North Macedonia

North Macedonia received EU candidacy country status in 2005, but the opening of accession negotiations has been repeatedly delayed. The country has a high rate of unemployment at 21%, and 46% among youth. The economy faces structural problems, high poverty and socioeconomic disparities among the unemployed, youth, Roma and the disabled at risk of exclusion.
After independence in 1991, a solid democratic framework was established, but reforms have slowed in recent years, delaying EU accession. The upper-middle income country relies on textile an agriculture exports. 
About North Macedonia


  • Area in km2: 25,713
  • Population: 2,077,132
  • Capital: Skopje


2015 - 2023
Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Peru, Serbia, Vietnam
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Swiss Entrepreneurship Program
The heart of any entrepreneurial ecosystem is the community of entrepreneurs themselves. The Swiss Entrepreneurship Program (Swiss EP) has incorporated this belief and supports building local startup communities bottom up by working with ecosystem leaders and builders since 2015. We do this by working with selected startup support organizations...
2021 - 2025
Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Colombia, Indonesia, Morocco, North Macedonia, Peru, Serbia, South Africa, Tunisia, Vietnam
Trade, Initial vocational education and training, Entrepreneurial ecosystems, Sustainable tourism
Swiss Import Promotion Programme
The Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) is a well-established mandate of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) within the framework of its economic development cooperation. As for the new investment phase (2017-2020), SIPPO is carried out by Swisscontact.The overall objective of the Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) is...


North Macedonia
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
X Factor Accelerator: Together We Grow
X Factor Accelerator from Veles has become a go-to organisation providing know-how and finance for startups and entrepreneurs in North Macedonia who are looking for funding and support.
North Macedonia
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Niche programmes supporting startups on their way to success
Two programs were designed to help more mature startups deal with specific problems in North Macedonia in 2021. The results they are giving are already assisting startups in developing faster.
Vietnam, Albania, Peru, Serbia, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Impact figures of the Swiss Entrepreneurship Program 2020/21
After 6 years of the Swiss Entrepreneurship Program operating, there is a clear development of the startup ecosystems picking up speed in most countries. The program shares updated impact figures for 2020/21.

Swisscontact in North Macedonia

Swisscontact in North Macedonia contributes to reducing un- and underemployment, especially for youth, and economic development through two projects.

The Swiss Entrepreneurship Program S-EP works with the entrepreneurial ecosystem to provide local start-ups access to improved programs, high value services, strategic and practical advice, as well as valuable international connections so they create value for the local economies.

The Swiss Import Promotion Program SIPPO works with business support organizations to strengthen their competitive position, facilitate market access and export to Switzerland, the EU, and other international and regional markets.

Swisscontact’s portfolio in North Macedonia is aligned with Switzerland’s development strategy in the country.

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