Abstract Albania was the last of the central and eastern European countries to embark on free market. SMEs are considered very important to economic growth and considerably essential to generate employment. As almost every business, SMEs need money to start and to grow further in its industry. This study is intended as a descriptive study to deepen the understanding of the characteristics of SME financing in Albania. In specific, we present an analysis of the loan market and the different purposes for which gold loan are acquired by looking at the various factors and difficulties associated with the loan approval. The study was based on both primary and secondary data, where the primary data were collected through personal interviews with a structured questionnaire and direct observations. Management competence, marketing and access to new technology are the major internal obstacles for Albanian SMEs to grow. Amongst the external factors, the access to finance, macroeconomic instability, barriers to trade and unfair competition are considered as the main factor hampering their business growth.
Keywords Albania, business, credit, loan, SME
JEL classification G21
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