As part of the Intelligent Cross Border Accelerator (ICBA) project, PrimePoint Partners are involved in developing the blueprint of the Intelligent Cross Border Acceleration Program and are conducting the Training Needs Assessment in the Macedonian cross border area.
At the first bilateral Cross Border event focused on the initiative to create and support companies and partnerships in the cross-border area, our Co-founder Biljana Markovic Stamenova spoke about the importance of supporting the growth of young individuals in the ICT Sector as there is immense potential, considering the vivid ICT scene in the Macedonian cross-border area, especially in Bitola, Prilep and Ohrid.
Moreover, there remains a significant level of digital and technology readiness, with 70% of youth interested in setting up a business in ICT (AI, fintech, VR), digital marketing and e-commerce, organic agriculture, mechanical engineering and hospitality. However, key challenges that remain are market entry and international expansion, financial support/access to finance and finding and training staff.
Interviewed youth, entrepreneurs and organisations by PrimePoint Partners highlighted that more business skills training, workshops, seminars and motivational events with business professionals are needed to create and support a new set of ICT driven companies in various sectors. However, ICT focused universities don’t offer programs in business and entrepreneurship, and there are only a handful of innovation hubs and acceleration programs targeting the region.
In order to enhance the regional entrepreneurial eco-system, training, mentoring, networking and workshops are therefore needed to enhance knowledge in business and investment planning, finance, strategy development, digital marketing, e-commerce and international sales.
“The Cross-Border Acceleration program is very needed and timely as it will provide business skills upgrade, market expansion on the Greek market and plenty of networking opportunities.” – stated Biljana Markovic Stamenova, Co-founder & Managing Partner. “We look forward to building success together with all the program partners and to create new opportunities and partnerships in the cross-border between the Macedonian and Greek entrepreneurs and businesses.” – she concluded.
Other speakers included Betty Larda, Head of the Office for Economic & Commercial Affairs at the Embassy of Greece in Skopje; Panos Ketikidis, Executive Committee Board Member of EBAN – The European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and Early Stage Market Players; the President of the Thessaloniki Innovation Zone, etc.
The project is financed by the IPA Interreg Cross Border Program.