Organization for Social Innovation "ARNO"

Organization for Social Innovation "ARNO": Youth professional kitchen:new technologies for Social Business

Skopje, MacedoniaSkopje, Macedonia
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The project promotes use of IT for building sustainable youth communities: launched 2 websites and 2 mobile apps that upgrade the catering system used by the Hospitality School, thus creating a sustainable solution for investment in the students and the local economy (catering 100% done by students)

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if cooking and chefs are the secret ingredient for employed and happy youth?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Low job creation and high unemployment are the most important problems of Macedonia (youth unemployment rate of 55% remains persistently high). We researched that cook profession is on highest demand on the market.On the other hand the VET system is not perceived as attractive for the students and our partner-the school stated that they have lot of free places and also drop-outs.Most of the graduates are not motivated to continue their education

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The project offered digital creativity to tackle this social challenge. Our main focus was use of digital creativity with central youth involvement to create cool,inspirational youth products/youth brand.But we wanted a long lasting solution so we rooted our approach around the use of social entrepreneurship for sustainable social change (we have long lasting relation with the school).Making everything visible we promote our big goal of reducing unemployment through promotion of VET and more specifically, in our country we are proud of the organic food and we believe chefs and VET students can have really "tasty future" if they recognize and get motivated.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

After the big promo event (launched with addressing of the highest UN representative and the Director of the Agency of Youth and Sport)the State School was promoted among the wide public and immediately reported increase of catering orders. Through the websites and the mobile apps people learned of all the products that are done by the students. In addition the 20 students(chefs) that received training with focus on business skills got exposed to the labor market -!Success story to share: One youth chef got employed in one of the best restaurants in the city-the owner was amazed by the project, valued his skills and offered competitive salary with possibility to be trained for main chef.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

* With implementation of the Capacity Building Workshops 20 chefs from the school increased their knowledge on use of modern technologies (they created emails, CVs, learned professional correspondence and received LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter guidance for self-promotion),increased motivation and leadership skills ( 4workshops: Leadership&Motivation, Soft Skills and English for Specific Purposes, Web 2.0 Training and also motivational speeches from successful entrepreneurs in their filed) . * Through they are exposed to the labor market with CV and contact for potential employers (one chef employed) *The State school is happy to received the promotion of its catering services and reports on increased income from increased orders *The project is success story in building partnership (NGO with State School, municipality and private companies).

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

FUTURE SCALE-UP FOR HOSPITALITY SCHOOLS Additional possibility the project to scale up is to implement the same project (use of the methodology and IT products) and adjust them according to the needs of the other VET schools on hospitality/gastronomy in the country (or the region: ARNO made contact with the Belgrade Gastronomy School). Initial discussions with the Ministry for education were done, and the Director of the Agency of Youth and Sports announced at the project promotion that there is great optimism for using this same model in other VET schools

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Our idea was to involve food brands from Macedonia via two key strategies: Opportunity for their free marketing via existing and known news aggregator run by ARNO: (discount prices due to the social cause) +the opportunity to be the recognized as Macedonian supporters(CSR success story) of project with social cause (included in the entire branding, media relations, PR) and unique opportunity to be promoted via the mobile application

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Other restaurants that offer catering services may find the School as competitor. They lack social mission and can never attach the same idea, but can go lower with prices just to reach theirs. This might be turned into another strong partnership if they are offered with the possibility to accept the chefs for internship programs and they are featured in all job-placement related info at all project platforms and school information.

Founding Story

ARNO is a story of friends that decided to combine their skills and devote their energy to help the society and the young people. We planned to open a startup in the field of creative industries (IT and Advertising) and visited a workshop for Establishing a Startup where we met the young students that were professionally taking care of their catering provision. We were impressed by the school catering, food, the professional attitude and month later when UNDP set a call for Support of Social Entrepreneurship Activities we came up of the idea to help the school with what we had to offer: creativity, IT brains, and trust that young people once motivated can change their worlds and we set up NGO(waiting for Law on SE)


Irina is civil activist that initiates and delivers creative projects for more than 10 years at International Level. Jordan and Darko are brothers that are extremely successful in the IT world and are recognized as one of the best IT people in our society. Arben and Muhamed are the juniors but super-talented IT and art oriented, and proactive young people that co-founded the organization with great motivation.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Organization Country

, Skopje

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Skopje

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

NGOs, Businesses, Regional government, Customers, Other.


Improving Nutrition, Sustainable Sourcing, Inclusive Business.

Audience: Who have you identified as your customer/recipient groups and do these groups value your solution for different reasons? How do you engage different customer/recipient groups to deliver your solution?

Beneficiaries:*20 students received business skills trainings and got exposed to labour market (!One chef employed)*School staff-involved in all stages and received IT training for supervision of the web and mobile app management. * Clients of general public that use catering: public institutions, CSOs, private companies, individuals (all events: promotions, workgroups, weddings, etc.) They benefit affordable catering service and contribute towards the social entrepreneurship activity of the school.

Scaling the solution: How would the prize money and publicity help you to achieve your objectives over the next two years?

ARNO designed the project upon inspiration from Jamie Oliver, but also recognized the job demand of chefs vs the poor reputation of the gastronomy students in Macedonia. The project is first in the country to promote youth social entrepreneurship and vocational education and innovatively reduce unemployment. The big idea is to replicate the project in all vocational gastronomy schools at local and regional level (The Ministry of Education highly interested). The very big idea is to open SE Restaurant with Rene Redzepi (world best chef, Macedonian origin).We need the buzz to attract business angels, the award is the desired shortcut.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered

This was our first project.We started with an idea and established an NGO (soon Social Enterprise to be).When designing the project our leading premise was it to be business-oriented and long term sustainable. Our goal was to promote and increase the income from the school catering and maintain their system at regular basis (our IT members to be paid by the school).Also,an entrepreneurial activity is the ads option at the apps for food companies

Are you are eligible to attend the Accelerator event in Cambridge and subsequent events in London, UK in January, 2015?


Will you require a visa to enter the UK?


Are you are a current Unilever employee?