North Macedonia

North Macedonia received EU candidacy country status in 2005, but the opening of accession negotiations has been repeatedly delayed. The country has a high rate of unemployment at 21%, and 46% among youth. The economy faces structural problems, high poverty and socioeconomic disparities among the unemployed, youth, Roma and the disabled at risk of exclusion.
After independence in 1991, a solid democratic framework was established, but reforms have slowed in recent years, delaying EU accession. The upper-middle income country relies on textile an agriculture exports. 
About North Macedonia


  • Area in km2: 25,713
  • Population: 2,077,132
  • Capital: Skopje


Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Peru, Serbia, Vietnam
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Swiss Entrepreneurship Program
The heart of any entrepreneurial ecosystem is the community of entrepreneurs themselves. The Swiss Entrepreneurship Program (Swiss EP) has incorporated this belief and supports building local startup communities bottom up by working with ecosystem leaders and builders since 2015. We do this by working with selected startup support organizations...
North Macedonia
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Modernisation of the Private Sector for Sustainability and Decent Jobs in North Macedonia
The project aims to make businesses more sustainable, allow them to grow and create decent employment and generate higher incomes, through modernisation of their processes, facilities, and developed human resources towards more efficiency and eco-friendliness on the one hand, and facilitation of services provision by institutions and business support organisations. 
Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Colombia, Indonesia, Morocco, North Macedonia, Peru, Serbia, South Africa, Tunisia, Vietnam
Trade, Initial vocational education and training, Entrepreneurial ecosystems, Sustainable tourism
Swiss Import Promotion Programme
The Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) is a well-established mandate of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) within the framework of its economic development cooperation. As for the new investment phase (2017-2020), SIPPO is carried out by Swisscontact.The overall objective of the Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) is...


North Macedonia
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
A New Generation of Women Entrepreneurs Emerging in North Macedonia
What makes North Macedonia such a good place for women's entrepreneurship? And what are the lessons we can learn from this example?
North Macedonia
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
New Initiatives for a New Decade of Success at SEEU Tech Park
From a small University hub to a well-known startup supporter in North Macedonia: SEEU Tech Park has been supported by Swiss EP through expert advice and peer exchange to build a strong startup community in the region.
Peru, Vietnam, Albania, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Kosovo
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Women powered entrepreneurship for equal opportunities in the future
According to the 2020/21 GEM Women entrepreneurs report, women account for half of the entrepreneurial activity globally. However, those activities tend to remain at a very small scale, impacting the women entrepreneurs and their immediate family, often not becoming growing companies that create jobs and employment opportunities for others due to lack of support and financing.
Country Director North Macedonia
Artak Harutyunyan

Swisscontact in North Macedonia

Swisscontact in North Macedonia contributes to reducing un- and underemployment, especially for youth, and economic development through two projects.

The Swiss Entrepreneurship Program S-EP works with the entrepreneurial ecosystem to provide local start-ups access to improved programs, high value services, strategic and practical advice, as well as valuable international connections so they create value for the local economies.

The Swiss Import Promotion Program SIPPO works with business support organizations to strengthen their competitive position, facilitate market access and export to Switzerland, the EU, and other international and regional markets.

Swisscontact’s portfolio in North Macedonia is aligned with Switzerland’s development strategy in the country.

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