Preparing artisanal chocolate with personalized wrapping, traditional cuisine, artisanal handicrafts, fresh pastry in the Gucia area, Shkodër, or a mini-bar that provides soft drinks and fruits, were some of the 14 project ideas in the tourism field presented by youth from Shkodra in an activity participating friends, Shkodra Municipality representatives, teachers and representatives from local organizations in the "Hamdi Bushati" school premises Shkodra.
"I am very excited when I think that in the future I will start a business and transform my passion into a profession. The idea to begin a start-up with traditional sweets that I will prepare myself was praised by the jury and awarded as one of the winning ideas. The group activities and conversations have encouraged me to light the spark of this light, while training helped me to draft in writing this project-idea and present it to the jury that trusted in me," says Ermela, 18, from Shkodra.
Eight of the best project ideas were selected and will be supported to begin a start-up in the tourism field, bringing the dreams of these youth to life. Ideas, novelties, innovation, but also the tradition in the tourism field were some elements of the projects presented by youth. Some of them prepared individual projects while others were organised in groups.
These young girls and boys are among 50 students from the "Hamdi Bushati" school engaged in "Pathways to Career Development: Preparing Albanian and Montenegrin Youth for Career Opportunities in the Tourism Sector" project. Earlier they were trained to be able to generate ideas and to draft a competitive business project in the tourism field. The propositions were presented to a commission comprised of Shkodra Municipality representatives, work office representatives, business representatives, and school ex-students and staff. Among the commission evaluating criteria was considered the opportunity to fulfill the project idea.
"I see this experience as preparation for my future enterprise. Starting with small things, I believe that in time I will reach bigger ones. I have received adequate training and experience on start-ups in the training where I participated," Juledi, 18-years-old, from Shkodra.
These project ideas aim to enable the youth to generate income through product sales made by them or by initiating a start-up. The eight winning project ideas will be financially supported by the project, providing the necessary materials to help the youth in establishing their small business.
"Supporting youth in opening a business is undoubtedly very positive. Youth is the future, and by starting such an enterprise, each of them considers the future in their own country," Valdo Dibra, business representative and jury member.
"Pathways to Career Development: Preparing Albanian and Montenegrin Youth for Career Opportunities in the Tourism Sector" is funded by the European Union through the IPA II program, which is managed by the Ministry of Finance and Social Welfare (CFCU) of Montenegro and implemented by World Vision Albania in partnership with the New Horizon organization, "Vëllazërim Bashkim" Public Institution combined high school in Ulcinj and the "Hamdi Bushati" school in Shkodra.