Rafaela Rica

Rafaela Rica

She is a successful entrepreneur from Albania who founded her own company at the age of 23, which is one of the biggest dynamic, innovative, and integrated advertising and communications agencies in Albania. She graduated from the University of Tirana with a Bachelor’s degree, majoring in English. Ten years later, she was awarded an MBA from the University Institute Kurt Bösch in Sion, Switzerland. Since 2018, she has been a PhD candidate at the Consortium of the International Joint Cross-Border PhD Programme in International Economic Relations and Management in Austria, and her research topic is “Factors Affecting Female Entrepreneurship in Albania.”

She credits her success to a motivated team of 22 young professionals who grew up together, worked hard, trusted, and believed every day in the common goal and vision of their leader. Being one of the rare women entrepreneurs in 1999, she was always invited as a motivational speaker, becoming a role model for many young women and aspiring entrepreneurs. Recalling all the difficulties she went through, mostly challenging the mentality and sometimes just needing a word of encouragement or simple advice, she decided to become a mentor for young women entrepreneurs in Albania and the Balkan regions. She is a sought-after speaker at conferences across the Balkan regions, where she talks about gender equality, empowering women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies, and the role of women in the economic potential of this region, among other topics.

Some of her pioneering projects include – Sea Summit- organization of the first European edition of Summit Summit, a networking event for leading European and global venture capital investors, angels, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Sea Summit as a relationship-building forum hosted executives from Silicon Valley Bank, European Investment Fund, the award-winning Funderbeam investment platform, as well as nearly all the local and regional venture investors, including partners from Credo Capital (Prague/Vienna), SpeedInvest (Vienna), Launchub Ventures (Sofia), Piton Capital (London), Techstars (London/SF), Open Ocean (Helsinki), Tera Ventures (Tallinn), and more.

The aim was to introduce these investors and decision makers to opportunities in the Balkans and Albania, by making them feel welcome in the region. Others include: – FIIAPP Cooperation Spain – EU founded project. “Strengthening of the Data Commissioner Office in Albania for alignment with EU Standards”. Concept, Planning and Implementing of Awareness-raising and visibility campaign on the protection of Personal Data on the project.- Bechtel Corporation (Albania and Kosovo Motorway Project) Design and Management of Awareness campaigns; Media Relations; Spot Production and Broadcasting; Organization of all official events for the company – Statkraft Norway – Company Presentations events; Public Hearings events; Advertisement campaigns; Stakeholder meetings; Raising awareness campaigns; Corporate social responsibility related activities; Participation at third party events ( fairs, exhibitions etc); Excursions; Site visits; Cultural Events; Concerts. – Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Consumer Protection of Albania.

Organization of Agro-Tourism trade fair; Organization of wine trade fair in Tirana 2012, 2013;Organization of trade fairs of domestic production (food and beverage) in Vlora, Fier and Orikum; Organization of conference of domestic production in Albania. – Balkan Film market in Tirana Overall organization of one week events and activities including: Regional Balkan meeting of Media Desk Creative Europe, Pitch Balkan, Alba script, Albanian minority Co-productions etc.

Overall management of the BFM including: Logistics, audio-visual, technical, printing materials, publications, Flights, transfers, accommodation of all participants from all Balkan for the whole event; Production of Promotional materials and 3D elements; Overall organization of 5 entertainment evening events for participants; Communication and PR campaign. – Helvetas – Swiss Intercooperation. Risi Albania Project Brand identity and band building; Design of promotional materials. Decentralization and Local Development Program DLDP supports municipalities in the north of Albania for drafting General Local Plans. For these municipalities a transparency public hearing was organized where all the plans were presented in a form of Exhibition and citizens could express their opinion on the plan. A closing conference was organized on focus Local Territory Plan. Conference Albania, Decentralization in Development, Competition Best Practices. A dear Soul Sister who loves to ‘make it happen’ with teamwork, positive spirit and dynamic leadership.