Page 1

Philanthropy for Green Ideas

NATIONAL Philanthropy for Green Ideas is an annual competition, part of Partners Albania Philanthropy and Social Responsibility Program. It serves as an incubator for small scale green economic enterprises in Albania, utilizing local resources and revitalizing traditions of production and community-based markets in an environmentally friendly way. The program supports individuals, social enterprises, non-for-profit organizations and small business ventures through a joint fund created with contributions from local companies and private donors, with institutional support of Rockefeller Brothers Fund. In addition the program offers training and coaching in business planning and marketing provided pro-bono by local businesses among others by Intesa Sanpaolo Bank, Credins Bank and Grand Thornton Albania.

REGIONAL The regional competition has taken place since 2012 and represents an opportunity for winners at local level to get additional funding provided by RBF through local partner foundations from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Partners Albania is RBF local partner in Albania.


Albanian Recycling Community http://www.ricikloj.com/

PASS is a local organization carrying out programs addressing the preservation and protection of environment. PASS is managing the first rental bike service, employing young people with fewer opportunities. In 2012 PASS launched the Albanian Recycling Community. This green enterprise sets up the infrastructure to collect waste on site through production of recycling bins for offices and public spaces. The organization has established cooperation with several companies and businesses in order to set up recycling bins on their sites. As a result around 100 recycling bins are placed in the companies/businesses premises. A transportation team retrieves all the waste materials from the recycling bins and transports and sells them at the recycling factories. In addition, in partnership with Tirana Municipality, PASS has produced and set up recycling bin sets for public spaces. During three years, 20 young people were trained on the waste materials management and 3 young people were employed. Since 2015, PASS is focusing on public awareness on the environment protection, through educational, social and recreational activities, information in social networks, distribution of leaflets, an electronic newsletter, participation in media etc. Albanian Recycling Community is one of the three winners of the regional competition 2012. The information is last updated on May 2015



Furniture and Recycled Objects http://www.designbypana.com/

Pana is a social enterprise, focusing on furniture design and production. The furniture for homes, bars, restaurants and offices are made through recycling wooden pallets used to transport and conserve bricks and other building materials, as well as reusing glass objects turning them into lightings and other decorative items. Since 2013, Pana has grown into a successful social enterprise. It has a production factory with an annual turnover of around 100,000 EUR. It started with 2 employees and today has 14 employees who are young people raised in children homes or coming from families with low income, pensioners, people with disabilities and Roma people. Winner of Social Innovation Tournament of European Investment Bank Institute in 2016, Pana has furnished around 150 houses and bars using unique and creative elements in their furniture. Since 2015, The Human Rights symbol made by Pana in old reclaimed wood, stays at the hall of the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth. Pana is one of the three winners of the regional competition 2013.





GjiroArt is a workshop established by Gjirokastra Foundation through the idea From trashes to values, presented in the national competition of Green Ideas 2013. It designs and produces traditional dresses, rugs, accessories, souvenirs and other crafts by using recycled materials. The production and sale takes place in the historical center and characteristic bazaar of Gjirokastra city, an area protected by UNESCO. The workshop employees 8 women and girls and has an average annual sale of 3,000 products. Since 2017, GjiroArt has enriched the range of products by adding handmade jewelry through recycled materials. The products made by GjiroArt are present in domestic and international market and many fairs events. Many hotels in Gjirokastra use these garment and accessories in their interior design and have also set up display spaces to promote the Albanian traditional crafts to their guests.



Eco Camp–Atlantid Beach http://www.tiranaekspres.com/web

Tirana Ekspres is a non – profit organization with a distinguished experience in the field of art, culture and environment. In 2014 Tirana Ekspres built an eco-tourism infrastructure named Atlantid beach, developing a model of sustainable tourism in the commune of Ishëm in Durrës. This area offers natural beauty, historical and cultural attractions and an unexplored nature. This eco-tourism infrastructure provides tents and campsite for personal tents caravans, restaurant services offering fresh local products, and a series of touristic activities as daily guides, yoga, fishing, hiking, canoe and diving courses etc. Since it started, the eco-camp has become very successful and popular, mostly among the youngsters. The number of visitors and tourists is increased significantly, from 1,000 tourists in the first year to 5,000 tourists during the last year, around 1,500 only during the weekends. The high number of visitors has led to the opening of 7 guest houses which support the eco –camp with hospitality and culinary services, guided tours, sport activities, cultural events, etc. From 2 bars and restaurants that existed in the first year, currently there are 11 bars and restaurants serving the tourists. The growth of the business is accompanied with the increased number of employees, from 3 in the first year, to currently 7 employees. Through the wide promotion made in social media and other networks, Atlantid beach has become one of the tourist destinations mentioned in many prestigious touristic guides such as the Tripadvisor.



Recycle Jeans


Recycle Jeans consists in the production and sale of shopping and accessory bags made of recycled jeans, to limit and replace the use of plastic bags in supermarkets and shopping centers. It was firstly implemented by People and Ideas organization, but since May 2016 it is operating as a small business under the brand Recycle Jeans. The atelier has so far employed 3 women and girls from families with low income. The average annual sale is 1,000 products, and the atelier has expanded the range of products by introducing accessories, table cloth, pot holder, carrying book straps, bags, etc. Through a wide network of volunteers, the business conducts many awareness activities in high schools and universities to promote use of recycled jeans bags as an ecological and sustainable alternative to plastic bags. In 2017, Recycle Jeans started the online sale in their website http://recyclejeans-al.com. The social enterprise was part of the Start-up Programme 2017 led by the Ministry of Economy, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship where the work of the atelier received recognition by the Albanian Prime Minister. Due to continuous advocacy efforts with the local government on taking measures to replace the plastic bags in supermarkets, in 2017 the Municipality of Tirana signed a memorandum with shopping centers and supermarkets to replace plastic bags with cloth bags. It is an important initiative with high impact on environment that is expected to extend its coverage at national level through legal regulations making mandatory the charge for usage of plastic bags.




http://www.go2albania.org/ The organization GO2 promotes eco-tourism through half-day, full-day and two-day ecotourism bicycle ride tours in the region of Shkodra, including rural and urban attractions. The organizations develops 4 full day rural tours as: Drisht (archaeological site and medieval town), Gajtan (prehistorical cave of Neanderthal period and the Illyrian town, an archaeological site), Shkodër lake (the biggest lake in Balkans and protected area), Shirq-Dajç (Buna River, a rich natural heritage and Shirq, the well-known settlement for the Albanian and Montenegrin princesses weddings), and two-days tour from Drishti castle to Rozafa Castle. An half day urban tour destination explores the areas within the city of Shkodra. GO2 organizes over 60 bike tours with participation of 300 visitors annually, mostly foreign tourists. It employs 5 full time tour guides and more based on demand. 13 local bars and restaurants from the villages of Shkodra provide culinaryrural and accommodation for Castle ofservices Drisht touristic destination visitors and tourists. Albania, represented by “GO2”, is part of the Eurovelo (the European cycle route network) in the Eurovelo 8, Mediterranean Route which has become a big potential to promote and explore Albanian cultural and tourism heritage helping discover by bike the Adriatic and Ionian coast. Drisht

Hot i Ri


Shkodra lake

Castle2Castle is one of the three winners of the regional competition 2014. SHKODRA


urban touristic destination

Rozafa Castle



From Tradition to Creativity From Tradition to Creativity is being implemented by the organization Zejtaret e Veriut (Northern craftswomen) operating in Shkodra. The social enterprise is producing several objects and furniture through recycling the wastes of willow branches and fabric. This material, totally unexploited in the past, is now used to produce low-cost and highly demanded products. So far, the social enterprise has 8 employees, mainly girls and women coming from families with low income. It produces 8,000 baskets and 260 sofa sets annually, and parts of them especially baskets are exported to Italy and Montenegro. The annual income of the enterprise is around 30,000 EUR. The wastes of willow branches are provided by 20 farmers from the mountain areas of Shkodra and Peshkopia.




4 Eyes for the Nature


The idea 4 eye for the nature of the Albanian Ornithological Society (AOS) organization promotes Birdwatching as a new branch of eco-tourism. It helps to protect biodiversity and revitalize the local economy of the natural protected areas, taking advantage of local tradition of hospitality and culinary arts. AOS has designed and is selling 4 green touristic packages covering the area of Divjaka-Karavasta, Saline-Narta, Valbona, and since 2017 included Prespa Lake, in Southeast of Albania. As a result of cooperation with well-known travel companies and tour operators, and thanks to an extensive promotion campaign, Albania is now included as one of the destinations for visitors interested in this kind of tourism. Around 150 visitors participate annually in birdwatching tours organized by AOS, benefiting also 14 local providers of hospitality and culinary services.




NaturAlb Soaps


NatualALB Soaps is a social enterprise for the production of healthy natural soaps from aromatic and oil local plants, an initiative of Youth Center Borderless. Partners Albania’s fund assisted the social business in extending the machinery equipment which helped increase by 70% the production of organic natural soaps, from 300 to around 1,200 pcs. in 6 months. Based on increased demand and number of clients, the workshop has diversified the range of products offering now soaps with diverse aromas and shapes. Besides the lavender and olive soaps produced in the beginning, now NatualALB offers laurel, sage, oregano, fir and myrtle soaps produced in different shapes tailored to clients needs. The workshop has employed 2 full-time and 7 part-time staff, and has signed contracts with 7 organic, souvenir and organic shops. NatualALB soaps are now present in many national fairs. The income of the first year has exceeded the forecast by 25% and the enterprise intends to further expand its premises and equipments. The information is last updated on May 2015.




Cultivation of saffron Cultivation of saffron is being implemented by Fiqiri Guxha, teacher and agronomist in Daias village (near Tirana). The passion for agronomy has driven him to test and cultivate many agricultural products even when he was no longer working in this field. Daias is an area that lacks self-employment initiatives through cultivation of agricultural products. Also, being near Tirana and having a beautiful landscape, the location has attracted many construction companies that aim to build resorts in the area, destroying the nature. Since October 2016, the business is working for the preparation of the soil in perfect condition to cultivate saffron. The cultivation of saffron will preserve the soil since it is a plant with high curative and nutritional value, is completely bio because it does not use pesticides or other hazardous chemicals for the health or the soil. 6 women and man from the village are trained and employed for the entire process, from cultivation of the plant until the product packing. The business has encouraged 5 other farmers from Daias to cultivate saffron in their lands, thus stimulating the economic development of the area.

The cultivation of saffron is one of the winning ideas of the regional competition 2016.




Komani Speaks!

Komani culture was tracked in 1898 through the discovery of a large cemetery near Dalmaca Castle in Komani and later with the discovery of about 30 similar cemeteries, mainly spread in Northern and Middle Albania. Since decades ago till currently there have been several archaeological expeditions in the area, testifying about the history of this country. The Komani civilization is a multi-dimensional treasure consisting of archaeological remains, a splendid nature and the existence of old copper mines which can be restored. It makes a tremendous asset for the country’s economy as well as a very important model for the world civilization. Organization COSPE is working on promotion of this historical, cultural and natural heritage through responsible tourism. The organization built 8 trails for visitors that highlight the assets of the area, such as acropolis, old churches and other buildings, as well as the wonderful natural environment, linking this destination with other areas like Valbona or Sarda. In addition, a mobile application is created through which tourists visiting the area can find all trails and landmarks. Since the idea started to implement, 10 local families have adapted their homes into guest houses, bars and restaurants in order to provide culinary and hospitality services to visitors. 15 youngsters from Komani were trained as touristic guides, accompanying 300 tourists visiting the area annually, showing them the history and the culture of this civilization.




Agro-tourism, Eco- Social Farm http://infothedoor.com/

The Eco–Social Farm is established in the Oblikë village, Shkodër and is run by organization The Door. A significant number of domestic and foreign tourists – bikers and camper users driving along the national road, visit this area which offers many natural and cultural attractions. But agro-tourism services in the area are very few and the Ecosocial Farm offers a good alternative due to the favorable location and competitive prices. Through this initiative, the organization trained and involved 22 people with disabilities, members of the musical band who perform during cultural activities organized at the Eco-social Farm such as Popular Games Fest, Social Theater,etc.

The organization expanded the services of Eco-social Farm by hiring 2 full time employees at risk of social exclusion, 3 parts – time employees coming from families with low income, and 10 volunteers providing camping services for about 1,500 tourists visiting the area annually. 3 local businesses from the village support the Farm by providing products and culinary services. The Farm, also offers an appropriate infrastructure for accommodation in tends, family grill, bicycle rides, guides to the attractive places around the Farm, etc.




Sofra e Anéve (Grandma’s cooking) http://www.gjirokastra.org/

Traditional cooking based on rich organic farming and livestock products is one of the many values of Gjirokastra, a city with an exceptional architecture, rich history and culture, and diverse nature. The idea of Gjirokastra Foundation aims the inclusion of culinary tours in the touristic offer of Gjirokastra, as potential for further development of tourism in the area. Culinary tours will help improve the visitor experience, prolong their stay and contribute to perennial development of touristic activity, increasing employment, and boosting the social & economic development of the area. Through the new touristic packages to be marketed under the name “Gjirokastra CulTours”, local traditional cooking made of delicious and organic based products will be promoted, as a way of eating healthy. Gjirokastra Foundation will provide training for guides and households on specialized service in culinary tourism, towards improvement, expansion of the products range and professionalization of the traditional ways of serving food.



Aroma Therapy



Aroma Therapy is a new business, which has created a completely natural and healthy cosmetic line. Products are created through processes that do not cause pollution, are not tested on animals, and are packed with recycled paper. Following an environmental-friendly strategy, the workshop and the shop facilities are furnished with recycled wood. The grant fund will assist the business in expanding the machinery equipment, which will enable the increase of the products range, made with local raw materials such as bee wax, sugar, olive oil, salt, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower, lavender, chamomile etc. This would impact the economic growth of the local areas the raw material will be purchased from, as well as will increase employment. Through this entirely Albanian product line, the business aims to promote the values and nature of our country. Albania has already become known for the production of essential oils, and Aromatherapy aims to make it known even for the final product that is created with these oils: the Aromatherapy product, turning it into a national brand.



Cultivation and processing of pumpkin https://www.facebook.com/AgroNel.al/

AgroNel.al is a social enterprise for the cultivation and processing of pumpkin, in the village of Vranisht, in Bilisht. The initiative aims to stimulate the local economy by employing local residents, and to promote healthy living through consuming bio products. The new employment opportunities for local residents will help reduce migration toward overcrowded urban areas. Through cultivating and processing this crop, AgroNel.al aims to market a wide range of products including: roasted pumpkin seeds with various flavors, pumpkin and pumpkin flowers for cooking, jam, decorations, etc. A future product will be the pumpkin beer. The business will serve as the place where students of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University “Fan S. Noli” in Korça can conduct their professional practice.



Cultivation of Aloe Vera in Albania The idea of Albi Sulo (individual) consists in the development of a new enterprise to grow the Aloe Saponaria plant (for the first time in Albania) in a suburban area of Tirana, aiming to turn the cultivation of Aloe Vera in a successful and lucrative venture. The western and south-western regions of Albania are suitable for the cultivation of this new crop, for its effects and financial benefits from the sale of the plants and the gel it produces. This innovative local initiative is expected to be an incentive for a wider cultivation of this plant in Albania, making use of the abandoned land, and enhancing employment and wellness.



Pana Souvenirs http://www.designbypana.com/ Pezana Rexha, one of the early winners of the Green Ideas competition, now with a consolidated venture in furniture manufacturing through the recycling of pallets and wood residues, brings a new production line, Pana Souvenirs. This initiative aims to create and develop a new line of unique products that fully represent and identify Albania, the “Made in Albania� souvenirs. Its implementation will create new employment and training opportunities for people in need, as well as for children and youngsters with special needs.



Green Paths

https://www.facebook.com/Vjosa-Explorer The idea of Vjosa Explorer Association aims to increase the tourist offer in PĂŤrmet district through the construction of the Green Paths, as an untapped potential that improves the visitor experience, increases the quality of their stay and influences in reducing the seasonality of tourism activity in favor of employment growth, and social and economic development. Through this idea, four green trails are build, and also a digital map is created, including GPS marking, points of interest and all necessary information about the trails. The realization of these trails is expected to encourage the inhabitants of the 8 villages involved in their itinerary, to adopt their homes into guest houses to provide accommodation and services for visitors, as well as to increase the production of typical local products relying on the raw material provided by nature.



Pemla – Living Foods - Local Products, Local Ingredients @pemla.al

The social enterprise established by Pemla sh.p.k, aims to produce high quality, artisanal nut butters using local ingredients, and to stimulate rural economic development through promoting cultivation of tree nuts, and oilseeds. Licensed by the National Food Authority (AKU), the business produces walnut, hazelnut, and almond butters with locally sourced ingredients. The products are present to more than seven supermarkets and healthy food stores in Tirana, and plan to expand to other cities due to an increasing demand. PEMLA has trained and employeed two women from marginalised groups and Roma Community. Furthermore, the business has established collaboration with five local farmers to buy the raw materials for the production of nuts butters.



Table of taste

@qendraperedukimkulinar “Tryeza e Shijes” (The Table of Taste ) is a business idea implemented by Culinary Education Center. It promotes traditional Albanian cooking and local products in an inclusive environment. The novelty relies on the fact that all guests and clients are seated in the same table, referred to as the Social Table, in order to share the experience together and talk with each other. All culinary products are produced from 8 youngsters, coming from marginalized groups who were trained by the most esteemed chiefs and are working in this initiative. “Tryeza e Shijes” is located in Tirana and since its inauguration in October 2019, it has organized 21 social tables with an income of 10,000 EUR. The restaurant follows the guidelines of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) about waste management and recycling.



“Pedalo ne Belsh” – Bike rental shop https://www.facebook.com/pg/ Pedalo-ne-Belsh-Bike-Rental-Shop

“Visit all 84 of Belshi’s lakes by bicycle” implemented by Albert Hysa, is a rental bicycle service shop located in the small city of Belsh. It aims to promote the touristic attractions of the area by exploring the 84 lakes through bicycle and establish a bicycling culture for the young people and not only. Also, it aims to convey the message to the young people to not migrate, but to invest and engage in local communities by generating incomes for themselves and their families. Three youngsters are trained and employed through this local business. During the first half of the year, the bike rental shop had over 1,600 clients, and a profit of proximally 136,000 ALL. In the coming months the business aims to increase the number of bicycles to fulfil the high demand.



Rinora Handmade - Production of artisanal soaps and natural sponges https://www.facebook.com/rinorahandmade/

Rinora Handmade is an enterprise focused on the production of artisanal soaps and natural sponge “Made in Albania”, offering to the consumer a natural product made entirely from raw materials of our country. The social enterprise has employed 3 women (part-time ) to collect Luffa raw material and has established cooperation with 3 local farmers for supplying the aromatic plants. As part of its business’s social responsibility, 10% of the profit from the sale of each Rinora Handmade product goes in support of women and children victims of domestic violence. Rinora Handmade was one of the winners of the regional competition #BGI2020, where competed 21 entrepreneurs from the Balkans.



Margjelo Filigran Albania

https://www.facebook.com/Margjelo-Filigran-Albania Margjelo Filigran Albania run by Aurora Piranej, is a new enterprise aiming to increase the skills and employment opportunities of artisan women of the city of Shkodra, in the processing of silver with handicraft techniques such as filigree, knitting or crochet, producing various decorative objects, souvenirs and jewelery. Currently, the social enterprise has employed 2 full time employees and is collaborating with 2 painters to design the products, combining the traditional with the modern.




Prodhimi i vajit Hazelnut oil production This new enterprise run by Julvin Marku, besides bringing to the market this product made from the hazelnut fruit, aims to encourage cooperation with other farmers of GramĂŤz village in the ThumanĂŤ to obtain from them the raw material. Upon receiving the support from Partners Albania, the enterprise hired 4 seasonal workers to harvest the fruit, while the hazelnut oil is expected to be in the market by December 2020.




Kroi Mjaltit

https://instagram.com/kroi_mjaltit Kroi Mjaltit, the enterprise run by Besart Lama, focuses on the production of honey and by-products such as honey bee milk and honeycomb. Within a very short time, through Partners Albania support, the enterprise achieved to increase the production by 40%, contributing also to the increase of local employment and productivity of agricultural crops in the village of ShullazĂŤ, Kurbin.



Supported by

Rruga e Elbasanit, PARK GATE, 10th floor, App. 71 / 73, PO BOX 2418/1, 1010, Tirana, Albania Tel: +355 4 2254881 | Mob: 0697889600 partners@partnersalbania.org http://www.partnersalbania.org Follow us on: Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube, Twitter

Profile for Partners  Albania

Winners of Partners Albania "Green Ideas" National Competition over the years  

Winners of Partners Albania "Green Ideas" National Competition over the years