AmCham Macedonia Summer 2018 (Issue 58) - Page 8

Cover STORY Skopje, Valandovo, and Veles took part in the competition. The students had the opportunity to present their companies and products in front of a five-member jury consisting of experts in entrepreneurship and business. The jury had a real chal- lenge to choose the three best stu- dent companies: UnicaSpera from Veles, Find and Buy from Gevgelija, and Lumenis from Skopje. The winning student company at the National Competition, Uni- caSpera from Veles, had the oppor- tunity to participate in the European Competition in Belgrade, on July 16-19. Every year, Junior Achievement Europe organizes the Company of the Year Competition. This award is granted to the student company that demonstrates the best approach to communica- tion, teamwork, problem-solving, Summer 2018 / Issue 58 management, product develop- ment, customer focus, marketing, and financial results. Team Sure- Light from UK was awarded the JA Europe Company of the Year 2018 award in recognition of their out- standing accomplishments during the competition. In addition to the above-men- tioned programs, students who participated in the JA Company Program and Entrepreneurial Skills Pass in Macedonia last year will also have the opportu- nity to ‘shadow,’ or follow a busi- ness leader for one day. The ‘job shadow’ concept is a powerful experience for both young peo- ple and business leaders involved. The leaders share their own career experiences and lessons learned and include their young ‘shadow’ in the activities of their entire work day. The students have a chance COVER STORY Summer 2018 / Issue 58 to glean what managing a business looks like in the ‘real world,’ which brings the world of entrepreneurship closer to them. The fact that this experience also makes young peo- ple more employable will be of inter- est to prospective employers and relevant businesses in Macedonia. This year the Leaders-for-a- Day event, foreseen for November 2018, will bring together 20 stu- dents and 20 managers from the business sector. In this effort JA Macedonia will collaborate with the best-in-class organization AmCham Macedonia in order to enhance its outreach to policy-makers and the private sector. Through the JA Company Pro- gram in the years to come, JA Macedonia expects to develop generations of high school students with newly-acquired entrepreneurial mindset. UPSHIFT – You th Driving Innovation and Entrepreneurship W New Member Highlight Euromax Resources DOO Skopje is a development company, focused on building and operating the Ilovica-Shtuka copper and gold project in South East Macedonia. The ultimate parent company is Euromax Resources Ltd, a Canadian 8 AmCham Macedonia Magazine public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker “EOX”. At € 343 million, the Ilovica-Shtuka Project would be one of the largest single investments in Macedonia. It will boost the economy with gross value added impact on GDP of around 3% per annum and in the first two years, during the construction phase, will create up to 3,200 direct and indirect jobs. hile visiting Tetovo a few weeks ago for a community event as part of the fostering campaign, a young woman approached me and gave me the warmest hug – she was a friend from school that I haven’t seen in 15 years. My birthplace is a source of conflicting emotions every time I go back. But this lovely encoun- ter reminded me of a period of my life that probably made me who I’m today. Arita and I would’ve never met if it wasn’t for a youth program we both attended. My generation was marked by several circumstances that I believe shaped our education and our character in a specific way. The instability of the system, the tension of the deeply divided soci- ety, was something that neither our families, nor the school management really understood or explained how it will impact us and our future. Amid the chaos that became part of every aspect of our lives, the support and the structure that we weren’t even aware we needed came from an unexpected place. Autor: Simona Ristoska, Executive Assistant and Innovation Focal Point, UNICEF We shared some fond memories and it made me realize that the workshops we attended weren’t just a fun place to be – we started developing most of our communication skills during that time. The mentors provided us with the flexible environment which was so different from the reg- ular classes and it helped us express our creativity. I still keep some of the sketches we worked on. I didn’t realize back then, but during the workshops we identified our- selves by the problem we were solving; the lines that were usually dividing us by gender, ethnicity, age, social status – were somehow fading. It also made me realize how much we need this kind of youth programs to be part of the regular education sys- tem in structured way. And the available data on what our young people are facing every day is urging us to start thinking strategically about the challenges. Fact on Our Country’s Youth 12% of the country’s population are adolescents aged 10 to 19. That’s a lot of potential and creative energy. But for a country that ranks fifth in the world according to youth unemployment (46.7%), where this rate is twice as high as the general unemployment rate (23.7%) – that’s a lot of wasted potential and creative energy. International assessments such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) show that two- thirds of Macedonia’s 15-year-olds are functionally illiterate in each tested subject area. Moreover, we fail to recognize that the countries that score the highest scores on PISA reform much quicker, and that we are constantly facing a AmCham Macedonia Magazine 9