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From local stores to e-commerce: MSMEs in North Macedonia step up their game

The North Macedonian association of businesses and consultancies Kreacija has been able to level up the digital capacities of Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country thanks to the financial support granted under the CEI Cooperation Fund through the CEI COVID-19 Extraordinary Call. 

The grant has enabled them to support MSMEs in digitalising and dematerialising their business through online platforms for the workplace and by setting up e-shops. To do this, they first launched a short survey which helped them to better identify the needs for digitalisation of micro and small businesses and to adjust project activities to specific requirements.

Hence, the first part of the project which ran from July to September 2020, was dedicated to designing and building an e-commerce platform with the potential of serving 1000 online shops. The development of a professional software, the creation of a domain and a training for the project team were the core parts of this phase. Then, the procurement of equipment for the production of online tools and three educational videos were carried out. Social Media campaign was used. 

The second part of the project from September to October 2020, focused on the provision of expertise, training and coaching. In particular, by communicating with the centres for SME support, they created a database of the MSMEs per country; 470 enterprises were targeted  (252 in North Macedonia, 113 Serbia and 105 Montenegro), encompassing areas ranging from agriculture, furniture and appliances to tourism, hotels and restaurants as well as construction and energy and services.

The forthcoming activities will focus on webinars and online coaching of the identified enterprises. 

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