One of the best experiences during this project was our teacher training. The Association of young entrepreneurs and researchers – ZMAI and the team conducted training for the entrepreneurship teachers in the Pelagonia region, as a part of the BeCircular – IPA CBC project. Our training had a goal to go more in-depth in the fields of entrepreneurship, lean start-up methodology, and the idea behind presenting our businesses in the form of Business Canvas Model. We started with presenting a new, innovative way entrepreneurship can be thought in schools. The idea was to introduce a more practical education approach in which the students will go through the process of making their own start-up and gaining know-how while learning. The training took place in the building of the Faculty of Economic. It is a place where we hope some of the students will continue their education, and a place where most teachers from Prilep got their knowledge. It is also the location where a new entrepreneurship and creative center is being made as part of this project.
The participants of the training included 14 teachers from almost all schools in the Pelagonia region, including the cities: Bitola, Prilep, Resen, and Demir Hisar. All of them went through the business canvas model with a trainer working with some of the most successful Macedonian entrepreneurs. They were then trained how to do client interviews and search for and collect data for their potential business ideas. The last days of the physical training were used to find ways to integrate all of the knowledge into their regular curriculum. We finished the training sessions with happy participants and, more importantly, by staying in touch as a support for the teachers in the teaching process.
The training had a hybrid nature. After the in-person trainings in Prilep, we conducted an online training for the teachers to introduce them to the new e-learning platform, start-app.mk, which they can use during their classes. The platform offers presentations, videos, a digital business canvas, short quiz-like tests at the end of each presentation, and more. As the last part of this training, the teachers were asked to create teaching plans and encourage their students to join the platform and create groups for e-learning.
The Pelagonia Region is constantly facing depopulation as young people move to the central region of the country, Skopje, or abroad. However, some of the most successful entrepreneurs come from cities like Bitola and Prilep. This motivates us even more to conduct trainings in this region that will develop the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit among young people, helping them create new job opportunities and decrease unemployment. The region borders Greece and the EU, giving it a strategic location for further development and progress. We hope that BeCircular will be a good starting point for a better, greener future for this region.