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November 2017

An intellectual and professional challenge aimed towards enhancing my knowledge and skills – A testimonial by Goran Jandreoski

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“As a Director General of the Civil Aviation Agency of the Republic of Macedonia one of my main goals is to invest in training of my employees. I strongly believe that continuous education leads to personal growth through which leaders can make better impact on their environment.” – Goran Jandreoski


Macedonia2025 offered me the opportunity to attend a course at the Schulich Business School, being among the Top 10 World Business Schools and part of the York University in Toronto, Canada. My selected course was the Executive Program in Strategic Agility which delivered comprehensive knowledge related to exceptional ways of leading one organization to its success and sustaining it while regularly experiencing changes. Attending this course presented an intellectual and professional challenge aimed towards enhancing my knowledge and skills. I was looking for opportunities which would lead to improvements in my work in order to bring added value to the development of aviation in the Republic of Macedonia.


Attending the Executive Program in Strategic Agility led to acquiring crucial knowledge for applying concepts and practices which have proven as successful elsewhere. It was fascinating to learn about new approaches over the five days of the program which make a significant difference in business. The course strengthened my expertise of organization structure and strategy, and delivered insight on the core and fundamental values on an organization. Moreover, this course was an opportunity to change participants’ way of thinking about the organization they work for and the role they play in it. Divided into three modules the program included:

• Strategic Thinking

• Strategic Organizational Design

• Leading the Agile Organization

Each of the modules covered the basic elements of organization structure, strategy and design, ways to structuring new business models, leveraging virtual/networked organizations for sustained success and learning to lead strategic agility so that others want to follow.

Being introduced to completely new aspects of looking at the concepts of leadership was an enriching experience. The trainer was incredibly committed and engaged which was inspiring and the environment enabled us to fully focus on the learning. The opportunity to meet a diverse group of people highly contributed to expanding my network of professional contacts.

This program led to identifying possible areas for improvement in respect of leading the Civil Aviation Agency of the Republic of Macedonia. It also enabled me to embrace with greater confidence all aspects of the holistic role that I have as a manager. I was provided with tools and insights which will assist me in raising the level of quality of the services provided by the Civil Aviation Agency of the Republic of Macedonia.

MASHAV (Israel) invites all professionals to apply for the International Course “Startup Accelerators in the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem”

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MASHAV – Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation with The Singapore Cooperation Program (SCP) invite professionals to participate in the International Course: (March 13 – 27, 2018) “Startup Accelerators in the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem”

The Course is designed for women and men alike, entrepreneurs and managers of accelerators and other entrepreneurial support programs, as well as those working in governmental institutions and SME support agencies, private sector support systems for entrepreneurs and NGOs dealing with small business support and development.

To read more about this course, please read this document

An opportunity to learn from the best! – Testimonial by Filomena Pljakovska Asprovska

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While writing this testimonial for my 2 weeks trip to Toronto supported by Macedonia2025, I was guided by the emotion of fulfillment and satisfaction of my experience.  I tried to be inspirational, hoping my story will motivate future applicants for the program and will bring the best candidates.

Schulich school of business: It is the best in Canada, and one of the best worldwide. Executive program for strategic agility intented to give us knowledge how to align organization strategy with the fast changing environment, the importance of critical thinking and necessity to be innovative and creative in order to “stay in the business”. The program was perfectly shaped and structured, containing valuable information for the organization structure, leadership skills and stategy creation. Our professor Rhona Berengut did an excellent job. Her profound lectures, well known use cases and passionate character made real revolution in our brains, and succeeded to navigate our thinking in the right direction. She is an excellent teacher and a real professional with long practical experience. Additional value to the program was a mixed environement of professionals, mostly from Canada. Views, perception and experience of each of us resulted in fruitfull and interesting discussions, and shifted our paradigmes.

Job shadowing at Purpose Investments: This was unique experience where I realized that the theory learned, “works” in reality. A good example that the leadership from the top of the organization, spreading the information to the lower levels of the organization, and being clear about our vision are some of the the most important things and key factors for the growth and success of the company. I would like to congratulate to Vlad Tasevski for the excellent job and persistent profesionalism. I would like to thank him for the welcome and colaboration during my visit there.

Macedonia2025:  The most important factor and big supporter for my travel to Canada. The existence of this type of organization that supports and invests in young managers is of big importance for Macedonia. I really appreciate their efforts to also organize meeting in one of the biggest payment processors in Canada, Chase Paymentech. They were at my disposal for any question or issue I had. They are really a good team.

Toronto: One of the biggest cities I have visited. Big and full, but in the same time very secure and clean, with variety of people and cultures makes it unique and challenging. I had a chance to meet Macedonians who live there for years, and are happy that they found there a second motherland. I had also chance to meet other Macedonia2025 schollaship candidates, and to mutually share the knowledge we gained during our stay in Toronto. We continued our friendship in Macedonia and we hope to extend our colaboration.

To view this years open call please visit the following link


Zafirovski Executive Education Program is Expanding

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On 31st October, 2017, just one year after the official start of the Zafirovski Executive Education Program, Mike Zafirovski introduced an expansion of the program with a new course called Advanced Management Program. Providing scholarships to the Kellogg School of Management’s Executive Development Program, this is the first program in Macedonia that connects company executives to world-class executive education courses at a top-ranked business school in the United States.

The program is intended to enhance the competencies and performance of the participants and by that extension, to contribute to the growth of companies in Macedonia and their role in the economic development of the country. The newly introduced course is aimed for senior executives with a minimum of 20 years of business experience, including 5 to 10 years in general management or senior functional role.

The goal of this program is to find people who do well in the office and accelerate their development! I mean, why spend so many hours in the office if you cannot be the best? Invest in yourself, and invest in your best employees. And this program gives you exactly that. After a certain point in your career, you need an outside boost. Having the best business minds as your mentors, this is the program that will bring your career to the next level.” –Mike Zafirovski

The purpose in mind with this course is to develop senior executive leadership agility, acquire requisite leadership abilities to foster talent, prepare for the unknown and identify and articulate a compelling vision, as well as prepare to lead high-performance teams, effective organizations and vibrant communities. As various challenges and opportunities can rise almost instantaneously, this course is willing to create leaders that can equip their organization by creating structures, developing partnership and building connections within a broader ecosystem.

The first few individuals interested in attending this course can do that already by next year, Oct. 14 – Nov. 2, 2018. The fee for the overall program is $43,100, a fee that includes lodging and most meals. But fear not, there are scholarships available for all interested parties. Macedonia2025, together with Kellogg School of Management will cover more than 80% of the overall course fee, bringing your commitment down to $8000 (plus travel costs).

Macedonia2025 will provide scholarship to 3 participants per year for the Advanced Management Program, all selected by international jury. Macedonia2025 will help with the admission process, visa requirements and other necessary logistics, will assist with networking and support around personal coaching as well as administer the program through in-house administration & international advisory committee.


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Macedonia2025 proudly presents the second open call for the Zafirovski Executive Education Program which provides scholarships for the globally renowned Kellogg School of Management. Kellogg School of Management is part of Northwestern University, whose school of business is ranked third in the United States and second in the US Employer survey.


This year Zafirovski Executive Education Program is expanding and offering scholarships for two different programs:

1. Executive Development Program:

This intensive program focuses on the environment in which business operates, the key functional areas of management, the development and implementation of corporate and business unit strategy and the promotion of organizational learning. With a finger on the pulse of business, Kellogg ensures the curriculum keeps pace with the ever-evolving challenges and complexity of executive leadership.

The program consists of:

  • Kellogg Executive Development Program (3 weeks) at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, USA
  • Each participant contributes $6000: Fee includes lodging and most meals
  • The total value of the program is $33,100
  • Each participant covers his/hers transport cost

Plus: Comprehensive Leadership Accelerator Opportunities: Mentoring, networking, experiential learning, ongoing support


Target participants: 

  • High-performing middle to senior management executives on a path to becoming general managers.
  • At least 10 years of professional experience.
  • Functional senior leaders who must interface with other functional areas outside of their expertise.
  • Principals of small and medium firms, and entrepreneurs or owners of small companies with growth potential.
  • Candidates must be fully supported by existing employer.

6 scholarships are available for 2018

The 2018 Executive Education Sessions take place on:

June 10 – June 29, 2018 OR September 23, 2018- October 12, 2018 at Evanston campus, Illinois, USA

*Optional: Executive coaching is provided for those who want to maximize their impact as a leader. This service is ideal for high-potential candidates, senior leaders, people who are preparing to on expanded leadership responsibilities in the near future or who are in career transition. Kellogg Leadership Coach will work with you individually during the program and after the program (via phone/Skype/FaceTime).

2. Advanced Management Program

If you’ve recently assumed enterprise-level responsibilities or are poised to do so, this immersive professional development experience will help you assess the impact of your leadership skills on your organization, prepare you to create markets, drive growth and equip you to lead your organization through the challenges and opportunities of the 21st-century global marketplace.


The program consists of:

  • Kellogg Advanced Management Program (3 weeks) at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, USA
  • Each participant contributes $8000: Fee includes lodging and most meals
  • The total value of the program is $43,100
  • Each participant covers his/hers transport cost


Plus: Comprehensive Leadership Accelerator Opportunities: Mentoring, networking, experiential learning, ongoing support

Leadership Coaching is included in the price.

Target participantsExperienced senior executives with a minimum of 20 years of business experience, including five to 10 years in a general management or senior functional role. An Advanced Management Program participant will be poised to or have just taken on enterprise-level responsibilities. These high potential executives need to “look over the horizon” and anticipate business challenges and opportunities in a global marketplace.

3 scholarships are available for 2018

The 2018 Executive Education Sessions take place on:

October 14 –November 2, 2018 at Evanston campus, Illinois, USA


For more details, please see the below listed documents:​​

(Executive Development Program – EDP; Advanced Management Program – AMP)

Promotional video of Kellogg School of Management- HERE

More info on the EDP – HERE/ AMP HERE

Presentation conducted by Mike Zafirovski – HERE

Brochure – EDP HERE / AMP HERE

Application form – EDP HERE / AMP HERE

Applicant Assessment Form – EDP HERE / AMP HERE

Once completed please send the documents together with a resume and your recent photography to


Macedonia2025 and Kellogg School of Management have a common interest in providing and delivering world-class executive education to business leaders from Macedonia. This will enhance their competencies and performance and will contribute to the further development of the Macedonian economy and workforce.

Macedonia2025 wishes to express gratitude to the Kellogg School of Management and the Robin and Mike Zafirovski Foundation for supporting the Macedonia2025 Executive and Leadership Development program.

Applications close at March 1, 2018


Highlights from day 2 at the Macedonia2025 Summit

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Another successful Macedonia2025 Summit has ended. We have seen the future coming from Silicon Valley, the Negev desert, and Croatia. We have also been inspired and challenged to further develop the technology sector in Macedonia. Macedonia has made progress but we must continue to work together to improve even more. Day 2 highlights are summarized below.

“Media is now no different to other cloud-based services, and communication and media services are converging”Darko Ratkaj, Senior Project Manager at European Broadcasting Union

Walk into any home and you will see that television, phones, and computers have merged. This has provided great opportunities but also unique problems. These problems include fake news, the squeezing out of local content, and the vulnerability of companies to changes by search-algorithms. The EU are looking to see if regulations can help but it is not easy to regulate the cutting edge.

“Just like we are using apps on our phone today, use of AI will become widespread in everyday life”. Alek Icev, Engineering Manager at Google, USA

Another big technological change is the growth of AI. AI is growing more sophisticated but is also moving from the labs and chess boards into regular businesses. Big online companies and regular businesses are relying on AI more and more to get great answers quickly from the mountains of data they face. AI is also helping to turn images into data opening up new areas for analytics.

“We are a desert country surrounded by enemies. We need technology and innovation to survive”. Dana Gavish, VP, BGN, Ben Gurion University

Israel is an example of how a country can develop through innovation. Israel is only 8 million people with few natural resources but it has become one of the top nations for innovation. For example, Israel has over 72 companies listed on the NASDAQ, second only to the US and China. According Dana Gavish the key to this transformation is an amazing dedication of its people to see Israel succeed despite the very difficult circumstances it faces. People are key and Israelis show this by the way they even invest in their children. Children grow up exposed to a culture of innovation where a contribution is expected of them.

“Just relying on labor market arbitrage won’t work in the Balkans because of competition from Asia. Companies must find their secret for adding value… We need to be ambitious. Do we want cheap exports or smart people”, Alexander Memca, Managing Partner at InterWorks, Macedonia

Macedonia’s IT industry has grown dramatically in the last ten years. Both domestic, diaspora, and foreign companies are employing local workers. However, the potential can be increased if universities could give graduates more practical skills, and if more IT workers showed ambition to continually improve. Do we have a culture of only reaching so far? A culture of stagnation? The best workers are also heading overseas but not because of money but because of the underdeveloped innovation eco-system.

“We need a more systematic approach to our innovation eco-system”. Marta Arsovska Tomovska, UN World Summit Awards Board Member, and former Macedonian minister for Information and Society

Macedonian IT may provide a cost advantage to the EU but it cannot compete with Asia and India as a smart hub; these markets are cheaper and have the scale to attract big companies. Macedonian companies must find where they can add value.

“Being green is not about color but about improving the quality of life. This is even more important when people can now work anywhere in the world”. Tjaša Ficko, Deputy Mayor of Ljubljana

Ljubljana was voted the green capital of Europe in 2016. They had the vision and the courage to make changes. Not all the change was easy. Many people protested the closing of roads in the city center so the city had to provide solutions (e.g. more pedestrian bridges over the river, and electric hire bike) to make the change a win-win for everyone.

Sweden has made incredible progress in renewable energy and waste reduction. Most of this change has been paid by consumers not the government! Government made the policy changes and then consumers paid for the changes through user fees. This is a template for other countries.

“Worse than the fear of failure is the hatred of successful people in the Balkans”. Aco Momcilovic, Chief Human Resources Officer at Rimac Automobili

Rimac Automobili is a success story in many ways. They are a world leading technology company that are not only giving high-level jobs to Croatians but also to the diaspora, and to people from 14 other countries. While the government has provided some help, Rimac is a pioneer in business that has largely made its own way. They are also a pioneer in terms of Balkan culture: they are not afraid of failure and not deterred by those jealous of their success.

“It is better to give than to receive”. John Bitove

John Bitove Senior provided an example of love and generosity to Macedonians both in the diaspora and in Macedonia itself. The Bitove family have continued their commitment to Macedonia with the announcement of the Bitove Entrepreneurship program. Stay tuned for further details on our website.

“Leave here with a purpose” Mike Zafirovski

Mike Zafirovski, Robert Arsov, Ana Arsov, and Zoran Martinovski closed the conference saying that Macedonia has made a lot of progress but that there is still more to do. Macedonia2025 will continue to support Macedonia. Robert quoted John Bitove Senior in closing:

“We will receive something back when we give from the bottom of our hearts”. John Bitove Senior.

Highlights of Day 1 at the MK2025 Summit

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Day1 of the sixth annual Macedonia2025 Summit has just finished. Over 400 people attended to learn and be inspired by speakers such as Vuk Jeremic, former foreign minister of Serbia; Ruben Vardanyan, impact investor and social entrepreneur; Prime Minister Zaev; and Mike Zafirovski. Day 1 highlights are summarized below.  Tomorrow promises to be even better with speakers such as Vanja Josifovsi, CTO of Pinterest; Dana Gavish, VP of Entrepreneurship at Ben Gurion Univsersity; and Aco Momcilovic, Chief Human Resources Officer of Rimac Automobili.

“Macedonia needs to move forward and not stay behind” Mike Zafirovski.

We cannot sit still and wait for EU membership, we are ultimately responsible for our own success. We need constant growth to converge with the EU and to achieve this we must continually transform Macedonia. Innovation is key and is achieved through education and encouraging entrepreneurship. People are our key resource.

“We need to educate people to be employable not just employed”Suan Hiang Lee.

Private business must also play an important role in Macedonia’s growth. Only with the growth of companies can GDP grow. Also companies and individuals can do what government can’t or won’t do.

“Well run companies are a gift and asset to an economy” Mike Zafirovski

Domestic companies typically employ the most people but also typically lag foreign companies in terms of productivity, exports, and innovation. Domestic companies can grow by working with foreign companies and learning from them. Singapore shows that FDI can lift domestic companies.

“FDI and local companies are a win-win” Jerry Naumoff

Foreign companies are not only complementary to domestic companies but are also transformative for the whole economy.

“FDI leads the way in exports and has helped transform the structure of exports and employment in Macedonia”. Nikica Mojsoska-Blazevski

In 2007 around a third of workers were employed in manual labor today it is only 13 percent.

Ultimately our future is in our own hands; Macedonia must decide what type of country it wants to be and then needs to unite behind this common vision. We cannot be comfortable with mediocrity.

The best and brightest need to move in the same direction so that we can be bigger than the sum of our parts”. Suan Hiang Lee