Bitola Start-up program was officially launched on 20 October 2020 at the premises of the Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies where the Start-up Center is located.
Bitola Start-up is the first Local Employment Partnership to be implemented within the ILO-implemented project, Strengthening Social Dialogue, with financial support from the European Union.
The activities planned are as follows:
➢ Start-up program that will provide mentorship services for business idea development and financial support for starting a business (a program to be realized by PREDA Plus Foundation)
➢ Career Fair that will enable networking between companies and job seekers (to be realized by the Youth Cultural Center – Bitola)
➢ IT skills development program that will offer trainings for practical IT skills for direct employment in the IT industry (to be realized by Interworks Educational Center).
Under the leadership of the Local Economic and Social Council of the Municipality of Bitola, the project partners (Municipality of Bitola, Youth Cultural center – Bitola, Foundation for sustainable economic development PREDA Plus, the Technical School Gjorgji Naumov, the Regional Chamber of Bitola, the Employment Service Agency Bitola, Interworks Educational center – Bitola, the University Sv. Kliment Ohridski) will conduct activities to improve employability in the Pelagonija Region, promote an ecosystem for start-ups and support entrepreneurs.
After the official launch, the first session within the Start-up program was held to present the selected business ideas that will be part of the program.
A total of 56 business ideas were received through the online application, and the evaluation committee selected the best 20 business ideas that will be included in the program based on the following criteria: innovation, cost-effectiveness and viability of the proposed business ideas. In a period of 3 months, the Start-up Program will offer mentorship services for creating business models, trainings with eminent professionals in the Macedonian start-up ecosystem; networking opportunity; presentation of business ideas to potential investors and financial support of the most successful business ideas. The total financial support that will be allocated to the best businesses under this grant scheme is 740.000 MKD.
Another startup program is planned within Bitola Startup Center in the period February – April 2021.