The Economic Chamber of North-West Macedonia (ECNWM), as a legitimate representative of the interests of the business community, aims to make the organization, improvement, promotion and protection of the businesses both within the Republic of Macedonia and abroad by facing the challenges of the competition at different levels – local or international. Based on professionalism, high working standards, determination, flexibility, transparency, consistency and equal approach, ECNWM significantly helps the promotion of the businesses as well as societies towards the European values.
Regarding the past, ECNWM was founded in Tetovo in 2005. Since its beginning, despite various challenges, it managed to experience consecutive successes, the leading indicator of which is the fact that it achieved to attract a significant number of companies (122). Due to the physical closeness with the state institutions, in 2007 it moved to Skopje, where it continues to be even today. For a short period of time, the number of the member companies has grown drastically. Similarly, the chamber’s administrative capacities, projects, as well as activities of different characters have been increasing, too.
In 2015, it celebrated its 10th anniversary by continuing to prove itself as an institution that serves the economy; as an important factor in improving the business climate; as a constructive partner of the state institutions of the Republic of Macedonia; as a partner in the social dialogue and eventually as a driver of the economic development and the proper macroeconomic policies.
During the last decade, ECNWM managed to organize 70 workshops, 82 roundtables, several projects financed by the European Union, 120 intermediary business meetings for its members with the foreign partners, which resulted with 50 cooperation partnerships with the ECNWM member companies; over 800 bilateral meetings and workshops, through which around 3,000 active businesses were included and had the possibility to get basic information directly from the experts of the relevant fields. All of these have been followed by the support and the application of the corporate social responsibility practices from the member companies.
In order to be closer to the businesses, since 2012, ECNWM has organized the “Caravan of the Chamber”, during which direct contacts with businesses are enabled. The aim of this activity is to see directly the problems faced by the companies during the development of their activities. In addition, ECNWM is one of the main initiators of the organization of the event “Entrepreneur of the Year”, which since 2006 and onwards has rewarded the most successful entrepreneurs in the state. Traditionally, ECNWM implements the “TOP 100” event, where the companies, which have experienced great achievements during the year, are listed accordingly as 100 most successful companies in the country. This event results with a catalogue titled as the manifestation itself.
Some of the key projects of ECNWM have been:
- The project “The Protection of the Products’ Brands from the Cross-Border Cooperation” financed by the European Union was organized in partnership with the State Industrial Property Office of the Republic of Macedonia and the General Directorate of Patents and Trademarks of the Republic of Albania. The overall objective was to contribute to increasing the competitiveness of cross-border business through the promotion and protection of trademarks and patents in Macedonia and Albania.
- The project “Capacity Building of the Economic Chamber of North West Macedonia”, whose goal was to promote the entrepreneurship in the country by improving the capacities.
- The project “3ES – Education, Employment and Equality for Women of Ethnic Communities”, whose main aim was to facilitate the integration of women of minority ethnic groups (Albanian, Turkish, Bosnian and other) in the labor market.
- The project “Strengthening the Youth and Generating Employment”, funded by the European Union and implemented by ECNWM, SRINT Foundation, PREDA Institution and ANTTARAC, aims to promote the partnership between various local government agencies, educational institutions, youth organizations and the private sector on both sides of the Macedonian – Albanian border in order to achieve social cohesion of the young generation through education and employment.
- The project “Diaspora Invest”, which was launched as an initiative of the Centre for the Development of Polog Planning Region and the Economic Chamber of North-West Macedonia, in cooperation with the municipalities of Polog region, supported by the USAID project for expansion of small businesses and GIZ RED, aimed to inform and encourage the Diaspora to invest in Polog.
Today ECNWM has about 1,800 member companies, which deal with diverse activities and are present in almost all regions of the country. However, it continues to remain open for all other companies that are willing to benefit from its valuable services.