Being your own boss: Supporting entrepreneurs in fYR Macedonia

man smiling at the camera
Senat Demiri, owns his own carwash, called Hadisa Mala


Senat Demiri is Roma and lives in Shuto Orizari, one of the most economically deprived areas of Skopje.

 

Mr. Demiri had been without a regular formal job for ten years when he first heard of a programme to help people start and run their own businesses.

 

"The idea of being my own boss was a big attraction," he says.

 

"So I decided to think of a small business that might work in my area and I came up with a carwash. There are other car-wash places in Shuto Orizari, of course, but I could see there was a demand for better quality. So I applied with a business plan that included buying cleaning equipment better than the competition."

 

Mr. Demiri’s proposal was accepted as part of a self-employment programme.

 

"I learned there’s a lot more to running a business than just the service," says Mr. Demiri.

 

"The trainers showed me how to cover the costs of marketing and future investments in my plan."

 

Mr. Demiri, and 5,000 others like him who participated in the self employment programme, benefited from the input of specialized consultants to help him refine his plan and put it into action.

 


Meet more of fYR Macedonia's new business owners

 

"The consultants [from the Agency for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship] saw exactly what I was aiming for and helped me focus on ways to compete with the other car-wash services."

 

"With the new machines I bought with the grant I can attract a lot more clients because my customers can tell the difference in service."

 

Marjan Stojcev, head of the Agency for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship, says that they created a national catalogue of more than 300 consultants, with some 180 who specialize in making business plans - a valuable resource for finding mentors for those who want to start their own businesses. The agency, a partner in the self employment programme, has provided counsellors since 2005.

 

"Working with this programme is especially rewarding because we are helping unemployed people who have decided to take their fate into their own hands and experience the challenging but exciting world of entrepreneurship," says Mr. Stojcev.

 

Roma and the labour market

Unemployment amongst the Roma population is currently estimated at 53 percent, compared to some 27 percent of the non-Roma population.

 

Amongst Roma women the figure is even higher: 70 percent of Roma women are unemployed, compared to 35 percent of non-Roma women.

 

Many Roma, moreover, have suffered from long-term unemployment, with 70 percent of young unemployed Roma reporting that they have no work experience at all. The majority of employed Roma are in unskilled or semi-skilled jobs and many of these jobs are irregular, temporary and part-time.

 

See: Roma in the labour market: policy lessons

 

The self-employment programme is one of many ways in which the Government and UNDP are supporting efforts to address the problem of unemployment and irregular employment among the Roma.

 

Over 30 percent of people in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are unemployed. Almost a third of those currently out of work have not had a job for eight years, and more than 25 percent are between the ages of 15 and 29.

 

Last articles

image

Promoting health by mitigating climate change – leading by example in the health sector

    Dr. Christoph Hamelmann, UNDP Regional Team Leader for HIV, Health and Development Speech at the WHO Global Health and Climate Conference on 27-29 August 2014, Geneva, Switzerland     Yesterday, Maria Neira presented the nice slide showing the sectors most contributing tmore

image

Inequalities dampen progress in Moldova

The deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is less than two years away.   In the run up to 2015, many countries are taking stock of their achievements and setbacks. In Moldova, this exercise has demonstrated that further progress on the MDGs rests on successfully overcomingmore

image

Learning to fight early marriages in Kyrgyzstan

  Be it for economic or social reasons, the number of early marriages in Kyrgyzstan remains high. According to recent statistics, roughly 12 percent of brides in the country are under the age of 18.   In rural areas, girls are often subjected to arranged marriages upon completion of high smore