Albanian Business Students Shine on International Stage
The bright lights of Paris could not outshine the pride and excitement of fifteen business and economics students representing the Albanian chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) as the judges announced their team as the winner of the Best Business Project for the SIFE European Symposium.
Students from the University of Tirana topped teams from France, the United Kingdom, Russia, Poland and the Netherlands with their presentation of six of thirteen projects developed and implemented in Albania during the 2005-2006 academic year.
The Albanian team wowed judges with the remarkable impact and variety of projects that involved 178 students and improved the lives of 2280 people. Projects helped imprisoned women market handicrafts, designed and helped implement a successful marketing campaign for an insurance company, and assisted Albanian olive oil producers in exporting its products.
USAID helped found the Albanian chapter of the international student organization in 1996 with support from the University of Nebraska’s to the economics faculty at the University of Tirana; USAID continues to support the participation of the SIFE teams in international competitions. The program provides students and faculty with the opportunity to create links with local businesses and learn the practical aspects of business while benefiting the community involved in the projects.
Students formulate and implement various projects designed to create economic opportunity for Albanians by helping them understand how a market economy operates, acquire skills needed to participate in a competitive global economy, learn how to succeed as an entrepreneur, develop personal financial management skills and commit to ethical business practices.
Today, the SIFE program has expanded to include eight universities across Albania and holds annual national competitions to recognize projects that have had the greatest impact on their communities.
In the last two years, SIFE Albania teams from the University of Tirana and the Agriculture University of Tirana have competed at the SIFE World Cup in Toronto (2005) and Paris (2006), winning spots in the semi-finals and spirit awards, respectively.
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