National Network
North Macedonia

Isaija Mazhovski 40-2/17
1000 Skopje
North Macedonia

E-Mail (2)
Organisation Type
Non-Governmental Organization
Year of Establishment
Fields of Activity
  1. Innovation and Entrepreneurship
General Information

ARNO is an organization for social innovation established in N.Macedonia in 2013 with the special mission of developing and implementing social innovation and promoting new options and contemporary approaches to societal change. In a short time, ARNO became recognized as a ground-breaking leader in the field of social and green entrepreneurship as a result of managing the regional “Balkan Green Ideas Competition'' and its role as a local incubator for social entrepreneurs in the regional program RISE (Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs). As a result, ARNO is acknowledged as a national resource and support and awareness-raising organization for green and social enterprises. Alongside, ARNO works with high schools, universities, VET providers, and adult learning centers from Europe, and co-designs educational curriculums, innovative concepts, and modern methodology for teaching and acquisition of skills in green social entrepreneurship and philanthropy. ARNO is a member of several networks: the National Youth Council of Macedonia (N.Macedonia), DIESIS Network (Belgium), Y-PEER N. Macedonia, the Platform for Civil Society Organisations and Local Authorities (N.Macedonia), and UNFA Men Engage Program CEE.

Mission and Objectives

ARNO`s vision is to create a sustainable and just society that is thriving, scaling up through innovation, collaboration, and creativity, led by empowered communities and future generations. ARNO`s mission is to develop and support social innovation through the design of new options and support to diverse social and green initiatives, which are developed by active, independent citizens who act jointly, experiment, collaborate, and contribute towards a more inclusive and progressive society. ARNO works in four main program directions with the following objectives: Green and Social Entrepreneurship - Objective: To create a community of green and social enterprises is growing, with improved quality and impact of business and doughnut economy introduced as a concept. Youth Education and Philanthropy - Objective: Entrepreneurial, VET and philanthropic educational curriculums are available and extensively utilized within formal and nonformal initiatives, meeting the needs of students, teachers, and youth workers. Social Innovation - Objective: The principles of open innovation, social innovation, and design thinking are implemented and embraced as effective methods for collaborative problem-solving, while the doughnut economy is introduced as a new entrepreneurial paradigm. Connectivity Program - Objective: Created a community of like-minded people and media that collaborate and practice a culture of sharing data, information, resources, and inspiration.

Main Projects / Activities

Green and Social Entrepreneurship: Green Ideas Competition 2013- ARNO has led the Balkan Green Ideas Competition, a regional program funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. It supports the establishment and development of small green businesses by providing training, mentoring, and seed funding (up to 10.000 US dollars). Thus far, more than 300 individuals and small companies applied and participated in the competition. Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs - 2019- ARNO acts as the local incubator in the project RISE aiming to open new spaces for reconciliation for youth from Western Balkans through social entrepreneurship. The project empowers young people to become actors of change within their community(ies) by developing solutions with social and environmental impact. ARNO supports the development of green social business ideas for young people through ideation and incubation programs offering training, mentoring, networking, and seed funding for their businesses (up to 5.000 euros). Thus far, more than 120 young people participated in the program. YouCanBe - a project for empowering young people on social and green entrepreneurship that offers workshops and digital tools for the start of their social enterprise journies. SEEDS of Inclusiveness – Social Enterprises for Economic Development and Social Inclusion - The overall objective of the project is to develop a more inclusive society through strengthening social enterprises and fostering their cross-border cooperation. It encourages cross-sectoral and cross-border networks between social enterprises, local businesses, and authorities through the Academy of Social Economy, mentorship for the selected social enterprises, and online networking forums. Youth Education and Philanthropy: ARNO works with universities and high schools from North Macedonia and Europe in establishing teaching curricula in formal education on the topics of philanthropy, social, and green entrepreneurship through the Erasmus+ programs and other EU funds. In this segment, ARNO creates curricula, booklets, toolkits, and other educational materials, and educates teachers and students on such topics through projects such as Students Today, Responsible Entrepreneurs Tomorrow, the S.E.E.D project, Innovative Social Entrepreneurship with Youth Engagement project and others. Social Innovation: The project “EICEE – Western Balkan Eco-Innovation and Circular Economy Ecosystem” strengthens the capacities and engagement of civil society organizations in policy development leading to green and digital transition in the WB region. The primary value of the action is set with a defined impact on the capacities of the social economy actors and the perception of the industry and the public sector on the use of resources in a sustainable way and based on the concept of eco-design. Under this project, ARNO aims to open the first Repair Shop in Skopje, North Macedonia The project, “Coolinary in Action – Social Entrepreneurship 4 Impact” is inspired by the fruitful collaboration between ARNO and the State VET School for Gastronomy and Hospitality “Lazar Tanev”. Тhis partnership, since 2013, demonstrates the perfect recipe for success, generating positive outcomes in the areas of VET, youth employment prospects, and social economy. “Coolinary in Action” aims to increase employability, tackle underemployment, and facilitate the transition of students into the job market through social entrepreneurship, especially among youth with fewer opportunities. Parcours for the Future project - The consortium aims to collect and exchange knowledge on modes of transformations in sustainability and digitalization with experts and practitioners from European economies like Italy, Romania, North Macedonia, and Germany, and use the experiences to create practical tools for young people in the form of "Parcours" - stages and scenarios for developing green and digital skills in a gamified and interactive way. Connectivity Program ARNO has an alumni community of more than 450 individuals, NGOs, and small enterprises that connect the country with the EU and the rest of the world. Through our social media and communication channels we share news, stories, and other important information for promoting and connecting ecosystems, people, talent, and innovation. ARNO has produced the first Registry for Social Entreprises to raise awareness about the situation and needed support to the social economy ecosystem. More information can be found on our website

How can you contribute to the Network in your country?

ARNO is one of the pioneers of social and green entrepreneurship in the country, predominantly working with young people. As an organization, we use these concepts to facilitate exchange, connection, and intercultural dialogue between young people. Our program RISE overall aims to create reconciliation and intercultural learning through social entrepreneurship in the Western Balkans, a region with latent conflicts and tensions. Under this program, we have developed a methodology for young social entrepreneurs and an intercultural component that can be used in the Network`s work and activities. Moreover, ARNO is one of the leading and most vocal organizations for the betterment of the social economy ecosystem in North Macedonia, promoting values of equality, solidarity, understanding, and intercultural dialogue for the creation of more prosperous societies. We have a lot of experience and expertise in communications and outreach and developed social media channels that can be the voice of youth, civil society professionals, and others to facilitate legal and policy change. Our staff has been involved as key experts in the development of legal and policy frameworks for social entrepreneurship, youth policies and standards, youth work, and others, that can be useful for the Network as well. We are also trainers, policy researchers and experts in topics of green and social economy. Last but not least, we are a social innovation organization that always tries to bring and also promote good practices, standards, innovations, and success stories to North Macedonia, and vice-versa. Working internationally, we have access to a lot of knowledge, tools, expertise, and experience that we can offer to the Network and connect its members with other EU partners.

Why do you want to join the ALF Network?

Our motivation is multifold: First, we have followed the work of the Foundation for many years, and we have interacted with and attended events of the Foundation`s grantees such as festivals, biennales, etc. and we appreciate what the Foundation has been doing in promoting mobility, intercultural exchange, and support to young people. We do the same through similar, but also different concepts and tools, thus, we believe our values and the Foundations and its member's values are aligned and compatible. Second, we see our membership as a valuable opportunity to learn and grow. As mentioned, we act internationally and we have international partnerships that we want to nurture, support, and further enlarge. This membership will grant us access to more people and organizations, as well as it may support us technically and financially to establish new partnerships and create something new. Third, we are part of several networks, and our experience thus far is excellent. We try to utilize these memberships to create contacts and common activities and projects. Almost all of our projects are network-based partnerships. This approach has been successful and we see the network besides other things as a way to enrich our portfolio. Fourth, we believe that the network will bring the civil society organizations closer and will be a driving force for better and more open collaboration, much needed in the times of decline of the civil society in North Macedonia. Having regular contacts and exchanges will inspire us to come together and give us the leverage as an organization and network to make more substantial changes in the community.

Contact (1) Full Name
Irina Janevska
Job Title
Head of the organisation
Irina Janevska
Contact (2) Full Name
Marjan Icoski
Job Title (2)
Program Manager