Ana Trpovska from Macedonia has joined Catapult’s office this week as an international fellow in the Tech Innovation and Entrepreneurship Professional Fellows Program administered by WorldChicago, sponsored by U.S. Department of State. Sixteen fellows from the Balkans region arrived in Chicago last week to participate in the one-month program that offers opportunities to fellows from around the world to experience the tech, innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Chicago, work with some of the organizations that are involved in this field, and exchange knowledge and experiences. She is part of the very first group from Macedonia, as the program has just opened to this small European country.
In Macedonia, Ana works as a Project Manager for one of the biggest business support organizations in the country – CEED Macedonia. CEED is part of a global network of entrepreneurial centers which are located across different countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.
We asked Ana several question to get to know her better.
What is CEED?
CEED Macedonia (Center for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development) is one of the biggest business support organizations in Macedonia. It was established in 2007 in the capital of Skopje as the fifth center in the global network of entrepreneurial and managerial centers. CEED has been providing different forms of business support services through its three main business units: CEED Business and Educational Club, Project’s Department, and CEED Hub Skopje. In its business support activities to Macedonian companies, CEED puts a special emphasis on capacity building and learning programs that focus on practical knowledge, complemented with experience sharing and mentoring by successful local business leaders. Facilitating companies’ access to finance, a strong regional and international network, and new markets is also part of what we do. CEED Macedonia has managed to position itself on the Macedonian market as a unique and innovative business support center that offers (designs and delivers) management, leadership and personal development programs as well as business consulting services.
We are continuously working on improving the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country by addressing the changing needs of the entrepreneurs and businesses, offering to the entrepreneurs a combination of services that will help them further develop and grow their companies.
I work as a Project Manager at the Project Department, more specifically on projects’ design and development, fundraising and management, and coordination of project implementation.
How did you first get involved in innovation/entrepreneurship?
My first contact with this sector was little bit over 8 and a half years ago, when I first started working for CEED Macedonia. I had a background in project design and development as well as managing project implementation, though before CEED I was working in different fields.
What's your favorite food?
I would say – posna sarma is my favourite dish which is actually - cabbage rolls stuffed with rice and leek. It’s a regional specialty and a non-meat version of the regular sarma (stuffed cabbage leaves with minced meat and rice). Otherwise, I like Italian cuisine, and I’m more of a savoury kind of person rather than being into sweets. I generally enjoy eating and trying out different food.
What are you most excited to do/see in Chicago?
It is difficult to decide. I’m most excited that I will meet a lot of interesting new people from different countries and that I will have the opportunity to work in a different setting, but I’m also excited to explore the city. I love jazz music and live gigs in general, so I am super excited that I’m in a place where there is so much to see and hear.
Welcome, Ana! We are very excited to exchange knowledge about supporting entrepreneurs across the globe!