Production of Alcohol-free Beverages with a Focus on Continuous Growth & Sustainable Development

This story is part of the Initiative between Association Konekt and AmCham within the USAID’s Partnership for Giving Project, and is recognized as one of the Best Practices for Corporate Philanthropy.


A large part of Pivara Skopje’s strategic approach is giving back to the community. After recognizing the high unemployment among young people, more than 50%, especially women from ethnic minorities as the most affected category, Pivara Skopje launched the “Skills for Success” training program in 2016 within the Youth Empowered platform. According to the World Bank analysis, the lack of specific knowledge and skills is the key reason young people, especially in these categories, cannot be employed. The goal was to make the program more accessible to a wider audience and have a bigger reach in the socially vulnerable groups. The knowledge and experience are transferred by the members of the management team of Pivara Skopje and other leading representatives of the business, experts from the academic community, public institutions, and renowned international organizations. 

This Practice as a Game-changer  

Part of the company strategy is special pillar Sustainable grow with our community, accelerating focus on Sustainability Agenda while engaging our people, customers & community. “Skills for success” program is a project that perfectly fits into the measures and efforts of the state institutions and the Government for further reduction of unemployment, especially among young people. The training’s purpose is to encourage self-confidence and establish connections with relevant mentors, to encourage entrepreneurial culture and to motivate young people. Young people get the opportunity to improve their communication skills, learn how to conduct negotiations, create development plans, and manage projects, as well as effectively manage time and resources, and gain knowledge in the field of business operations, finance, and sales. 

The Transformative Journey  

The ultimate goal of Pivara Skopje through these trainings is to motivate and encourage young people to take their future into their own hands by enabling them to acquire skills that will help them get jobs or start their own business more easily. 

The results we achieved and the ones we expect justify all our investments in this Program and motivate us to continue, together with our partners, to open new perspectives for the youth and jointly contribute to increasing employment and further development of the entrepreneurial culture in the country. 

The “Skills for Success” program consists of trainings that are free of charge for the participants, i.e. all costs for their implementation are covered by Pivara Skopje, which represents our contribution and investment in better future of these young people and the country. 

Through the live on-line trainings on ZOOM platform, physical trainings in Educational Center of Pivara Skopje and the additional trainings we organize across the country, we have made the Program available to all young people who want to invest in their knowledge and skills.  

Two types of tactics were used to provide more young people to attend the training: (1) organization of trainings in many cities within the country; and 2) a digital hub was created and launched, enabling electronic access to all contents of the training.  

There is also volunteer engagement of employees from all management levels and departments in the company as lecturers and mentors of trainings, as well as involvement of prominent public figures from the community as motivational speakers. 

Paving the Road towards Success 

The interest in the program holds a steady pace since the beginning, with a target of 1000 participants yearly. The lectures are being adapted to the current needs and situation, and that is why during the pandemic we offered online lectures as well via the Zoom platform. Now, the program has a hybrid model, offering both in-person and online lectures. Before the start of each edition, there is an online call for application on social media and, with a form that needs to be filled out. Then, the candidates are contacted one by one by a representative of our partners. This personal approach ensures high satisfaction rates among the audience. The long-term strategy is to make the program as useful as possible, by adding new modules and changing the structure of the existing ones, as well as incorporating sustainability trainings that are in line with our company goals. 

Objectives’ Achievement  

The excellent results are proof of how successful this training is and how it contributes to supporting young people in their employment and opening their own business. More than 50% of the participants got a job or started their own business within a year of attending the training. The satisfaction of the participants from the training is huge, even 98% and the percentage of female participants is 75%. In the past years, up to today, as many as 7333 young people have gone through free of charge training. 

Further Action  

The transition from an in-person youth training program to an online format via the Zoom platform brought about a series of unforeseen obstacles that posed significant challenges to both organizers and participants. Initially designed to be a hands-on and interactive experience, the shift to virtual delivery due to the sudden pandemic onset demanded a complete overhaul of the program’s structure, engagement strategies, and technological adaptation.  

One of the primary obstacles was the loss of physical interaction and engagement. In the in-person setting, participants could readily interact with trainers and peers, fostering personal connections, active discussions, and team-building activities. The virtual transition necessitated the development of innovative ways to replicate this interpersonal dynamic, often leading to challenges in maintaining the same level of engagement and connection. 

Through the expertise of the mentors, these obstacles were eliminated, and further relieved through the introduction of the hybrid attendance – both in person and on-line on Zoom. The satisfaction rate remained in the high-nineties percentage, and all participants said they would recommend the program to their friends. 

The plans for the future include expanding and adapting the program curriculum to better fit the needs of the dynamic business world, and extending our cooperation with important stakeholders, thus attracting an even wider audience, and helping the community through creating a more capable workforce.  

In essence, the launch of youth development programs by companies not only shapes the careers of young individuals but also contributes to the overall advancement of industries, economies, and societies. By investing in the development of the youth, companies secure a brighter future for themselves and the generations to come, solidifying their role as responsible and forward-thinking corporate citizens. 

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