WHAT IS GROWBIZ?
GrowBiz is an exciting new initiative implemented by LinkAcross and co-funded by USAID’s Economic Development, Governance and Enterprise Growth Project to help your tourism, agriculture, or manufacturing business in North Macedonia or Albania grow and increase sales. The primary goal of this program is to help you create and implement a business growth plan. We do this by pairing you with an experienced business coach from the U.S. who you will meet with online regularly over the course of a year.
We supplement the executive coaching with online access to our set of core trainings on business growth planning, market research, digital marketing and more. Also as part of GrowBiz you will receive digital marketing consulting, video production assistance, and select access to relevant industry experts to those participants who want to take advantage of it.
GrowBiz is helping real businesses like yours to grow! Consider the following results to date:
90 businesses have received training in the following areas: strategic management, market research, digital marketing, customer engagement, environmental and social responsibility, manufacturing efficiency, and export strategy. These trainings are available to clients through the Members digital library on our website.
12 businesses have received over 200 hours of personalized business coaching from experienced U.S. business coaches and have developed and begun implementing business growth strategies together.
26 businesses have received video production and consulting services for the creation of promotional videos and expert consulting in the areas of digital marketing, manufacturing efficiency, and environmental sustainability.
GrowBiz is funded and supported by USAID as part of its Economic Development, Governance and Enterprise Growth Project, which launched in 2020. It is implemented by LinkAcross, a U.S. NGO with local offices in Macedonia and Albania with over 10 years of experience in the region.
Key features and benefits of GrowBiz:
Over 20 hours of one-on-one executive coaching / mentoring with experienced business people from the U.S. and the region to create and begin implementing your business growth plan. This plan will serve as a roadmap for your business going forward and can be shared with relevant stakeholders, including investors.
Customized digital marketing audit and recommendations and production of a short promotional video for your business, as appropriate.
Access to over 15 hours of online core training covering best practices in strategic management, market research, digital marketing, branding, customer and employee satisfaction, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility.
Access to additional elective online training focused on issues specific to the agriculture, tourism and light manufacturing sectors in the areas of digital marketing, lean manufacturing, and export strategy.
GrowBiz is flexible and implementable in a COVID-19 environment. A combination of virtual and in-person meeting options allow for the highest possible quality, while minimizing health risks.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE IN GROWBIZ?
GrowBiz is open to small or medium (SME) businesses registered in North Macedonia or Albania in the following sectors:
Agriculture and Agricultural Processing
Eco, Adventure and Rural Tourism
Apparel and Textile Manufacturing
In order to qualify you must meet the USAID definition of an SME as follows:
Small: 11 - 50 full-time employees*
Medium: 51 - 250 full-time employees
Note that part-time or seasonal employees can be converted to full-time equivalents (FTEs) to count toward the minimum number of employees for the program.
* Due to the current economic situation, your business may be able to qualify with less than 11 full-time employees. If you are unsure if you meet the program requirements or would like to request an exception, please contact us to discuss your specific situation.
Also you must have a working knowledge of English, as all coaching sessions and activities will be conducted in English.
HOW DOES GROWBIZ WORK?
Business Growth Plan and Executive Coaching
As part of your application to GrowBiz you are required to complete a business growth plan concept. Businesses that demonstrate the greatest potential for growth will be selected for acceptance into the program.
If you are accepted, you will immediately be paired with an experienced executive business coach from the U.S. who will meet with you virtually every two weeks to help you develop your business growth plan. You will write the plan, and your coach will assist you through the process with questions, feedback, and ideas. Also, in some cases (depending on the nature of your business), we may be able to provide additional industry expert assistance. Once your plan is ready, you will continue to meet regularly with your executive coach to begin implementing your plan.
Customized Marketing and Video Production Assistance
As part of GrowBiz you will be eligible to receive a digital marketing audit for your business, should you so desire. A marketing consultant will meet with you to understand and evaluate your digital marketing efforts and offer suggestions for improvement. Finally, if appropriate and needed for your business growth plan, we will help you produce up to a 3-minute promotional video for your business.
Online Access to Core and Elective Business Trainings
Also included in GrowBiz is online access to videos of the following core business trainings taught by U.S. and local business experts specifically for GrowBiz clients:
Core 1: Strategic Management for Growth and Creating a Business Growth Plan that Works
Core 2: Market Research Strategies to Assess Value for Your Customers
Core 3: Digital Marketing and Branding that Actually Connects with Your Customers
Core 4: Customer Satisfaction and Employee Engagement as Drivers of Growth
Core 5: Environmental Sustainability and Social Responsibility - Business that is Good for Planet, People and Profit
Each online training lasts about 3 hours and is accompanies by slide presentations. The Core 1 training on business growth planning is required for all participants. Your coach may recommend other trainings based on your specific situation.
Additional elective training topics on industry-specific digital marketing, lean manufacturing, and export strategy are also available through our GrowBiz digital training library.
FEES AND CONDITIONS
This program is funded through a combination of USAID support and participant fees. The participant fees are as follows:
Small businesses: 360 Euros
Medium businesses: 540 Euros
The participation fee may be divided into two equal payments, should the participant so choose.
Please keep the following conditions in mind:
Small businesses are defined as having 11-50 full-time employees, with medium businesses having 51-250 employees. See eligibility criteria above.
One senior-level representative must commit to attend all of the coaching sessions with the executive coach. Additional senior leaders from the company may also participate, as desired.
All company representatives in the program should be senior-level directors or managers with decision-making authority.
If this program seems like a good fit for your business, start the application process online today! The application contains two sections. The first section includes baseline information about your company. The second section is the business growth concept. If it is easier you can download the template for the business growth proposal and then copy/paste into the form or email the completed proposal to email@example.com.
Developing the growth concept requires focused time and attention and is the most important part of your application. The preferred language for the application is English; however applications in Macedonian and Albanian will also be accepted.
Spots in this program are limited and applications will be processed in the order they are received. After your application is received we will contact you for a short interview as part of the application process.
If you are accepted into the program, your spot is not guaranteed until payment is received. All fees are paid in local currency to LinkAcross North Macedonia or LinkAcross Albania according to the local exchange rate.
Please contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone below to learn more and discuss your specific situation.