Our Work

Youth Actively Create Opportunities Activity

Active grant applications

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Prime Recipient Improving Economies for Stronger Communities (IESC) invites applications for the Youth Actively Create Opportunities Activity Grants Program. IESC is issuing three Annual Program Statements (APS) for grant activities that accelerate and expand upon the Activity’s objectives to address youth priorities and increase youth economic opportunities, competencies, and youth civic engagement in North Macedonia.

North Macedonia Youth Actively Create Opportunities Activity grants notice of funding opportunity – announcement and general information

Full applications should be submitted in electronic copy. All applications should reference the APS number and the grant technical description, namely Rapid Response Grant, Challenge Grant and/or Sustainable Growth Grant.

Electronic copies in Word and Excel format and signed copies of the originals in PDF format should be emailed to yacogrants@iesc.org.

Please note that the email cannot exceed the maximum size 25MB.

Virtual information sessions

IESC held virtual information sessions on May 20 and 22, 2024 to provide an overview of the application process and give interested applicants an opportunity to ask questions. For anyone who was unable to attend, the information session presentation and a recording of the session are now available.

Questions and answers

The deadline to submit questions has passed. Answers to questions received by the deadline are now available.


The Republic of North Macedonia is undergoing fundamental socioeconomic changes that are opening doors for long-term economic development.  In such a context, the need for youth-driven initiatives that facilitate youth integration into high-growth economic sectors is key. The five-year USAID Youth Actively Create Opportunities Activity implemented by Improving Economies for Stronger Communities (IESC) seeks to seize this window of opportunity and strengthen the Macedonian workforce development system and contribute to youth-led development.


The overall goal of the USAID Youth Actively Create Opportunities Activity is to increase positive youth contributions to society and collective youth leadership across North Macedonia. The five-year program aims to reach 10,000 youth to improve their awareness and understanding of social and economic opportunities in North Macedonia, helping them be more connected to their communities and have a positive vision for the future. This includes 6,000 youth trained with 50 percent of female participation in youth leadership programs

IESC and Macedonian partners Center for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development (CEED), Hub Skopje, and Youth Educational Forum (YEF) prioritize a youth-centered local systems approach to jointly implement activities under three components.

The Activity creates and facilitates youth engagement opportunities with the private sector, collaborates with local authorities to strengthen youth programming, creates employment avenues for trained youth, supports green jobs, and bolsters youth entrepreneurship and social engagement.

The Activity supports youth access to specialized, innovative, and entrepreneurial skill building initiatives, and facilitates youth connections to career guidance and mentorship opportunities. The Activity puts a specific emphasis on building youth skills and participation in policy reform, social entrepreneurship, and anti-corruption.

The Activity strengthens the capacities of youth groups; supports youth initiatives through grants; promotes research, community leadership, and service; and facilitates initiatives for changing cultural values about corruption.

Program details

Funder: USAID

Project Duration: 2023-2028

Award: $7 million

Partners: Center for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development (CEED) Hub Skopje and Youth Educational Forum (YEF)

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