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December 2018

Toronto and Schulich School of Business – An Experience to Remember

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I really hope that this testimonial will motivate other people to explore this possibility offered by Macedonia2025

It was summer 2017, when after a long time I met my friend from university days. Following the usual “what is going on” conversation, she started to talk about her trip to Toronto supported by Macedonia 2025 and the great experience she had there. From the beginning, it sounded like a very good idea, but the real “buy in” was the passion and excitement, while she was describing her experience at Schulich School of Business and the job shadowing at a local Canadian company.

The trip was organized in two weeks, where the first week consisted of attending a course at Schulich School of Business at York University and the second week was the job shadowing at a local Canadian company, organized and supported by Macedonia2025. There were several courses available for each candidate. Based on my career level and educational background, I have decided to attend the course – Leadership Competences: What Senior Managers Need to Know. It was a very well-shaped course intended for experienced managers and executives. It improved my competencies in several areas, such as business governance, strategic planning and problem solving, innovation and change management, global business perspectives, financial planning, coaching skills, employee productivity and engagement. It did not only provide informative material, but it also included practical concepts that can be applied in everyday business. However, what impressed me the most were the lecturers and professors. All of them were excellent teachers and very experienced professionals with practical experience behind them. The lectures were very interactive, resulting in fruitful and interesting discussions among participants, which added additional value to the overall positive experience. Of course, this is in line with the fact that the Schulich School of Business is ranked #1 in Canada and certainly is one of the most eminent business schools worldwide.

Maybe the greatest experience from the whole trip was the job-shadowing week. I really want to congratulate Macedonia2025 and especially Jim Nikopoulos – President of ECN Capital and member of Macedonia2025 Board of Directors, for their vision and commitment to help professionals from Macedonia to extend their business education and experience. I have spent five days at ECN Capital’s IT and marketing departments and had time to learn and see how one big financial North-American corporation function. It was definitely something unrelated to what we are used to, starting with the scale and ending with the practice. What I saw and learned will definitely help me embrace future professional challenges with greater confidence. The two weeks spent at the Schulich School of Business and the job practice provided me with tools and insights that will assist me in taking my professional career to a higher level.

During these two weeks, I was also able to meet many people. Many of them were my compatriots who decided to continue their lives in Toronto and some of them were professionals and colleagues that I have met at the school and at ECN Capital.  They are all great people with whom we mutually shared excellent time, knowledge and ideas. I really hope and believe that our communication will continue in the upcoming years.

At the end I can only conclude that for me this was a rare lifetime experience that really helped me grow as a professional, but mostly as a person. I would like to thank Macedonia2025 for the provided opportunity. Once again, Macedonia2025 proved that it is fully committed to the cause of helping and giving back to community for a better and more prosperous Macedonia.

Macedonia2025’s Project among the Winning Applications of the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI)

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Macedonia 2025 is proud to announce the commencement of a new project funded by the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), where it has been selected among numerous applications from the region

Vladan Miladinovic – Political, Economic and Media Officer at the Embassy of Canada, Belgrade with Macedonia2025 Executive Director, signing the Agreement

Upon successfully establishing the Bitove Family Entrepreneurship Program in partnership with the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO), Macedonia2025 will add value to the existing program by scaling up its activities and reaching out to more beneficiaries, in particular organizations focused on empowering women entrepreneurship, thanks to the new project funded by the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI).

The aim of the project is to empower female-led business associations by assigning them an Advisor who will be intensively working with them to strengthen the organizational capacity. Namely, three Canadian Advisors will be providing technical assistance to Macedonian female-led associations, which are focused on advocacy for female entrepreneurship, gender equality and empowerment of women by increased opportunities for employment. The Advisors will focus on helping the organizations on improving their services for their members and guiding them how to handle their needs and requests in order to build stronger women entrepreneurs’ community. They will also work on strengthening the organizational capacity, self-sustainability and strengthening the associations through economic activities, which will lead towards providing adequate financial stability.

The program will be implemented through a diverse group of civic organizations and associations across Macedonia who work with female entrepreneurs or whose members are holders of executive positions in different fields. The final objective is to contribute to the transformation of these organizations targeting women-entrepreneurs into self-sustainable entities who could prosper from the growth and development of their members.

Open call for The Kellogg School of Management

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Macedonia2025 has signed an exclusive agreement with the Kellogg School of Management (KSM) to provide scholarships to their globally renowned Kellogg Executive Development Program under the Zafirovski Executive Education Program Scholarships.. This new and exciting executive development program was officially launched at the Macedonia2025 Summit.

This program will enhance the competencies and performance of the Macedonian leaders and will contribute to the further development of the Macedonian economy and workforce. KSM is part of Northwestern University, whose school of business is ranked first in the world, according to Economist’s survey for 2017

The program consists of 3 weeks at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and additional opportunities for: mentoring, networking and experiential learning.

The Kellogg School of Management and Macedonia2025 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. KSM is part of Northwestern University, whose school of business is ranked third in the United States and second in the US Employer survey. Macedonia2025 wishes to express gratitude to the Kellogg School of management and the <strong>Robin and Mike Zafirovski Foundation for supporting the Macedonia2025 Executive and Leadership Development program.

We admire the mission of Macedonia2025 and are pleased to be part of this exciting new program commencing in early 2017, which will help train future business leaders from Macedonia.

Will GarrettChief Operating Officer and a Clinical Professor of Management at the Kellogg School of Management

Target participants:

  • CXOs/  Senior Executives with 10+ years of experience for Executive Development Program
  • CXOs/ Senior Executives with 15+ years of experience for Advanced Management Program
  • Supported by their CEO
  • Strongly motivated to be part of the program and to give back to the country and Macedonia2025


  • Inspire the next generation of Business leaders in Macedonia
  • Stimulate economic development by helping to promote Foreign Investment and assisting in the promotion of Export development
  • Provide access to globally recognized Executive Education Training
  • Ensure these executives become role models for future generations
  • A long-term investment in human capital – to educate and mentor business executives and to support economic development through future business leadership
  • We are building a stronger future for Macedonia

Download the Open Call

Download the Kellog AMP Application

Download the Kellog EDP Application

Download the Applicant Assessment Form


Economic Measures: Plan for Economic Growth

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In February 2018, the Government publicly announced a new set of industry assistance with a total value up to €66 million. The measures are called the “Plan for Economic Growth”. It comprises 13 separate measures including assistance for:

  • employing new people;
  • exports;
  • innovation;
  • developing domestic suppliers; and
  • the purchase of productive assets.

For your convenience, please find our summary of the measures and their eligibility requirements HERE.

Open Call for the Executive Study Tour in Toronto

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Macedonia2025 is proud to offer a program that combines participation in Executive/Leadership Development courses at some of the top Executive Education Centers in North America with job shadowing at a renowned company.

This program is designed to provide Macedonian talented executives with a complete North American experience through access to some of the best executive education programs and some genuine business experience in North American companies.

The program is implemented in cooperation with the Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC) at York University in Toronto, Canada. SEEC is an integral part of the Schulich Business School at York University in Toronto, Canada. SEEC provides an education that is focused, practical and immediately applicable. They share a common interest in providing and delivering executive education to professionals from Macedonia. This program will increase participant’s competencies and performance in a continuously changing global business environment. This program also offers a unique networking opportunity that can help export-oriented companies promote their products and services to the global markets.

Schulich Business School, being a part of the York University in Toronto, Canada is ranked among the TOP 10 World Business Schools by The Financial Times, Forbes Magazine, BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal and the Economist. Founded in 1966, the Schulich School of Business employes over 750 people.

Schulich has an internationally diverse faculty and student body. The faculty is drawn exclusively from both practitioners and academia, and each is an acknowledged leader and innovator in their field. Executive development at Schulich is all about this kind of “just in time” learning, focused, practical and immediately applicable to the task at hand.

For more information about the Study Tour, contact 

Download the Open Call HERE

Download the Application Form HERE

Macedonia2025 Weekly Op-Eds: FDI Landscape in Macedonia

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After a poor 2017, growth looks like it might be picking up again in 2018. But when we look at FDI more closely we can see that these results are not being driven by new investment (direct investment) but instead are being driven by existing foreign companies’ reinvestment of earnings and debt income (graph 1). Our estimates shows that foreign investment in new companies in Macedonia has been trending down over the last four years. Foreign investment in new companies generally delivers the strongest benefit to the economy through new capital works and new jobs.

Graph 1:


Existing FDIs continually tell us of the importance of after-care. This is not only important in keeping existing foreign investors happy but also in attracting new foreign investors. Any serious new foreign investor asks existing foreign investors about their investment experience in Macedonia. One of the best ways we can improve the experience of foreign investors is by improving investor after-care.

Related to after-care but also connected to the initial engagement with FDIs in Macedonia is that there are too many ministers and government organizations operating in the FDI space. During our 2018 Summit, Andrew Wrobel from the ‘Emerging Europe’ magazine reported that some potential investors in Macedonia were confused about who in the government to deal with and were left with a very poor impression when different government bodies began openly arguing about who was meant to help them. We have documented similar reports from a number of potential and existing investors. Macedonia needs to provide a clear path for FDI engagement. We need to know clearly which minister and body is responsible for which area, country, industry, etc. so that we can approach the right person when the time comes.


Another observation is that we could be more proactive in seeking FDIs by ensuring we have up-to-date and relevant promotional materials to give to interested parties.  It would be highly beneficial if the country develops standardized documents as guidelines on issues such as: what the key strategic sectors are, data on skilled workers, how many students graduate at, etc. The civil sector doesn’t always have the resources to compile such comprehensive research so it needs to be made a priority. We are fully aware and supportive of the goal of the government to attract high tech, smart companies that provide highly paid jobs. However we’d like to hear more on the “how” we will be positioning and promoting the country as such a destination.


During our meetings with different government institutions and civil servants; the feedback has been different and it usually depends on the competences of the individuals that work at the government and their willingness to help. However, there should be a transparent mechanism and a process of how can we raise concerns and where, and how we escalate problems that aren’t being progressed.


Macedonia2025 is an international non-for-profit organization. Since the incorporation, 10 years ago, we have worked on attracting FDIs to Macedonia, including investors from the Macedonian Diaspora. We are an independent organization that aims to be the voice of the business community, especially of the FDIs and the Diaspora investors. We act as an independent broker in summarizing the needs of the business sector and then in undertaking initiatives to publicize those needs and resolve the problems.

We have undertaken a number of initiatives, such as the promotion of the benefits of the FDIs, the potential negative impact from the proposed increase in personal income tax, the retroactive VAT charges to BPO companies for oversees services, the lack of proper investor after-care for small investors, the needs of providing the business diaspora with a one-stop-shop system of getting all the documents that they need in order to come back and invest, etc.


Biljana Markovic Stamenova, Executive Director

Brendan Filipovski, Research Manager