Signs of success

Igor Guchkov was out of work and his wife was expecting their second child when he first realized, two years ago, that his best chance of gaining steady employment in the only job he enjoyed was to take the leap of starting his own business. “With another child on the way it was a real make or break moment in my life,” says Igor, “Either I had to give up my dream or go all out to achieve it before it was too late.”


Igor’s dream was to open his own tattoo salon in his hometown of Bitola. “Tattooing is my passion. I just can’t imagine doing anything else. I had room to set up a salon in my house, but the legal process and all the details of business planning were a real put-off—not to mention the money for the equipment to get started.” The Self-Employment Programme has been designed to meet the needs of people like Igor who have the necessary skills and a viable business idea but lack the experience and confidence to set up their own companies and start working for themselves. “What we often find is that participants already have strong ideas but are daunted by the paperwork of formalising their businesses,” says Liljana Stojanovska, Advisor in the Bitola Employment Center.

“People typically overestimate the difficulties of forming a company and we’re here to guide them through the process, building up their confidence.”

Igor applied for help with formalizing his business in 2010. Igor worked closely with the team from the Employment Centre on developing his business plan and received training from UNDP Monitoring Officers on the procedures of registration. Two years later he has a tattoo salon of his own in Bitola equipped with tools funded partly by the self-employment grant. Operating from the ground floor of his family house, 32-year-old Igor has already established SkinSin as one of the most popular tattoo salons in the city. “Applying for the course was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” he says, “I believe in myself now and I’m determined to make this business a success.”

Comments are closed