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Commissioner Mariya Gabriel endorses the Western Balkan policy recommendations

It was only on 15 November 2018 at Startup Europe Summit in Sofia, Bulgaria, that the Founding Members of the Startup Europe Central and Eastern Europe Network (SECEEN) and the Startup Europe Western Balkans Network (SEWBN) publicly signed a Joint Declaration aimed at reinforcing the tech entrepreneurship ecosystems of their regions. Four months later, the Founding Members of the Startup Europe Western Balkans Network (Seavus Educational and Development Center – North Macedonia; Serbia Start Up- Serbia; Oficina- Albania; Innovation Centre Kosovo- Kosovo*; Digitalizuj.me- Montenegro; SPARK poslovni park d.o.o- Bosnia and Herzegovina) are proud to present the first joint effort from the Network– the Policy Recommendations reflecting the main challenges the Western Balkan countries need to tackle in order to thrive and be further connected to the European entrepreneurial ecosystem.

In her opening speech in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, at the Startup Europe Summit 2019, Mariya Gabriel highlighted the perfect timing for the Startup Europe Central and Eastern Europe Network and Startup Europe Western Balkans Network to be established, which is why she supported their launch back in November.

“[The Networks] focus on existing barriers for growth in the region and this Summit, now in Romania, is crucial because they will present publicly a set of concrete and actionable recommendations for European leaders and policymakers” – Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society

The Commissioner strongly believes that the policy recommendations are just the beginning of a long journey and everyone’s support is needed for the winds of change to blow strong. Throughout her speech, she pushed for active participation from all startups coming from Central and Eastern Europe and, in particular, the Western Balkan region and stressed that the opportunities provided by the Digital Agenda for Western Balkans should be seized. This is the only way for a truly Digital Single Market to be created.

Soon afterwards, Mariya Gabriel was handed over the policy recommendations by Europa Media Group, the Hungarian founding member and the leader of the two Networks, about which she said:

“This set of policy recommendations will facilitate the development of the Networks and contribute to the economic progress of their regions.”

Mariya Gabriel’s endorsement is already providing the boost that Western Balkan voices need in order to be heard by ecosystem players across Europe, thereby allowing everyone to benefit from a more equal and leveraged European startup ecosystem.

Concerning the policy recommendations for the Western Balkans

The policy recommendations, which are the very first joint endeavour of the Startup Europe Western Balkans Network, aim to facilitate the internationalisation of the Western Balkan countries and promote them in macroeconomic environments, as well as building bridges across the participating markets and cultures. In the long-run, the Western Balkan countries have a huge potential to become new hot spots attracting startups and innovators from all over Europe. However, common structural challenges must be addressed first through target measures. Some of the strategies that could be highlighted include building new collaboration mechanisms and support the existing ones, nurturing soft-landing opportunities and enhancing coordination both at national and regional levels.

For more information pertaining to the work of the Startup Europe Central and Eastern Europe Network and the Startup Europe Western Balkans Network, please contact Krisztina Toth at krisztina.toth@startupeurope.network.

 

 

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
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Innovation Fund awards grant to MY-GATEWAY advisor to promote young ideas!

4th September 2018 – MY-GATEWAY project is very pleased to announce that Seavus Incubator, together with Business-Technological Accelerator “UKIM” DOO Skopje and the Company for Business, Technical Support and Education “ICS Factor” received a total of 1.5 million Euros from the Innovation Fund to establish business accelerators for young people.

Seavus Educational and Development Center is one of MY-GATEWAY’s advisors, prividing counsel on how MY-GATEWAY activities can be adapted to the Balkan region.

The aim of those business accelerators is to provide young, creative people with the tools needed to start and develop specific businesses that will profit and participate in the progress of the Macedonian economy.

After signing the agreement, Vesna Ivanovska, general manager of Seavus Educational and Development Center, one of the three companies that received help to form a business accelerator, said she expects this project to have a big social impact.

“This project will encourage young businesses in Macedonia when they need it the most”

said Vesna.

It is thanks to those initiatives and projects that the efforts made by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia to catch up with the European standars of work are undeniable. Young people represent the country’s future and potential to grow. It makes a lot of sense to invest in them.

 

To read the full article in Macedonian, click here.

 

Original article by: Maja Илиевска-Пачемска

 

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The blooming of a new Startup Europe project: My Gateway!

Last week, in Budapest, the kick off meeting of a new Startup Europe project took place. A project which aims to connect entrepreneurs in the Czech, Romanian and Slovenian ecosystems: My Gateway.

At the meeting project partners got to know one another, got a glimpse of what tasks and roles everyone will be carrying out and got an insight into the ecosystems we’ll be working with. We also had the pleasure to meet the representatives of the three Balkans countries we’ll extend our network to: Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYROM and Serbia.

 

The WP leaders

 

Europa Media, the leader of the project, showed some bursts of creativity in the organisation of the meeting, and planned activities where the partners’ knowledge of the project was tested! All Work Package leaders (yes, that’s how we divide the work in the project) were asked to gather their teams and quickly present what their tasks are about. Some real eruptions of imagination and outburst of drawing skills were detected in this part!

‘Once upon a time in WP6..’

    

Once this exercises finished, one by one, we pitched our work plan, requirements and ideas which gave rise to doubts that were asked and answered as the meeting progressed.

After the meeting, we could not miss out on the chance of strolling down the river Danube, treasuring the beauty of the buildings that overlook it.

Budapest by night

The following day we went through some technical requirements we will all master at some point!

Krisztina Toth, project leader, passing some knowledge to the consortium.

To conclude, we all know the project will change and adapt during the 24 months of its course, responding to the changing needs of the startup world, but the main focus will always concern the connection amongst the ecosystems guaranteeing growth and knowledge exchange. The project’s website will soon be up, so bear with us and find out more about the Central and Eastern Europe countries!

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