four employees. The data confirm that 75.9% are enterprises with only one employee.

Keywords: Business, entrepreneurship, labour market, women

Contact Address: Vjoela Allkanjari, Albanian Institute for Sustainbale Development, Rr. Njazi Meka nr. 2, 1001 Tirana, Albania, e-mail: vjoela@gmail.com

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