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What's New? Macedonia Business Ecosystem

BEP's team visits the light manufacturing plant of a potential lead company

What’s new?
The Macedonia Business Ecosystem Project (BEP) will transform the competitiveness of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Macedonia. This project will catalyze a significant increase in MSME growth, productivity, and employment by strengthening business services, finance, and market linkages.

Where will you be based?
Our office will be based in Skopje, Macedonia.

Who will you be working with?

  • Macedonian MSMEs that are eager to create jobs, expand earnings, build linkages to their buyers, as well as improve their competitiveness and product quality
  • Macedonian business support organizations (BSOs) that offer targeted, in-demand services to their MSME members/clients—who are in turn incentivized to pay for these services. Macedonian BSOs have limited capacity today and our objective is to help develop this set of organizations. This increases their paying membership and deepens their institutional capacity so that they can provide ongoing fee-based support to MSMEs after the USAID project has concluded.
  • Macedonian financial institutions (FIs) that are interested in providing financing to MSMEs. We will engage financial facilitators (financial consultants) to help Macedonian FIs develop alternative financing mechanisms and products that meet the unique needs of MSMEs. These financial facilitators will support MSMES on improving their credit-worthiness and financial reporting, thereby enabling them to qualify for loans or investments. We will build a strong pipeline of investment-ready start-ups and MSMEs as well as cultivate sources of investment and credit to spur MSME growth and job creation.
  • Macedonian and international anchor firms (lead firms) with buying power and local sources of supply who are actively investing in local economic development activities. This includes developing their future workforce, helping suppliers reach standards, improving quality, introducing new technologies and knowledge, supporting entrepreneurship, and financing activities in municipal development plans.

Our subcontractor, PointPro – a Macedonian consulting firm with extensive knowledge of the business landscape in the country – will work with BSOs to develop sustainable revenue streams and improve their viability to MSMEs. PointPro will support training financial facilitators on packaging MSME deals for investment as well as coaching entrepreneurs and MSMES on their business plans and investment pitches. They will also assist in identifying lead firms willing to invest in Macedonian supply chains and local communities.

What’s your goal?
Our aim is to create new jobs and catalyze growth in MSMEs. To accomplish this, BEP will increase MSME access to alternative and traditional financing; improve services to strengthen MSMEs; and leverage capital by lead firms and private sector partners.

How will you deliver enduring Positive Impact?
Palladium will bring scalable change to Macedonia’s business ecosystem by implementing sustainable activities, behaviors, and institutions that increase the competitiveness of Macedonian MSMEs, supporting institutions, and service providers. We will assist BSOs to develop business models that enable their sustainability after donor funding ends; develop a network of financial facilitators; and create an ecosystem where anchor firms invest in the Macedonian workforce, local communities, and suppliers.