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REDI Matchmaking Event in Skopje

REDI Matchmaking Event in Skopje

On October 4 2022, in Skopje, the Roma Entrepreneurship Development Initiative (REDI) organized a Matchmaking Event at the Limak Luxury Hotel, as part of the project „EU Support for REDI: Advancing Roma Entrepreneurs in Western Balkans, funded by the EU.

The event was attended by Roma entrepreneurs from North Macedonia and Serbia who participated in several activities. One of the goals was to support their networking with the help of the REDI Business Club and provide them an opportunity to collaborate. The main goal was for them to create a document with recommendations about the well-being of the business climate, which will be presented to relevant government institutions through the REDI Business club.

With that, a discussion began about three important topics:

  • Green Economy
  • Digital Transformation
  • Access to Finance

The event was opened by Gorjan Slavkovski, the project manager from REDI NMK, who presented the agenda and was followed by Zharko Savic, one of the business facilitators from REDI Serbia. After that, the entrepreneurs had the opportunity to tell a word or two about themselves and their businesses. From recycling businesses, to transport and even hair beauty salons, the entrepreneurs were getting closer with each other as they learned new things about other businesses.

Based on the listed topics, the entrepreneurs were separated into three groups and asked to brainstorm new ideas, recommend changes and write them down with the help of the business facilitators. They agreed on several things that need implementation or changes in the system:

  • Regarding their Access to Finance, the entrepreneurs requested two changes: greater access to EU funds for Roma entrepreneurs, and lowering the interest rate for business loans taken from banks.
  • In the field of Green Economy, the entrepreneurs agreed that acquiring machines and equipment with environmental standards and also training about the Green Economy were the two most important things.
  • When discussing the Digital Transformation, a fund for digital transformation and training for using digital tools, such as social media and e-commerce, with some basic knowledge about branding and marketing were considered most important.

After lunch, the event finished with a visit to the only Roma Municipality in Europe, Shuto Orizari, where the entrepreneurs had the pleasure of meeting the mayor Kurto Dudush – Kuco, and discussing the challenges faced by the municipality on a daily basis.

The event was part of the project EU Support for REDI: Advancing Roma Entrepreneurs in Western Balkans, funded by the EU.