Sustainicum Collection

Consus The aim of the project is to establish a regional science-society network for sustainability innovations in Albania and Kosovo in order to strengthen the connection and collaboration of institutions in the field of higher education, research and practice.

Resource facts

  • Less than 5 students
  • more than 1 semester
  • Internet connection necessary
  • English, Shqip

Resource Description

Instruction file

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The role of market organisations on Rural development(Resource ID: 347)

x Please note: module with excess length - more than
7 lecture units required!
The purpose of this study is to evaluate and examine social enterprise activity in a specific region in Albania such as Korça and Përmeti based on following the example of the Ballyhoura region. Social enterprises are a vital resource, especially in rural areas where social exclusion and isolation are liable to occur. We will analyse the supports and resources utilised by the particular social enterprises in our study as well as their sustainability and future prospects to grow and develop. We will also examine, how people view the social enterprises in the community as a whole, but also we plan to get feedback and information from workers and volunteers on their involvement in their respective organizations. This project will require us to undertake background research on various aspects of social enterprises and the Albanian or Ballyhoura regions in general. We will also formulate a methodology to finalise our research objectives and the methods we plan on using for the research we will be undertaking. We also plan on constructing questionnaires for the various parties involved in the social enterprises as we will be undertaking both qualitative and quantitative field research in the area. Our group also intends on using SPSS to analyse these results and finally draw conclusions from our results on the research we have undertaken. We will use the case study of the Ballyhoura region and use it for comparison when we are looking at the Korça and Përmeti regions here in Albania. The Local Action Groups Ballyhoura Development Limited was etablished in the early 1990s in a rural areas and it took part in L.e.a.d.e.r I, over the time 1991-1993, L.e.a.d.e.r. II from 1994 to 1996, L.e.a.d.e.r.+ from 2000 to 2006 and now in L.e.a.d.e.r. from 2007 to 2013. Ballyhoura Development Ltd. is a quality partnership based on voluntary, community, commercial and public sectors with the aim to stimulate sustainable development actions from local communities and the private sector and interface with the public sector in strategic planning, mobilising resources, from European Union and others Nations of the EU throughout an international cooperation, and co-ordinating development which will maintain the Ballyhoura population, improve the quality of life of its residents and diversify the rural economic base in this rural areas. The Ballyhoura Development Limited Local Action Groups proposed different development programmes to promote marketing, to improve rural life, to promote food, natural resources, artisan products, rural tourism and village renewal. Quality of life is an important consideration for everyone, in particular for people who live in rural areas because this tries to improve living standards, even if it is not easy to measure and to find the financial support the rural development and the expansion of social enterprises need to guarantee some services such as transport, childcare, elderly care etc. which are pivotal for rural areas.

There were three main aims of our literature review. These were (A) The effect of the LEADER programme or other programs in the case of Albania on social enterprises and rural development. (B) The effect of social enterprise activities on an area and finally, (C) The relationship between social capital and social enterprises. These will all link into the main objective of the investigation, that is to examine social enterprise activity in the Ballyhoura / Albanian regions. This objective has four sub objectives which the literature review will also help address. These sub objectives are:

  1. To define the levels of social enterprise activity in the region.
  2. To analyse the economic support of external sources to the organization.
  3. To examine the capability of the social enterprise to survive in the future.
  4. To explore the views and opinions of the various parties involved in the social enterprise. These being the users, the workers and the board of management.  

We willl look at the case study of Ballyhoura. The population has declined in most of Ballyhoura  from 1996 to 2002,  and  it has since started to increase  near Limerick City. The agri-tourism scheme and the L.e.a.d.e.r programme have supported rural tourism and rural development initiatives in Ballyhoura. The L.e.a.d.e.r. program has acted as a stimulus and support to rural development, job creation, for example, through social enterprise activity throughout European Community Funds. The next section of this literature review will examine social enterprise activity in general and in Ballyhoura. A macroeconomics approach is fundamental to define the Irish economic situation; the 6th chapter, in the book “The Economy of Ireland edition 2011”, eds. O’Hagan and McIndoe-Calder, is useful to understand and describe the employment and unemployment perspectives that Ireland have had and will be facing in the future and the bottlenecks of its economy and if it will be possible to solve the problem of the labour market and possible solutions.

 The comparison of  different types of social enterprises was carried out by Blundell et al. in 2011 in the paper “Analyzing the growth process in social enterprises: an historical perspective”. This article is useful to value the growth of social enterprises over the time and the implications that they have for policy makers; to sum up, the authors suggested, in a historical perspective, the role of public administration that is important: to manage funds, support the initiatives giving money and to coordinate the different social enterprises with the aim to replicate them in other contexts. The literature about the SWOT analysis applied to social enterprises is a common interest; Hersen in “The executive summary about the social enterprises in Turkey” defined some aspect to take into consideration to define a SWOT scheme.

This study in the words of the writers themselves is aimed at examining the nature of the changes that occur through interactive processes in a rural community in particular they focused the study on a small urban settlement of about 2500 people, with similar sizes to some of the towns in the Ballyhoura region. This community had a history of division between long time traditional residents and newer residents. However the area is noted for its natural scenic beauty and people began to take local pride in this natural amenity they had. This brought together everybody in the community. This articles puts emphasis on society ‘learning’ from each other and can be highlighted when it is said that there is an accumulation of social capital and its members seem to have learned that there are benefits from working and talking together in differently coupled networks for common purposes. The authors present a snapshot of the complexity of interaction and its outcomes in a community. It will be interesting to see if interaction between people in Ballyhoura will effect our notion of the development of social capital here in Albania.

Integration of Social Stakeholders
It will curtail the role of the board members, users and employees of the social enterprises.
There could be several visits to two regions of Ballyhoura such as, Croom Development Association and the Lough Gur Heritage Centre or in case of Albania to two different regions like Korça and Përmeti. It is important to be respectful in both locations because the stakeholders have been very co-operative and helpful throughout the investigation.
The strength is the fact that after each class taken on rural development, students will develop their own definition of the field by searching and looking up the new concept.
Students will be placed in working groups during the whole week.
They should have big cooperation skills.
Learning Outcomes
It is very important to let students know what it means to study and research in the field and at the same time to let them explore their ideas of what sustainable means.
Relevance for Sustainability
The whole idea is to keep a community sustainable. Being sustainable in their life style and in the environment that is around them.
Related Teaching Resources
No specific previous knowledge / related resources required
Preparation Efforts
Preparation Efforts Description
Several classes on the computer program used such as SPSS and maybe on the construction of questionnaires.
This will be taken from a final report at the end and the students will be assessed through monitoring in the field.
Credit/Certification Description
The best group will take a certificate from the Social enterprise. Every student will take a certificate from the module.
Sources and Links
Funded by
This teaching resource, realised within the project ConSus, has been funded with the support of the TEMPUS of the European Union. The contents reflect the views of the authors, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Olta Sokoli
This teaching resource is allocated to following University:
AUT - Agricultural University of Tirana


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Teaching Tools & Methods

  • Excursion
  • Mini-project
  • Computer program