What we do?
AULEDA – Local Economic Development Agency, is a nonprofit organization established in August 2003.
Thanks to its well-established relationship with local government, AULEDA has been able to develop a comprehensive strategy for regional development based on five priority areas:
- Transparency and accountability
- Participative public decision-making
- Increased and more equitable access to quality basic services
- Inclusive regional development for reducing disparities among Municipalities
- Environmentally sustainable development
Moreover, attention for gender issues and capacity building have been defined by AULEDA as cross-cutting priorities of its activities. Working for supporting the decentralization of economic development decision-making and implementation, AULEDA:
Acts as a forum for participated dialogue on local economic development.
- Providing an open space for decision-making, and
- Facilitating the relations among public institutions and civil society
Coordinates local economic development planning and implementation.
- Identifying the priorities of the territory, and
- Providing technical assistance to local administration developing territorial Strategic Planning.
Supports local enterprises development and sustainability.
- Sustaining local entrepreneurs in defining their business plans, verifying their feasibility and starting economic activities
- Providing local entrepreneurs with inexpensive credit (disbursed after verifying the feasibility of the entrepreneurial project)
- Assuring to local entrepreneurs post-financing assistance
- Promoting the association of small entrepreneurs in cooperatives and brand partnerships,
- Supporting local small producers’ launch in national and international markets
- Enhancing local economic, social and cultural resources and helping their channelling into a competitive and sustainable system of value chains
Promotes social inclusion of economically disadvantaged groups
- Facilitating the access to credit for social enterprises (through its Guarantee Fund)
- Enhancing the participation of all the local social actors in the decision-making process regarding local development
- Supporting, in particular, disadvantaged women in their entrepreneurial activities, for re-affirming their economic and social role.
Raises environmental awareness among local economic development actors
Facilitates the integration of local economic development strategies in national and international initiatives, being part of national and international networks.
Auleda in Practice
AULEDA working strategy is especially focused on three elements :
STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION
AULEDA is one of the main actors participating in the development of a Strategic Plan for Vlora Region,realized byregional public and private stakeholders with the support of UNDP.
AULEDA has played a fundamental role in the management of the participatory process that brought to the definition of the plan, and, supported by Strategic Planning experts, has developed its capacity of devising complex projects, gathering territorial actors, and moderating public discussions. More than 120 meetings were held in the framework of the Strategic Planning initiative, from February 2010 to April 2011 (50 meetings with stakeholders, 70 coordination meetings, 6 public consultation events in which more than 330 people participated).
During the process future configurations for Vlora Region have been identified, based on present conditions, on the trends outlined by ongoing policies and on the variables the Strategic Plan can introduce to trigger sustainable, endogenous development.
According to the created Strategic Plan, Vlora region has to be :
- A place where sustainability is applied to all sectors of human activity and all development policies and initiatives are coordinated and synergistic
- A really attractiveterritory offering well-preserved natural assets, a strong, peculiar cultural identity, qualified human resources, efficient services, social cohesion
- A region where environmental protection is considered as an opportunity to foster innovation, socio-economic development and professional growth
- A territory willing to overcome the development model followed so far, increase qualified employment, preserve regional attractors, keep and increase tourist flows
In 2003 AULEDA, with the support of UNOPS and Credins Bank, created a Guarantee Fund for facilitating access to credit for local SMEs.
The Guarantee Fund, still active and today constituting a fundamental part of AULEDA work, support the access to credit of people who have a feasible entrepreneurial idea, but don’t have sufficient guarantees of capital assets; the Fund is meant to sustain, in particular, small entrepreneurs from rural areas and start-ups.AULEDA sustain the access to credit of entrepreneurs needing between 400,000 and 10,000,000 leke (to be returned in a period of 2-7 years) for purchasing machineries, equipment and manufacturing materials.The financial sustain is part of a more comprehensive system of support to entrepreneurs. Indeed, AULEDA provides all the necessary technical assistance for the implementation of entrepreneurial and business ideas, in particular developing market researches, organizing trainings for entrepreneurs, helping them in preparing business plans and running the businesses, facilitating the association of entrepreneurs and the creation of partnership brands, promoting local products on national and international markets.
Support to the establishment of social enterprises is a fundamental part of AULEDA’s work. Through the creation of those activities AULEDA can indeed promote social inclusion and social cohesion, thus implementing the values the Agency is founded on.
The social enterprises that have been supported by AULEDA so far are :
- A green house for flowers production employing mental health patients, created in collaboration with Vlora psychiatric hospital and Vlora Mental Health Community Center
- A social enterprise of rural women that collect medicinal herbs in the Lumi i Vlores area
- A social restaurant employing female mental health patients involved in the de-institutionalization process, created in collaboration with High Merchant School of Vlora