Jovana Filipovic, fashion designer & women entrepreneur (EEN-ScaleUP)

Jovana Filipovic, fashion designer & women entrepreneur, entered the Network scale-up programme (EEN-ScaleUP) in October 2017 seeking support for internationalisation. She is an emerging fashion designer whose start-up company almost instantly become a success in the country due to her talent and innovative methods of work. The company is well-recognised by its brand featuring comfortable and fashionably-designed clothes that are clean and minimalistic. The company applied on the open call for selection of innovative start-up companies ready for scaling up their business published under EEN ScaleUP programme. After successful admission to the ScaleUP programme, an in-depth needs assessment was performed and an internationalisation action plan including advisory, capacity building and partnering services was drafted.

The implementation of the ScaleUP action plan has enabled to significantly accelerate the internationalisation growth of the company, enabling Jovana to find business partner from Spain, open an office in Italy, as well as establish valuable contacts for the future by participating at Texworld, a leading textile and fashion trade fair in Paris, and Korea Grand Sourcing fair 2017. The overall success was facilitated by the participation in ScaleUP internationalisation clinic and mentoring scheme where technical and business mentors supported the internationalisation efforts.

“Thanks to Enterprise Europe Network I have started to fulfil my long-time dream – to move the boundaries for my fashion and to start conquering Europe. Their experience and advices helped me to shape my wishes into a focused internationalisations strategy that has already brought to me new partnerships and markets.” – stated the Macedonian fashion designer.

 

Enterprise Europe Network – through local cooperation towards new business partnerships

 

 

Enterprise Europe Network in Macedonia (EEN-M) realizes its mission for supporting the innovativeness and internationalization of the Macedonian SMEs by collaborating closely with variety of local business support stakeholders. Utilising different local cooperation mechanisms, numerous Macedonian companies and organizations were supported during the course of the years, particularly concerning market access and connection with potential partners for long-term and beneficial cooperation.

In this regard, EEN-M collaborates with the Macedonia-Turkey Chamber of Commerce, especially concerning the participation of our companies at the traditional fair and networking event – Match4Industry Business Matching, regularly held in Turkey. On its 2017 edition, six Macedonian companies took part and were able to present themselves in front of numerous visitors and exhibitors as well as to participate in the pre-scheduled b2b meetings. As a result of this networking, the Macedonian companies signed several cooperation agreements with foreign business partners that will contribute to their growth and development. Our clients will take part at this year’ edition as well, facilitating their access to new markets or products/services that might enrich their assortment and strengthen their market position.

Similarly, EEN-M cooperates with the Association of Business Women, jointly supporting our women entrepreneurs to increase their international operations, improve their innovation skills and access different sources of funding. As a result of this local cooperation, several agreements were signed with regional and European organisations. Moreover, Macedonian women entrepreneurs found valuable business partners abroad.

The Network will continue to promote and nourish the cooperation with relevant local stakeholders in the future as well. Joint initiatives are planned with the Textile cluster, with Macedonian association of the metal and electro industry, as well as with the National association of investors in Macedonia, to name few. Through joint support, it is expected that Macedonian companies will improve their operation and consolidate their position on the national and foreign markets.

 

Local actions for improved socio-economic position of the youth in the Republic of Macedonia

Foundation for Management and Industrial Research through the granting scheme of the project ‘Together for Success: young entrepreneurs, driving force for good inter-ethnic relations’ is supporting three local projects implemented in Skopje, Stip and Kicevo. More information on these local actions can be found here.

The project ‘Together for Success’ is financed by the European Union through the IPA – Civil Society and Media 2014 Programme.

Solving local challenges with the creation of successful multi-ethnic social businesses

On the 25th of April 2017 (Tuesday), the pre-final workshop titled ‘Draw Your Idea and Business Plan’ within the programme series ‘Solve It! – School of Social Entrepreneurship’, took place at the premises of the University of Mother Theresa in Skopje and was organised by Mladiinfo International. The school has enabled participants to get introduced to the concept of social businesses, to develop their ideas for the formation of social enterprises and to exploit their potential in finding solutions to various problems they have identified in their local communities.

This event was part of the project with the same name ‘Solve It! – School of Social Entrepreneurship’, which is being sub granted within the open call for financing civil society organisations’ projects that promote and enforce multi-ethnic collaboration and youth entrepreneurship. The call was published via the framework of the project ‘Together for Success: young entrepreneurs, driving force for good inter-ethnic relations” financed by the European Union through the IPA – Civil Society and Media 2014 Programme,

The working group consisted of 20 students and young people, most of who reside in two major municipalities of the City of Skopje, the Municipality of Gazi Baba and Municipality of Cair, and also involved representatives of the ethnic minorities who live in these municipalities. They worked on the final preparations of their social business ideas using the business canvas model, and also their presentations. Representatives of the Foundation of Management and Industrial Research also took part at the workshop which was sixth in order of the social entrepreneurship school project programme. The representatives of the foundation monitor the work of Mladiinfo International within their sub granted project. The foundation is part of the project consortia which implements the project ‘Together for Success’.

The social enterprise ideas that have been developed, will be presented during the seventh and final workshop, which will take place on the 3rd of May 2017 (Wednesday), from 16:30 until 20:00 h, at the University of Mother Theresa. In addition, the participants will have the opportunity to establish contacts with relevant experts and stakeholders, during the event. All the presented ideas will also have the opportunity to enter the competition Social Impact Award 2017.

We invite you to find out more about the other local actions in the field, financed by the European Union, via the grant scheme of the project ‘Together for Success: young entrepreneurs, driving force for good inter-ethnic relations”, at the following link:

http://www.yes-network.org/en/news-article/45682/ten-grants-have-been-awarded-through-the-call-for-funding-projects-of-civil-society-organisations-within-the-project-together4success

 

Enterprise Europe Network – 7th meeting of the Sector Group „Women Entrepreneurship“, Bratislava – Slovakia (16.11.2016)

Foundation for Management and Industrial Research participated in the 7th meeting of the Sector Group „Women Entrepreneurship” (WEG) held during the Enterprise Europe Network 2016 Annual conference in Bratislava, Slovakia and hosted by the Slovak Business Agency. WEG members together with the representatives from the DG Grow and European platforms for promotion of female entrepreneurship (WINGS, WEgate, WE CONNECT) discussed the new EC initiatives for supporting women in business.

Mr. Patrick de Smedt, deputy head of unit within DG Grow presented the new call for pilot projects entitled as “Enhancing the women’s participation in Horizon 2020 SME Instrument” expected to be published by the end of 2016. The call amounts 500.000 euro and aims to support two projects coming from consortia consisted of partners from at least 4 EU member states that represents a great opportunity for WEG.

During the meeting, aforementioned e-platforms for supporting business women were presented as well – WЕgate by Ms. Sandra Steinhauer, policy officer from DG Grow and WINGS by Ms. Sandra Meier from the University of Applied Sciences from Graz, Austria. Connecting WEG organizations with these platforms as well as their further promotion among female clients was emphasized as very important and beneficial. This was also highlighted by Ms. Miriama Letovanec Svetkovska, chair of the Slovak platform for women entrepreneurship who provided an overview of the platform’s position within the national ecosystem, its activities and initiatives, as well as the so-called “White paper” containing good practices from around the world.

WEG members further discussed the group’s progress since the last meeting in April 2016, agreed upon the new concept of activities and on the activities to be finilised in the upcoming period, including actions for increased visibility, networking events for women entrepreneurs, collection of good practices and similar. The meeting was rounded up with the presentation of the new members from UK, Sweden and Turkey and followed by an informal networking during the reception organised and hosted by the Slovak Business Agency.