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The project is oriented towards marginalized groups in the cross-border region—people with disabilities, youth and Roma. The priority is to increase the competitiveness of the business environment and the development of small and medium enterprises. The existence of social enterprises increases the employment skills of youth and marginalized groups and responds to the needs of the poor in the cross-border region and rural areas.

The creation of a model for increasing the employment skills of the target groups is the main strategy of the project, which responds to the specific needs, cultural, ethnic and economic characteristics of the community. The implementation models will underline the need for social entrepreneurship, characteristics and needs of the target groups, the markets and anticipated investment programs. The training of trainers in the area of social entrepreneurship will enable the employment of marginalized people and youth in their own cooperatives and/or their own enterprises.

Introducing potential investors with the capabilities of marginalized communities through social entrepreneurship will provide a better stimulus for the employment of those people.

The low economic engagement in the north-central region in Macedonia and southwest Bulgaria, the closed large state companies during the privatizations, the insecure investment climate, as well as the low usability rate of the EU and national programs are some of the factors leading to the high unemployment in the region, especially for women, people with disabilities, the Roma and other marginalized groups. One of the main goals of the project is to reduce this insecurity and the unemployment of the marginalized communities.

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