Valon Canhasi is the Founder and CEO of Hallakate, the leading social media agency in Kosovo. For the past 8 years, Valon has trained more than 2,000 people in social media management and digital marketing.
He is responsible for all of Hallakate’s digital and creative aspects, along with business development, training and coaching, as well as day-to-day operations. Valon combined his extensive experience in entrepreneurship, social media marketing and strategy, news media, and the business ICT sector, so that together with his great team, Hallakate can provide their clients with the best possible services and innovative, creative ideas to boost their online presence.
In the past five years, Hallakate has served more than 100 clients, from mom-and-pop shops to multi-national corporations, helping them strategically build their audience and online presence by combining marketing and technical assistance. In reaching this 5-year milestone, Hallakate is planning to expand its services and transition into being a fully creative digital agency, in addition to entering new markets such as Albania in late 2021 and North Macedonia in 2022.
Valon joined CEED Kosovo not long after it began in 2009 as one of its earliest members. Valon “was searching for trainings and workshops on entrepreneurship, and one day I saw the ad in a daily newspaper, and it fit me. I immediately applied and joined the CEED network.” His involvement in CEED and the insights he gained from experienced entrepreneurs has significantly helped him in his journey as a young entrepreneur. “We all read books and participate in different trainings,” Valon pointed out, “but the CEED events offered us the opportunity to learn from those who have previously succeeded or failed. All of this helped me grow my business to where it is today.” Valon also noted how important the connections he made through the CEED network have been to Hallakate’s growth. Connecting with businesses in different sectors has been instrumental for Valon to expand Hallakate both locally and internationally, helping him find new clients and promote his services. His involvement in CEED has also given him “the opportunity to travel and meet other CEED members in different countries helped me see the opportunities and experience firsthand how entrepreneurs build their business there.”
As one of the oldest CEED members, Valon has also been very involved in giving back to CEED, participating in all of the events and sharing his knowhow. He’s helped organize multiple workshops on social media and digital marketing, helping entrepreneurs create their online presence an reach new customers. During these events, “we debated with other members and discussed the most advanced ideas,” Valon stated, “this platform allowed us to test our ideas and knowledge.”
The COVID-19 pandemic affected Hallakate, just as it did so many small businesses all over the world. Hallakate saw a 50% drop in revenue. Valon noted that “during the lockdown everything stopped. Some of our clients that were located in shopping malls and were retail business and had a hard time to switching to online sales… and this led us loosing those clients.” Despite the loss in clients and revenue, “CEED helped us,” said Valon, “with insights and continues to support our business during COVID-19…Sharing knowledge during uncertain times is the most helpful thing someone can do.”
Hallakate has since reorganized their team and added new experienced team. Within the first 6 months of 2021, Hallakate reached 2020 revenue and is now on their way to fully recover by the end of the year. “We are planning to grow during 2022-2025,” stated Valon, “because DIGITAL IS HERE TO STAY!”
CEED Global was founded in 2006 by SEAF, a private equity impact investment firm, improving lives and increasing the shared prosperity of communities through entrepreneur-focused capital investment: www.seaf.com