The Center for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development (CEED) – established by SEAF in partnership with USAID – expanded its reach to a second country in Southeast Europe – Slovenia – on October 2, 2006. The Center’s mission is to help entrepreneurs and their teams throughout Southeast Europe accelerate the growth of their businesses. CEED provides entrepreneurs practical know-how and networks, and inspires and motivates them to learn, innovate, and fully develop the potential of their companies. The CEED program was first introduced in Bulgaria in September, 2005.
Two hundred entrepreneurs, investors, representatives of governmental institutions, corporate leaders, consultants, academics and press participated at the Slovenian opening event. The program was introduced by the U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia HNR Thomas Bolling Robertson. Speeches of the representatives of the founding institutions followed: Mr. Stephen Eastham (USAID) and Mr. Peter Righi (SEAF), as well as Mr. Andrej Nabergoj from CEED Slovenia’s local founding partner (Young Executives Society). Mr.Nikolay Yarmov (CEED Bulgaria Executive Director) presented the CEED success story from Bulgaria, while Ms. Nina Bozic (manager of CEED Slovenia) shared a few words about the new CEED center in Slovenia and its networking and training programs. She as well outlined the CEED Top Class program. This unique program will connect 25 young prospective entrepreneurs with 25 already successful entrepreneurs as their mentors, with the objective to develop a new generation of internationally successful entrepreneurs and to spread the entrepreneurial spirit in the region. The official program was closed with inspirational interviews with two interesting and highly successful entrepreneurs, Mr. Max Palla from Austria and Mr. Ales Zeleznik from Slovenia.
The opening event continued with organized networking, which was designed to stimulate the exchange of ideas, contacts and experiences among the participants. ‘We are thrilled to establish the Center and to begin the job of inspiring greater entrepreneurship, and with our networking and training activities, helping those that already have businesses to take them to the next level,’ said Ms. Bozic, Program Manager for CEED-Slovenia. ‘We also look forward to helping them grow their
businesses within Slovenia and throughout the region via CEED’s increasing presence throughout the Eastern European region.’