Boosting growth through Social Business: a state's or a market's function - The case of Albania

AuthorArlinda Ymeraj
PositionEuropean University of Tirana
ISSN 2410-759X
Acces online at
Balkan Journal of Interdisciplinary Research
IIPCCL Publishing, Tirana-Albania Vol. 1 No. 3
January 2016
Boosting growth through Social Business: a state’s or a market’s function
– The case of Albania
Arlinda Ymeraj
European University of Tirana
The radical nature and rapid pace of change in the former communist countries has
unleashed new forces for both positive and negative change, particularly in the fields of
economic growth and social development. New approaches to commerce and service
delivery are thus forcing us to challenge some of our conventional theories on the state,
society and the economy.
This paper tackles the government’s role on finding ways to harmonize economic growth
with social policies. While states struggle to take on the fiscal burden of supporting their
most vulnerable citizens, societies such as Albania have paid witness to a dramatic
growth in resources in a fledgling private sector. However, “economic activity often
operates in a binary rather detached and isolated from both public sector and civil
society. The brutal and predatory individualism encountered in many enterprises is in
sharp conflict with the social interests of the state and society at large”(Zamagni, 1997).
A shift in thinking on social policy foresees the emergence of a social capital approach to
social exclusion. This approach involves the mobilization of the entire community-
including business actors and civil society leaders-in tackling social exclusion and
empowering disadvantaged members of society.
The social business model, as developed in Albania in the creation of the Youth Albanian
Parcel Service (YAPS), which employs exclusively disadvantaged youth, is an innovative
example of new thinking on tackling social exclusion and reducing poverty. It promotes
the novel concept of using efficiency and in-built sustainability of free markets to generate
social wealth.
Social business is beginning to be seen as relevant by the public sector and the not-for –
profit sector as well as the private sector. As a matter of fact, people are looking for a clear
lead and articulated objectives and priorities from the government. It is a general view,
inherited from the past that government has a role in signposting organizations to tools
and giving direct advice through business links. State has a range of possibilities to
intervene, using different channels. It may play a triple role. These three roles are
inextricably linked as they reflect the new political, social and economic order in which
we live and secondly because they determine a new, post-communist relationship
between citizen and state.
Keywords: Social business, state’s role, civil society, industrial conflict, social welfare,
social responsibility, social protection and inclusion, social exclusion.
The greatest challenge of Eastern and Central European countries is the social
reform. The western literature has, at times, been tempted, and still may be, to
consider income distribution in the former communist countries as an advantage
of the system, assuming that equitable distribution was based on egalitarianism for
all members of the society. Besides the Marxist theory, this viewpoint was also

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