Life in the Balkans now -after SME –
SME- Small and medium-sized enterprise- has been my engineering working life. 99% of UK & EU businesses are SMEs. They’re a key driver of economic growth and sustainability, but there are many barriers.
Removing existing administrative barriers and supporting entrepreneurs in crucial phases of the business lifecycle; is certainly not easy.
Internationalisation, good opportunities, language knowledge helps, but one needs guts, vision and entrepreneurship to see opportunities, find ways to access money – critical!
I decided to give a year to volunteering work, through the VSO (Volunteering Overseas), I was offered a post in Skopje, Macedonia, with a Disability NGO, to help raise money and develop projects. Social work-
Social work, is a profession concerned with helping individuals, families, groups & communities to enhance their individual and collective well-being. It aims to help people develop their skills and their ability, Education and Training is critical to resolve problems. This was and still is needed in the Balkan Countries, I met incredible people, and really never left.
James, a Scot, had been working for the EU in the Balkan countries for many years, our paths crossed in Skopje!
With both of us having life-long interests in the Environment and Ecology, we decided to live in Montenegro, with sea, mountains and a country keen on environment and ecology, or so we thought!
We seized the opportunity while developing our ‘Passivhaus knowledge’ for the build of our EcoHouse, www.gbc.me to help to create the Montenegro Green Building Council. We were approached by local environmentalists and a government agency, the GBC is now 10 years old, a member of the worldgbc.org . The Montenegrins made James the President.
We are still in progress developing our Mediterranean Garden, James is building stone walls which have become an art form now. Our separate apartment, EcoHouse Risan Studio is a beautiful place to relax, the spacious terrace is surrounded by an old vine, Kiwis (Mr & Mrs), roses, jasmine and other plants. The nightingales are singing their song, it is magic for heart and soul. Living here is special.