“Why go abroad when you can stay and develop your country”

Project Overview
Implementer: Association of citizens (AC) CEFE Macedonia Skopje
Partners: Association for civil activism FORUM 16 – Bitola and Association of citizens Center for Sustainability and Advanced Education Bitola.
Goal: to prevent brain drain, to contribute to the reduction of unemployment and to further develop the entrepreneurship, thus enhancing the economic and business development in R. Macedonia.
Target group: Public, business, educational and civic sector.
– To produce 9 video interviews with people from different sectors about the types of support currently available for entrepreneurs in Macedonia, and how the situation could be improved;
– To present sources of support currently offered to existing companies in order to further expand their businesses and to startups in order to motivate people (especially college students) to establish their own businesses (organizing meet-ups in Skopje, Bitola, Tetovo, Shtip, Ohrid and Strumica);
– To inform public institutions in charge of development how they can more actively support entrepreneurs through examples of approaches used in other economies;
– To enhance cross sector cooperation between government, businesses and higher education, toward incorporating creative approaches to support the growth of entrepreneurs.
Through this project, the new and existing entrepreneurs have gained knowledge about different sources of support that they can use, the public institutions have been acquainted with how they can more proactively support entrepreneurs and the colleges have learned how to introduce programs for motivating students to become entrepreneurs.
Activities :

In the course of the project we produced 9 short videos  that contain info about different types of support for startups, as well as for existing SMEs, and ideas for public institutions and colleges on  new and creative ways to support entrepreneurship in Macedonia on the following topics:
1. History and roots of entrepreneurship in Macedonia
2. Role of government
3. Role of Philanthropy
4. Intermediate organizations
5. Leveragining Anchor Institutions
6. Seed Accelerators
7. Angel Investing
8. Venture Capital
9. The future of entrepreneurship
The videos contain interviews with Macedonian examples, explaining the situation in Macedonia and incorporating information and knowledge from the online course “Beyond Silicon Valley: Growing entrepreneurship in transitioning economies.“ This course, taught by Professor Michael Goldberg from Case Western Reserve University, relates the entrepreneurial eco system in Cleveland Ohio, and how this community approached implementation of strategies and methods to support businesses. They also show how public institutions, local governments and colleges can adapt these strategies for use in Macedonia. (The videos have been included as examples from Macedonia in the support materials for “Beyond Silicon Valley”, followed be more than 20,000 people from all over the world.
Meet-ups that were held in Skopje, Bitola, Tetovo, Shtip, Ohrid and Strumica (01.03-20.04.2014) for networking, asking questions, receiving support and discussing the growth of businesses in each region. These included local stakeholders, government officials, and representatives of the Universities, business people and potential entrepreneurs.

A final one-day Conference was held with representatives from the business, public, civic and educational sectors.  Participants were able to hear about the results of the project and in different sessions and groups discussed opportunities for joint effort and improvement of the cross sectorial cooperation to enable a better climate for support of entrepreneurs – the backbone of the Macedonian economy. The Conference was held in May 2015.


This project was funded with 22,081.52 USD by the U.S. Embassy in Macedonia