The Center was established within the framework of the BeCircular project – Boosting Employment through Entrepreneurship in Circular Economy, which is financed by the Cross-Border Cooperation (IPA CBC) program of the European Union. Organizations from the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Greece participate in the project, and the E&C Center was created by the Association for Research and Analysis – ZMAI, as part of their project activities. The Center was opened on March 23, 2023, and is now open to everyone who wants to visit and use the spaces it offers.

“Young people from both countries can work together, sharing ideas and knowledge, and advancing the concepts of entrepreneurship, creative industries, circular and bio-economy. These areas offer new opportunities for developing “green” business models. They could mean opening up new jobs for the local population, as well as new businesses that would provide additional economic activity in the region”, said Viktor Mitevski, President of the Association for Research and Analysis ZMAI, in his statement.

At the opening of the new center, which was made with co-financing from the Ministry of Local Self-Government, the Minister, Risto Penov, also spoke. “I am glad to share that the Ministry for Local Self-Government participates with 15% in the Budget of the Macedonian partners in this project. By co-financing this project, the Ministry supports the creators of projects such as this one, to ensure full financing by the IPA instrument for Cross-Border cooperation of the EU. This is a great opportunity for the institutions, universities and the non-government organizations to work on projects side-by-side with their partners from the neighbouring countries. This type of projects bring great minds together and create positive changes to the region.”

The Rector of St. Clement of Ohrid University, Prof. Dr. Igor Nedelkovski, emphasized the importance of such projects for students at the opening. According to him, investments in entrepreneurship and circular economy always return to communities. This is true both in economic and financial terms, as well as in terms of ecology and creating new, green business solutions. He believes that students and young entrepreneurs will use the new space to develop advanced ideas. Perhaps the next big startup in Pelagonia will come from these benches.

Also speaking at the event was the Dean of the Faculty of Economics in Prilep – Prof. Dr. Dragica Odzaklieska. She highlighted that the faculty is proud to have such a center in its premises. “The center is fully in line with the visionary building outlook of the Faculty of Economics, where students and colleagues who teach subjects in the areas of entrepreneurship and innovation will have a great space to develop their ideas and knowledge. As an educational and scientific institution, the Faculty of Economics – Prilep will be able to offer a great space for all current and future entrepreneurs and creatives. The development of concepts such as Circular and Bio-Economy is the future of the entire economy, and we are proud to be part of initiatives such as this one that support and promote these areas.”

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Creativity should become a place where students and young Macedonian entrepreneurs from the Pelagonia region will develop their entrepreneurial ideas and create conditions for the development of the local economy. Young entrepreneurs and creatives will finally have their own space in Prilep where they can create, socialize, and innovate together.