Erjon Puci is a barber with several years of experience, who thanks to his strong will, dedication, and hard work he managed to run his small businesses despite growing challenges.
In 2014 Erjon opened his business, known as “Berber Erjon”, in the area of Astir, Municipality of Tirana, in one of the busiest streets. However, Erjon describes the performance of his business as “not stable”, highlighting that it got worse after the November 2019 earthquake hit and COVID which followed.
“After the earthquake, I had to rent another place for my business, a smaller one, since the profits were at minimum levels. It was impossible for me to afford the space I had”, says Erjon.
Erjon confesses that after the pandemic, his business went from bad to worse. The generated income from that business was not enough for him to provide for his family of five.
“After the pandemic, our income was reduced by half. I can say that it is the worst period of my life” says Erjon.
In the face of the situation, it was impossible for Erjon to renovate his equipment or the interior design of his business. “I continued to practice my profession with outdated equipment, which did not allow me to apply new trends in hairdressing or attract new clients. Most of the time I felt demoralized”, he says.
“When I learned about In Motion, I really wanted to be a part of it. Thanks to the group training and the individual meetings with the consultants, I am sure that my business will be revitalized. We have learned a lot about marketing, sales, business management, and now I feel confident about managing my business in a better way.” Erjon tells us with full confidence and hope.
The “In Motion” methodology, which includes 34 other businesses in the Astir area, will support Erjon with new equipment and help him improve the commercial image. This will change the economic situation of his entire family. Above all, it will give him hope to start again and it will encourage his entrepreneurial spirit. He says: “I had the opportunity to be employed as a barber in other businesses, but I didn’t accept because I want to use my skills, in my own business and I am very happy of my decision.”
Thanks to “In Motion”, Erjon will have a brand-new salon, with a new logo and identity, as well as new equipment to help him forge ahead. Erjon will also use social media as a tool to advertise his business, after consulting with the business expert and will have the opportunity to experiment in his profession. Thus, Erjon will realize his dreams, which have been sleeping silently for years due to many financial challenges.
In Motion in Astir is part of the Economic Recovery and Resilience Programme (ERR), which is implemented by UNDP and supported by the Municipality of Tirana. ERR is funded by the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the Netherlands.