Intrigued to find out how the Intelligent Cross-Border Business Accelerator (iCBA) is progressing?
Following the online lectures by various business professionals throughout April, 28 participants were selected for having the most outstanding business ideas. These entrepreneurs have now entered the mentoring stage as part of the iCBA project, where each participant is paired with one of our selected mentors with outstanding business insights.
Over a two-month period, mentors will work together with the entrepreneurs and their business to help them develop a business model and business plan, a business model canvas, as well as assist them in preparing for their presentation in Ohrid.
As part of the business acceleration, the selected entrepreneurs will take part in a business ideas competition in Ohrid in mid-July, where they will be able to pitch their business idea to investors and bankers. This will help their businesses get exposure, raise more funding, access to new customers and clients, and more. Finalist of the investor pitch will have the opportunity to take part in the finals in Thessaloniki in mid-September, going in the draw to win awards which will help them further encourage and support their business ideas.
Some of the most innovative ideas that have emerged throughout the iCBA includes the following: craft beer microbrewery, interactive interior design application, digital theatre production, 3D virtual sightseeing, solar park, premium Macedonian design items, online internship platform, microgreens production, smart fields, digital transport synchronization app, organic honey production, cross-border rehab centre, rural tourism in the cross-border area, organic cakes, biodegradable packaging, cell phone radiation protection units, and various organic grape products.
The mentorship program plays a crucial role in the iCBA as it has the potential to create an everlasting impact on a business. As mentioned by Esnaf’s Founder, Izabela Sokolovska:
“The mentorship program at the moment is the piece of the puzzle that I was missing in order to uplift Esnaf to a higher level. I am overjoyed that Valentina and I are developing the business model into a more productive and fast-growing one, and her experience is invaluable. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to PrimePoint for this project and for advocating for our development and promotion. Thank you for the opportunity to develop and uplift Esnaf.”
Read more testimonies below about the program’s impact:
“There’s always something to learn. There’s always room to improve. The experience with the mentorship iCBA accelerator program strongly confirmed this once again. Not only I got an opportunity to introduce a business idea that I got a mentorship for, but I also gained knowledge that I apply on my already established business. Thank you for the opportunity you offered us.” – Sasho Spirkoski
“Having a mentor means a lot, it helped us a lot in defining our goals and strategy how to achieve them, we are very grateful to be part of this mentoring program.” Dimitar Mitrevski
“Through conversation and discussion during the mentoring program, the goals of our future business were defined, and during the working sessions we reviewed practical tactics on how to achieve those higher goals realistically.” Elena Gjorevska, Idila Terzieva
“The youth should be the solution – not a part of the problem. Mentoring support will uplift us to hence achieve this.” Kristina Todorovska
“We have a great mentor, she always helps us when needed and is full of understanding. She successfully guided us through the process and all of our meetings were very productive. We are grateful that she is available to us at all times and for the help she has provides to us unselfishly.” Maja Arnaudova