The impressions after the first webinar within the Why not me? 2.0 project

On April 22, we organized an online webinar within the project Why not me? 2.0 Stimulating and showcasing good practices on youth entrepreneurship,  on the topic:  How I Survived Covid 19 ?: Perspectives on Resilient and Adaptive Businesses for Young Entrepreneurs.

We welcomed 4 amazing speakers, young entrepreneurs from North Macedonia who shared their experiences, stories, knowledge with the young people.

The webinar was opened and led by the moderator Jovan Stalevski from CEFE Macedonia.

Our guest speakers were, Igor Izotov (AccLab, UNDP), Verica Jordanova (inovativnost.mk), Viktor Naskova (Hotel Vanila) and Dragan Josifovski (paket.mk).

Quarantine itself, many people saw the quarantine as a negative phenomenon, but some business ecosystems have developed around this, in the health care industry, fitness applications, etc., said Igor. He also emphasized that one of the key things how businesses can survive or overcome crisis is the good mentoring support they can get, as well as adapting to new changes is a very important factor.

Verica from Innovatinost.mk, shared with us some great examples of businesses that easily adapted to the new conditions during the Covid-19 crisis. I do not think that digitalization is key characteristic of the entrepreneurs or business, it is just one of the aspects that companies who have more or less adapted to it, now they have simply been forced by the pandemics to do so, said Verica. She concluded that the most important thing that entrepreneurs should have is the power to adapt to the new conditions, change the business model and to have mindset that will realize that changes are something normal that happened we should not be afraid of.

Dragan from Paket.mk, explained how they started the business before the pandemics in 2018. Paket.mk is an online supermarket who managed during the pandemics to increase the sales because many people started to buy things online. What we did not expect was that during the pandemics we would jump few years of our development, meaning that if we planned to move into a bigger warehouse in 2024 we have done that in the late 2020, said Dragan.

Viktor from Vanilla Hotel, shared the story of how two young entrepreneurs started their business based on solving a problem. They introduced the smart and easy self check in system in their hotel, where the guests are not spending a second on the check in and don’t have physical contact with receptionist.

The hotel started operating a few months before the pandemic, but that was not an obstacle to continue working and retiring, but we even invested more, said Victor. The pandemic has helped us to optimize our work, to be more creative in solving problems and to see change as an opportunity concluded Viktor.

The project Why Not Me 2.0? is supported by the US Embassy in Skopje. You can read more about the project here.