Recap of the first half of the Executive Study Tour in Toronto - A genuine learning experience for Macedonian business professionals

posted July 6, 2015

The Toronto Executive Study Tour is a business-education program that Macedonia2025 organizes for business executives and managers from Macedonia. The objective is to provide the program’s participants a learning experience and an opportunity to meet and network with business counterparts in Canada towards new business relations and cooperation.

The participants of the study tour come from various professional backgrounds and company sizes. Some are representatives of companies that employ more than 100 people and some are small companies that have gained prominence and are now looking outside Macedonia for partners and future cooperation. In addition to the company visits, the participants will attend the Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC) at York University. Starting Monday, July 6 until July 10, the SEEC will host the Macedonian delegation for a Certificate course in Leading Sustainable Strategic Change, which Macedonia2025 provides as part of its mandate to support business education in Macedonia.

During the first half of the tour the participants visited the company Ronald Chisholm- a distributor and supplier of meat and dairy products, which has business relations with Macedonian companies Mik Sveti Nikole and Promes. Ronald Chisholm are open to do business with other companies from the country considering they are a strong exporter of meat outside Canada. The host of the Macedonian delegation provided insights about the logistics of operating a company that operates in 15 countries around the world. One of the best recommendations given by the company’s host was that in consideration of the small output capacity of companies in Macedonia the most logical thing for them is to join together to have stronger production and export numbers. 

At the visit of Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto, a representative of Honeywell talked how his company is improving the hospital’s energy efficiency, how it will help decrease its carbon footprint and introduce operational enhancements. Recently, the hospital and Honeywell- a global leader in energy efficiency- entered a public-private partnership. The Macedonian guests had a chance to have their questions addressed by the Honeywell professional, regarding the fundamentals of a private-public partnership, given the fact that this business approach has not yet been evident in Macedonia, although there are many such opportunities for domestic companies.

The participants visited CSA Group- the largest not for profit organization in Canada that provides certificates in various industries, including nano-technology, sustainable infrastructure, smart technologies, mining, construction, appliances, alternative energy and sustainability. What was most inspirational for the Macedonian participants was the necessity of certifications. The organization prides itself on the development of energy friendly programs and introduction of standards to stimulate the innovation and production of new products. The CSA mark appears on more than a billion products worldwide and they have more than 1800 employees, half of which are outside Canada.

These are just few of the companies that are part of the study tour. The participants also visited Deloitte International, Conundrum Capital, Go Transit, Telus, the Niagara Cross Link Bridge Corporation and Purpose Investments. The Macedonia2025 team visited the Richard Ivey School of Business, whose top MBA graduates taught a ten day business education program in Skopje this May. The visit affirmed the cooperation between the school and Macedonia2025 which has resulted in eight LEADER Project courses in Macedonia.

On July 7 the participants will attend the Toronto Networking Reception to meet with Macedonians in Canada and reflect on matters that are relevant to the advancement of business in Macedonia. This event is an informative session for presenting the educational program of Macedonia2025. On July 8, the participants will attend the annual Macedonian Open Golf Tournament organized by the Macedonian-Canadian Place Foundation, which has organized this event since 1942.

At the end of the study tour, the team will conduct a working session to reflect on the unique learning experience.