Implemented projects

Innovation Centre for Young People – ICY

Project 20076IPO007-2012-3-075 

Innovation Centre for Young People – ICY


Priority Axis 1: Economic Development and Social Cohesion

Area of Intervention: Economic Development

Duration: 17 months, beginning 19 Dec 2013

Lead Partner: Business Incubator – Gotse Delchev, Entrepreneurship Promotion Centre, BG

Project Partner: Foundation for Local and IT Development – Gevgelija, MK


The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the cross-border economic development through Innovation

Specific objectives:

  1. To support Innovation environment within the cross-border region Gotse Delchev- Gevgelija though value added new services of Innovation Centre for Young people
  2. To stimulate competitiveness and attractiveness of the region through Innovative idea generation and development of young people.
  3. To foster Innovation orientation and implementation in the SMEs within the cross-border region Gotse Delchev - Gevgelija trough.
  4. To improve capacity of unemployed and disadvantaged young people by providing access to ICT knowledge and skills

The need of such project

According to the BG 2011 report only 20% of SMEs implement Innovations, in the BG-MK region it is even less, few SMEs declared Innovations mainly with EU funding. There is gap in high and higher education towards innovations. In the region SMEs need innovations and innovative people to be competitive and youths need innovative environment and a structure and services to generate and develop their innovative ideas.60% BG and 90% MK of high school graduates go to universities but only few come back because of lack of realization. A good example is a high school in G. Delchev encouraging students to think entrepreneurial through "training companies" and Junior Achievements competition. The BI-GD as a member of jury sees the potential of graduates' ideas however they need support to turn in business. Young potential is not used. Lots of young unemployed and disadvantaged people (orphans, minorities or poor families), are in risk of social exclusion. Statistics of local labour offices for 2012 shows change of youth unemployment rate with 25% - each 4 of unemployed in BG and 2 in MK is young. To have access to ICT and obtain ICT skills is crucial for them to find jobs or start business.

The project addressed the weakness: lack of innovations in SMEs and gap of innovation education in the region and uses potential of innovative youth by establishing a common BG-MK structure Innovation Centre (IC) and providing services to support Innovative ideas generation and develop them into business.

The Cross-border Innovation Centre provides:

  • Innovative environment and services to young people to generate and develop their ideas through workshops and trainings for innovative idea generation;
  • Innovative team work;
  • Knowledge transfer and experience sharing in in the field of innovation Innovation cross-border camp for young people, mentoring and networking for innovation, cooperation with SMEs.
  • Access to ICT and technology for the unemployed and disadvantaged young people through training and information to improve their knowledge and skills to increase the chances to find a job.

Target groups:

  • Students from the BG -MK cross-border region interested in Innovation and new technology. In Blagoevgrad district there are two universities however students from the Gotse Delchev region study not only in them but in universities in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna. In Gevgelija there is a Faculty for Tourism and Business Logistics
  • Graduates from vocational and higher schools in the cross-border region: in Gotse Delchev region there are 2 vocational schools and 5 higher schools. In Gevgelija region there are 2 high schools, one in Gevgelija and one in Bogdanci
  • Young unemployed and disadvantaged people such as minority, youths in risk of social exclusion, single mothers who would like to obtain and/or improve their digital competence (ICT ) skills. The Gotse Delchev local labour office registered 770 young unemployed in 2012 while in Gevgelija region they are appr. 990 people.
  • Young entrepreneurs in the cross-border who would like to develop or implement innovation and new technology in their business
  • Young employees in SMEs oriented towards Innovations and Innovative way

Main activities:

  1. Selection of young people to participate in the project
    • 20 Bulgarian and 20 Macedonian youths interested in innovation and motivated to participate in training, initiatives and teams who will generate and develop ideas.
    • 20 Bulgarian and 20 Macedonian disadvantaged youth
  2. Establishment of a joint Bulgarian-Macedonian Youth Innovation Centre
    • equipment of the centre and counseling
  3. ICT Training
    • Each partner organizes:
    • 2 trainings for 20 disadvantaged young people (2 groups of 10 people)
    • ICT training to advanced youth as identified needs (eg, web design)
  4. Innovative training
    • 3-day Innovation workshop Gevgelija 20 Bulgarian and 20 Macedonian youths, which includes topics such as creativity, idea generation, innovation and innovation processes. The young participants will form 8 cross-border teams for creation/identification of innovative ideas
    • Online team meetings to discuss ideas
  5. Innovation cross-border camp in Gotse Delchev
    •       4-day Innovation camp for 20 Bulgarian and 20 Macedonian youths, including set up teams with trainers and mentors to develop their ideas.
    •       Camp Sessions: Innovative Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship, European networks in support of innovation, European funding of innovation and other topics identified by previous activities (eg Innovation in tourism, education, etc.). On the last day of the camp the teams will present their business ideas developed before an expert jury. The Innovative ideas presented by the youth teams could be for start-ups or innovations for existing businesses. Managers of interested BG and MK enterprises and potential investors will be invited to present their needs and what kind of innovation they look for.
  6. Networking and Mentoring of innovative ideas of the cross-border teams
    •      The teams will continue to work with mentors to further develop their business ideas
  7. Final Conference
  8. Publicity and information

Expected Results:

    • Joint Bulgarian-Macedonian Youth Innovation Centre
    • Trained 40 disadvantaged youth and unemployed to work with ICT
    • Trained 40 youth in ICT
    • 8 developed business plan by teams for innovation
    • Capacity building, networking and joint events for Bulgarian and Macedonian representatives in innovation
    • Increased capacity of partners’ teams to provide innovative services
    • Promotional materials for the promotion of innovative ideas of young people
    • Stimulating cross-border cooperation and the development of local capacity through networking and organizing joint events with the participation of 120 persons - seminars, conferences
    • Created web portal

Final Conference

Conference for presenting the results, achieved by the young people from Gotse Delchev and Gevgeliya regions during the implementation of the cross-bodrder "Innovation Center for Youth" Project took place in Gevgeliya, Macedonia on April, 29-30. The Mayor of Gevgeliya Municipality and President of the South-East region of Macedonia - Mr. Ivan Frangov congratulated the participants with the achievements and wished successful implementation of ideas and plans.





Youth Innovation Camp

4-7.02.2015, Gotse Delchev





Web-design training 

2 groups students, youths, unemployed were trained in web-design in BI-GD. All the trainees developed web-site presenting small businesses like food, auto-services, constructions, farming, fashion, and extreme sports club and youth organization.





This site uses cookies. By accepting cookies you can optimise your browsing experience.