Dialogue 3


During Dialogu 2 social entrepreneurs attempted to have a conversation with a representative of the Ministry of Walfare and members of the Council for Civil Society. The result was a proposition to write, together with specialists, the problematic of the definition of Social Enterprises that social entrepreneurs are finding in the definition given by Law 65.

During Dialogu 3 we examined specific contemporary case studies of social enterprises in Albania. These has been compared with one case study which can be considered suitable for Law 65 on Social Enterprises.


27 prill 2017

 | The Art of the Process | # Dialogue 3 |

Valentina Bonizzi                                                                                                      

Min 15:47

      – We need to start, so has you have read in the email, the aim for today is to look at two models of social enterprises in Albania. I also invited the Minister of Social Welfare to send us a model that they think can fit with the law, or to invite someone who can explain a model but they did not respond, so now we can continue with an example of “Tirana New York Bagels” and Arka from Shkodra. Afterwords we can compare the two presentations to understand what is their identity and the type of service they offer.  Another important point in this presentation is to create a survey to send to all the SE in Albania.

Emanuela Zaimi                                                                                                       

 Min 17:39

    – But do we have a list of SE in Albania?

 Valentina Bonizzi                                                                                                       

Min 17:40

   – We have a list which is expanded and we have also a list of SE, which was done four years ago and Partners Albania can help us.

Ariola Agolli                                                                                                           

 Min 18:17

    – The list that we have of the NGO-s is a list that we have defined, SE based on a certain concept.

Valentina Bonizzi                                                                                                      

 Min 18:27

    –  Partners Albania has publish a research in 2013 and one in 2016. So now, in 2017 we can understand where the SE-s are at in Albania, what is their identity, and this survey will help to get their reflections, if the law affects in their business.

Alketeja Sokolaj                                                                                                            

Min 19:40


      – Im New York Tirana Bagel manager, which is a “social business”, as far as the law allows. We operate since 2013, and we aim at combining the integration of American recipies for muffins and bagels in Albanian daily life with a methodology that allows the work integration of abused women. The idea is for these women and girls to be employed and to have a profession and this is made possible thanks to help from outside, persons who have contributed voluntarily, sometimes also due to the training from various organizations. The business functions as an individual. Currently we still work with the small shop, but we want to expand and become a franchise. 5-6 women are employed, who are continually assisted by us for their living.

Emanuela Zaimi                                                                                                            

Min 27:08

     – So one of the problems is that you should always rotate the staff?

 Alketeja Sokolaj                                                                                                             

Min 27:10

      – No, we have employees who are with us since two years, but also young girls who continue to be educated and benefit of a certain amount of income. Businesses like all other businesses continue to generate revenues to retain their staff and to pay all their obligations.

Afërdita Gjoni                                                                                                                

Min 29:30

    – Our organization is present in several districts such as Tirana, Saranda, Fier, Lezha, Shkodra, Tropoja and so on. Our project includes women, young people and also men, as it focuses on the issues we have encountered in our areas, as most of them bring unemployment problems and all this is done to provide a job opportunity, training, etc. My question is: – These girls and women who are employed have any monetary benefits, should they be treated as employed?

Alketeja Sokolaj                                                                                                            

Min 30:02 

     – They are declared, insured and have the right to four-week annual leave. Each has a contract that can be renewed if desired. It works as a normal business even though we are social. We pay taxes even though this is a problem for us.

Emanuela Zaimi                                                                                                           

Min 32:52

     – The founder you mentioned is an activist or did he work?

Alketeja Sokolaj                                                                                                          

 Min 33:00

      – She has worked as a manager and today for every occasion we need she helps us, but also for the rest as a lawyer etc. There was only one thing a while ago when they (tax officers) imposed a fine without any reason and we paid it.

Emanuela Zaimi                                                                                                        

 Min 32:52

   – There was one thing just a short time ago when they (tax officers) put us a fine and we paid it. And we were fined  without any reason.

 Suela Kocibellinj                                                                                                       

 Min 36:32      

      – We have a penalty from customs office because they didn’t want to accept the price because they thought that we had an argument  with the Germans for a low price, so they put the price she wanted.

Valentina Bonizzi                                                                                                     

Min 38:54

  – How many owners are?

Alketeja Sokolaj                                                                                                         

Min 38:54

       – There is  only one person, which is the individual of the business which is a legal person on papers.

Valentina Bonizzi                                                                                                       

Min 38:55

– Is the income shared or not?

Alketeja Sokolaj                                                                                                          Min 38:56

 – Yes it is used for charity, or for reintegration programs of the organization.

 Irene Margariti                                                                                                             Min 39:10

     – Officially, the new plan has any assembly decision to promote the association?

 Alketeja Sokolaj                                                                                                          Min39: 20

     – It has not been done because otherwise it would have been done with VAT, although the board is aware of the functioning of the business every time they receive the organization’s report.

Suela Kocibellinj                                                                                                           Min 41:43

     – As  an association, we have made a paper procedure, which in this type of social venture will not be a partnership, but 1-2 people working in the association (its founder). These two declare that in the end all income should go mainly to the activity of the association, but not only to other activities such as Down Syndrome Albania, but also to the state if there is a need for intervention.

Ariola Agolli                                                                                                                   Min 45:29

     – The law says that you are registered as an organization and performs the function of a social enterprise, according to the law applies to the ministry and receives a license. There is a new legal form of census.

Valentina Bonizzi                                                                                                       Min 47:02

     – Do we have more questions for Alketa?

Emanuela Zaimi                                                                                                         Min 47:11

     – I have a friendly suggestion for her. You should be more informed about the other side of organization

Alketeja Sokolaj                                                                                                          Min 48:13

    – Thank you for your suggestion. I came here to talk only for one part of the business as a manager and I am not involved in the other things.

Valentina Bonizzi                                                                                                       Min 50:18

     – “Arka Youth Center” which is represented by Marjan Lukani. I have to say I am a big supporter of this organization. When we talked about the law with some representatives of Ministry of Social Welfare they told me that “Arka Youth Center” is the best example for this law.

Marjan Lukani                                                                                                            Min 52:57

     – The center is an NGO created in 2012. As an alternative space for young people to offer something different to them. “Arka Center” today counts a staff of 12 people. I am personally the person who covers the legal and financial part of the business at administration.

Ariola Agolli                                                                                                                  Min 58:39

      – Please start and explain if it is NGO, how it is managed, where are they are located and why are they using their income?

Marjan Lukani                                                                                                           Min 58:54

     – “Arka Center” is managed by 2 organizations: “Code Partners” and “ACLI-IPSIA”, to maintain and balance the budget share. The typology of services we offer is those of youth education, cultural activities, services for the environment, cultural heritage etc.

Suela Kocibellinj                                                                                                        Min 59:02

     – What percentage is donated to services?

Marjan Lukani                                                                                                           Min 59:05

     – Minimum, 75% of the project.

Irene Margariti                                                                                                       Min 1:05:00

     – For this economic year, how many balances have you closed?

Marjan Lukani                                                                                                        Min 1:06:18

      – Two scales. Regarding the fiscal regime we are a non-profit organization, we are excluded from the tax-profit. As an NGO we have the right to participate in public tenders of a social character.

Suela Kocibellinj                                                                                                     Min 1:08:03

     – The association has a NIPT. Does the hostel’s activity have a secondary NIPT?

Emanuela Zaimi                                                                                                     Min 1:08:18

       – NIPT from this NGO is made for many types of services, therefore there is only one for all and includes all those paid items such as: bars , hostels, rental service, economic activities of the “Arka Center”.

Irene Margariti                                                                                                       Min 1:09:37

    – Because there are important projects with Italian partners such as “IPSIA” and “Code Partners”, it’s very easy to keep it 20% equilibrated. This applies to large associations, but small ones are very difficult to share 20%, if they are related to productive  activities. This is a very good but replicable model of its kind. It works only if you have great supporters.

Suela Kocibellinj                                                                                                     Min 1:11:43

      – We have had relations with customs and with the previous law we have had a status from the Ministry of Finance, that of customs exemption, but then it was a problem for us.

Irene Margariti                                                                                                       Min 1:22:00

      – When we talk based on evidence such as the social enterprise research report, you find all the models in other European countries. In Albania, the social enterprise was born first in 2001 and to give support to foreign co-operatives, who realized that one day they would leave, so everything originated in the historical context. We have sought and continue to look for the law to have some comprehensive instruments to equalize the starting points. The social enterprise is an operational and non-legal status. The state has a duty to support disadvantaged categories. We need to clarify what instruments we are practically asking for the state, as fiscal but not only.

Valentina Bonizzi                                                                                                    Min 1:37:07

     – The point is if you want to have a dialogue with the lawmakers, it is important to fix some bases of where do you want to go, because the research report is there and is published online, but not many people have read it. There is a definition about the SE, but it needs to be adopted in Albania.

Emanuela Zaimi                                                                                                   Min 01:38:15

    – I don’t need the lawmakers but experts who can tell me. You have done this for this reason, and the way you are doing this it’s not the right way, so you should change the way.

Valentina Bonizzi                                                                                                  Min 01:39:47

      – The point is to have the experts of Ministry etc. there is no time for them to do this. So we can have a survey of these dialogues and delivery to them. So we can get the right answers. During the second dialogue the aim was talking with the ministry and to produce a survey to send to the social entrepreneurs to understand if they are happy or not with this law, so in June we can have everything done when Franco Marzocchi  and other representatives of law come here. So we need to be prepared.


Ariola Agolli                                                                                                                 Min 1:42:16

      – One of the recommendations that we discussed with the Minister of Social Welfare was not to limit him because it was an association with membership, even not NGO in general. The recommendation was not to limit the category of subjects that can apply to have the licenses. They said that it should be a second law for social business and a second law for social enterprises.

Valentina Bonizzi                                                                                                    Min 1:45:39

     – This is the point. If there is a study which is done and compared with the models abroad. I can’t say we can reach the point in June, but anyway we have to deliver what we have done here during this dialogues.

Irene Margariti                                                                                                            Min 1:47:47

     – Initially, social enterprises have an accurate  definition in Europe, which is written in the research of 2017. We are working since 2012 together with other organizations to open a fund for social enterprises. The other definition of social enterprises, those that have one of their objectives integration and employment of disadvantaged persons. If we want these social enterprises to function, the state or other organizations or foreign assistance should come to the aid, so they can provide help tools for the formation, work conditions and environment. This is part of a start-up, which can be a financial aid, a contracted service or a tender. We need to understand the Albanian models, what we need in order to write and look for it later.

Valentina Bonizzi                                                                                                  Min 02:00:04

     – So the point is to find a strategy to forward the information and to add a vision how to solve the problem. It requires cooperation, but in this moment there is no cooperation between SE and the Ministry of Social Welfare. So this is the problem.

Ariola Agolli                                                                                                          Min 02:01:39

     – We are expecting if you are contributing in this and if you as a Prime Minister’s building representative are sending to the Ministry our request, and we need to know if this is something that is not going to happen we will do everything else it is needed.

Valentina Bonizzi                                                                                                  Min 02:02:26

     – The point is not only to speak with them but to understand how to build a strategy and how to deliver to them in the right time. I hope this to happen, but now we are in the middle of the process and we can’t expect the result immediately.

Valentina Bonizzi                                                                                                  Min 02:07:04

    – In this time what I can do is a questionnaire and when it will be ready next week, I can sent it to you. I think the fourth dialogue we can have it with Franco Marzocchi, which is in june, but we can have a dialogue before that to do a strategy.

Irene Margariti                                                                                                            Min 2:07:46

     – It is important to distribute the form within NGO-s and to answer those who find themselves in social enterprises.

Valentina Bonizzi                                                                                                  Min 02:08:45

    – I will send you this questionnaire next week, if you can answer as soon as possible, to say if it is ok or not. And then to send it to a group of social entrepreneurs.


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