Youth Banks Network Macedonia is informal network of youth CSOs which work on enabling legal, policy and business environment for youth employment through a model of Youth Banks in Macedonia (YB). The youth banks model understand formation of local funds in which financial means from the municipalities, as well as from the civil and business sector will be channeled, with an aim to finance community actions and initiatives by young people.
YBNM has been established in December 2017, as part of the identically named project, by CEFE Bitola, Youth Alliance Krushevo, Youth Council Prilep, Poraka Nova from Struga and led by the Association for Education Mladiinfo International that acts as President of the Network at the moment. In addition, YBNM benefits from the know-how and experience of Mozaik Foundation from Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has been implementing this model for 9 years now in their country. Today, Youth Banks Network Macedonia has 13 member-organizations, together with our 8 new members: Multikultura from Tetovo, Youth Can from Skopje, Volunteer Centre Skopje, Innova Lab – Bitola, Interkultura from Skopje, Association for multicultural integration – Inkluzija from Ohrid, LAG Agro Lider – Krivogashtani, as well as Youth Empowerment Platform – Gostivar.
Nonetheless, YBNM is active in 4 regions in Macedonia: Skopje, Polog, Pelagonija and South-West region. There, it will advocate for introduction of youth banks model on local level which should bring positive changes and employability of youngsters. Using this model, youth not only will act as project applicants and implement local community initiatives, but also the young people will be the ones deciding what kind of small projects should receive financial support and be implemented, estimating what the local community needs are. Thus, youth will not only gain entrepreneurship and employability skills (problem identification, solution-oriented approach, partnerships-building, project writing, project management, communication with media), but also they benefit from numerous life skills (team work, confidence-building, sense of initiative, innovativeness, taking care of the local community, solidarity).
The Youth Banks Network Macedonia project has been funded by USAID’s Civic Engagement Project.