On February 10 2016, the Crimson Development Foundation “Innovation Financing Vehicle” (CDF-IFV) marked its four-year anniversary of financing start-ups and business innovation in Macedonia. With seed financing provided by USAID Macedonia, the Innovation Financing Vehicle is a specialized, $300,000 revolving fund designed to support innovation and entrepreneurship in Macedonia through debt financing and quasi-equity investment. The IFV is part of the Crimson Development Foundation, which, over the course of the past 12 years since its establishment, and also with financial support from USAID Macedonia, has provided over $33 million in direct financing to Macedonian businesses, stimulating the creation of more than $232 million in new exports and over 4,800 new jobs.
To date, Innovation Financing Vehicle has approved and disbursed financing totaling $443,655 (thus, fully lending out all of the $300,000 from the original USAID cooperative agreement, and continuing to on-lend from loan repayments). This financing has supported two start-up companies, one minority-owned business and two women-owned businesses. This support has also resulted in 50 new jobs, including 26 jobs for women and minorities, and facilitated over $2 million in new sales and exports. The IFV is now fully self sustaining and self financing through interest and fee income, thus providing an on-going legacy in Macedonia of small business growth and innovation, jobs and increased sales and exports.
The event attracted more than 50 visitors, including entrepreneurs, business representatives, government officials and donors. USAID Macedonia Mission Director James Stein and two CDF-IFV clients, Mr. Vele Nelkovski, CEO of Vedralit and Ms. Valentina Disoska, CEO of MM Disoski presented at the event. The event was covered by over 50 media outlets in Macedonia.