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Business Innovation Center has secured a fund of 1.3 million euros for start-up companies and non-refundable funds for women entrepreneurs

Business Innovation Center, through SEEU TechPark in addition to the possibility of starting a business, from this year start-up companies are enabled to attract investments and start their rapid growth. Through the ‘700 Accelerator Program’, where 6 to 10 start-up companies, or teams with innovative ideas, will participate in the 100-day training program, where at the end of it they are expected to benefit from a grant of 40 thousand euros. Also, the beneficiaries of this program will be able to withdraw investments from other investors, business angels, other companies, etc.

“Accelerator 700 is a joint program between the Technology Park and GIZ, within the GIZ and EU project, entitled ‘EU for economic development’, which is expected to be completed within three years. Companies or teams must present the basic idea, which will be jointly examined by the Technology Park and GIZ, where the selected ideas will be included in the program and will receive funding," says Avni Arifi, manager at the Business Innovation Center within which the Technology Park also operates.

The program is expected to start at the end of September, for which a public call for applications will be announced. During the selection, priority will be given to companies from the Polog region, but companies or teams with innovative ideas from all over North Macedonia may be included.

In addition, within the same project, the Business Innovation Center has supported a total of 6 companies from Polog, in the application process for receiving non-refundable grants, in the amount of 50 thousand to 300 thousand euros.

Technology Park, in addition to ‘Accelerator 700’, has won a project in cooperation with the organization HEKIMA, within the program of the Slovak Agency for Development and International Cooperation, Slovak Aid, entitled "Inclusion of women from marginalized groups in climate-smart and innovative entrepreneurs". In the framework of this project, three innovative ideas will be supported with non-returnable grants in the amount of 4 thousand euros, for the transformation of the idea into a real business.

Both projects are open and specifically target SEEU students who have innovative ideas and want to enter the world of entrepreneurship, but others who have creative business ideas are not excluded. Over 70% of the owners of companies operating within the Technology Park are SEEU Alumni. Also, over 90 percent of employees in these companies are SEEU Alumni. The total number of companies currently operating within the Technology Park is 17, with around 200 employees.

The team that successfully implements and manages the aforementioned projects consists of Avni Arifi, Gjorgji Rafajllovski, Blerina Zendeli and Martir Dika and they are all Alumni of South East European University.