Innovation is a “new idea, creative thoughts, new imaginations in form of device or method”. Innovation is often also viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs.
The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) will provide funding to innovative start-ups through the establishment of an Innovation Challenge Fund.
The aim of the Challenge Fund is to improve and diversify finance opportunities for Albanian start-ups and MSMEs, with innovative solutions (e.g., products, services, business models, pro-cesses) and (ii) start-ups with a prominent tech content with innovative solutions (e.g., products, services, business models, pro-cesses) and (ii) start-ups with a prominent tech content.
The grantees will be selected on a competitive basis. The selection would be carried out in a transparent manner based on specific criteria, involving an evaluation committee with national and international expertise. All aspects of the fund would take place digitally including the application process. Successful grantees will match up the grant with their own financing.
The Challenge Fund also comprises the design and delivery of a Capacity Building Program with the aim to increase capacities of awarded Albanian MSMEs / start-ups to initiate and/or strengthen their business initiatives that foster inclusive development in the form of an integration between training, mentoring, and coaching, and study visits to enterprises.