UK-Albania Tech Hub: the only hub of collaboration between Albania and UK Tech ecosystems

Ecosystem Builder

UK-Albania Tech Hub is a program that supports collaboration between Albania and the UK in the area of technology. The program includes and accepts applications from start-ups located in the Western Balkan countries as well.

The hub aims to facilitate bilateral tech partnerships between Albania and the UK. It focuses on tech start-ups that have the potential to contribute to growth in the UK by sharing innovation, skills, and business opportunities between the two countries.

The project does this through identifying targeted solutions, partners, and models of collaboration for tech start-ups, engaging entrepreneurs with capacity-building events with key business experts leading to UK delegation to meet potential business and tech partners.

What was the challenge?

Albania has a young however quickly growing digital sector. There are significant opportunities for entrepreneurs and a chance that progress in this area could help kick-start Albania’s wider economy. The tech sector is a fantastic business opportunity for the United Kingdom and Albania. This untapped potential can bring real business value and introduce a fresh stream of innovation.

Overcoming lack of trust, lack of business skills and training makes it difficult for young entrepreneurs to access international markets and networks. With this in mind, the hubs’ program has been specifically designed to position the UK as a partner of choice by providing policy advice and support and to equip our entrepreneurs with the right knowledge, skills, and capability to access international markets. 

The British Embassy in Tirana manages and implements the UK-Albania Tech Hub since 2017 and uses its political clout to engage high-level support and public awareness, driving forward the tech partnership between the two countries. 

What is the solution?

The project creates an exciting hub where start-ups, mature businesses, and British experts interact, train, and support each other towards success. When delivered well, alike programs create a virtuous cycle of employment, employer-education collaboration, and increased revenues for local businesses. As a result, the hub has 80+ trained start-ups, 20+ start-ups part of the London Exchange Programme, 7 graduates – 1:1 coaching with the UK experts.

The hub is in a position not to only train and build entrepreneurs, but also to connect businesses to opportunities, contacts, and a skilled workforce. 

The tech hub also further supports the graduates of the pilot stage, creating a close community of entrepreneurs and experts around the hub, as well as providing ‘successful role models’ for Albania.