Project “Voucher system for counseling services”

September 26, 2016
EU project_EuropeAid 135-012-M-ACT-MK
September 26, 2016

Male hand pointing at paper containing data about economic situation

The Foundation for Small and Medium Enterprises Development – Kumanovo in the period from 2007 to 2016 actively implements the included in realization programme of voucher counseling that offers support to potential and sustainable entrepreneurs who wish to implement a business idea or need certain professional consulting service by advisors (consultants) from the authorized network of consultants in the Agency for promotion of entrepreneurship of the Republic of Macedonia.

The foundation implements the programme in the region of Kumanovo, Kriva Palanka, Rankovce, Kratovo, Staro Nagoricane and Lipkovo.

The voucher programme is an example of “best international practices” for SMEs development and promotion of entrepreneurship.

The programme for voucher (subsidized) counseling offers support to individual entrepreneurs and existing companies that want to implement a business idea.

The voucher system of counseling supports providing consulting services and developing business in the form of vouchers which are financed by a government institution APERM (Agency for promotion of entrepreneurship of the Republic Macedonia).

The purpose of the voucher programme is to empower the already established small enterprises to use consulting services in order to enhance their working process and competitiveness, and to provide counseling, training and information to potential entrepreneurs to facilitate their transition to self-

The End-users of counseling (target groups), provided through the programme for voucher counseling are:

• SMEs that have particular difficulties in their working process and SMEs that want to develop their own business, including innovative enterprises and
• Potential entrepreneurs (including unemployed and employed individuals) who would like to become entrepreneurs and self-employed.

The vouchers allow users to choose their legal advisers and monitoring methodology approved by APERM.\

The programme of voucher counseling which is related to small businesses requires the development of customers’ business through a wide range of advisory services.

Below are listed seven main areas of advisory services for the development of small businesses:

• General management including diagnosis, business planning and strategic development
• Marketing, sales and export development
• Financial control and management and accounting management
• Human resources development and staff management
• Planning and management of production, methodology and processes, including technology
• Quality control and management of environmental protection
• Management information systems, information technology and electronic business.

As a result of continuous improvement and development, the Programme for voucher consulting received another award. Precisely, after finishing the process of implementation of ISO 9001: 2008, at the beginning of 2011, APERM acquired the certificate ISO 9001: 2008 and among the programmes that have gained this certificate is the Programme for voucher counseling.

Voucher counseling system operated by APERM.

Contractors of the Programme for voucher counseling are foundations for entrepreneurship support or business support organizations (BSOs) who are authorized by the APERM to implement the voucher system of counseling at local and regional level (the contractor of the programme in the northeastern region is
our organization, Foundation for Small and Medium Enterprises Development – Kumanovo).