3.8 Development of entrepreneurship competence
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In the Republic of North Macedonia, the concept of social entrepreneurship is not properly regulated in the legal system, although the importance of the concept and benefits is recognized in society. There is no legislation that comprehensively regulates this matter, although in several laws and policies there are provisions that contribute to supporting the future development of social entrepreneurship.
Within the project "Encouraging Social Entrepreneurship" co-financed by the EU, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy in 2015 prepared a draft text of the Law on Social Entrepreneurship (Нацрт Закон за социјално претприемништво). The Law has not yet been entered into the parliamentary procedure.
In the absence of a law, there was an Entrepreneurial Learning Strategy of the Republic of Macedonia 2014-2020 (Стратегија за претприемачко учење во Република Македонија 2014 – 2020). This Strategy was prepared by the Ministry of Education and Science with the assistance of the European Training Foundation, through 4 workshops and more than hundred direct contacts with different stakeholders.
One of the priorities in this strategy was informal and non-formal education. However since the Strategy has expired, a new Strategy has not been developed.
Entrepreneurship is included in North Macedonia's secondary education as a compulsory separate subject. Curricula for 2 compulsory subjects are developed: “Business and entrepreneurship” (Наставна програма Бизнис и претприемништво) for the fourth year in Gymnasium and secondary art education; and “Innovations and entrepreneurship” for first, second and third year. In the primary education, adaptations in 6 subjects are made aimed to integrate entrepreneurship in the curricula (the subject Innovations (Наставна програма Иновации) is included in the 9th grade).
In terms of higher education, the subject of entrepreneurship is taught at many Universities in North Macedonia. Currently there are two Faculties in North Macedonia completely dedicated to educating young people in the field of entrepreneurship.
Within the Slavic University (Меѓународен Славјански Универзитет) of Sveti Nikole, Faculty of Economics and Entrepreneurship Organization (Факултет за економија и организација на претприемништвото) for the past 14 years educates young people in the field of economy and entrepreneurship. The faculty is accredited for teaching in the first and second cycle of university studies.
Within the University of Tourism and Management in Skopje, there is an Department of Entrepreneurship, which aims to connect students with the business community through the organization of scientific debates, trainings and lectures for students. The UTMS Entrepreneurial Business School through the Entrepreneurship Department offers students, through various projects and participation in business meetings, to enrich their knowledge, skills and competencies.
There are many non-formal educational opportunities for young people in terms of entrepreneurship, and some of them also come from CSOs.
The Agency of Youth and Sport, in order to promote entrepreneurship among youth, in the third quarter of 2018 started with realization of training for development of entrepreneurial spirit and business skills. Since then, these trainings have become an annual activity of the Agency.
In addition to the set of training, the Agency for Youth and Sport, in the direction of developing entrepreneurship among young people, started with the implementation of a set of measures that will motivate young people for greater inclusion. In this direction is the public call (November 2018) for young people with the possibility to apply with their own business idea (Business Plan). This measure was targeting young people aged 19-29 years, citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia, who wants to start their own business regardless of whether they are currently employed or not. Similar measures continued also in 2019. For example, in September 2019, the AYS published an open call for young people aged 18-25 for 2 module training for entrepreneurship and development of the business skills needed to set up and run a business. The same call was published in January 2020, however in the following years the AYS did not announce such a call for young people again.
As mentioned above, The Government established the Agency for Promotion of Entrepreneurship of the Republic of North Macedonia (APERNM) for implementation of the Governmental SME policies and other related projects/programs adopted by the Government for support of entrepreneurship, competitiveness and innovation. Additionally, a Fund for innovation and technologies is established with the aim to support SMEs.
The website of the APERNM also serves as a resource for entrepreneurs.
For example, some organizations that have the youth in focus are the following:
- Youth Entrepreneurship Support Network (YES Network): YES works on strengthening the capacities for networking of youth related Civil Society Organizations and influence policy and programs development for supporting youth entrepreneurship.
- PSM Foundation exists for stimulating entrepreneurship and raising the level of employment among young people through strengthening their skills and competencies to start their own business. PSM Foundation stands for supporting them through many activities and subventions in order to help the local development of the currently most productive sector – SMEs.
- CEED Hub Skopje is an environment for entrepreneurs, startups and freelancers to bring your businesses to the next level. They create an ecosystem that serves as a bridge on the journey from an early-stage startup to a mature venture through the programs that provide mentorship and support for development and growth of your ideas and businesses.
- Junior Achievement worldwide is the world’s oldest and largest non-profit organization devoted to promoting an understanding of the principles and values of entrepreneurship and the free market system by building partnerships between business, educational and governmental sectors. Junior Achievement programs are recognized by the European Commission as the best practice in entrepreneurial education.