Catalysing Small Business Growth: Factoring and Agribusiness in North Macedonia

Key Details
SME Name
Food Bar
North Macedonia
Avg Transaction Size

At the start of Q2 2024, AGC joined up with our partner in North Macedonia to visit local SMEs in Skopje, the capital city. Founded in 2010 as a female-managed factoring business, AGC’s partner focuses on providing short-term financing solutions to SMEs to be a catalyst for their growth in the region. 

Factoring as an alternative financing product is a relatively unestablished financial solution in North Macedonia. While it may not be a well-known option, it’s an instrument that offers several advantages, such as early payment for suppliers, leveraging protection from debts, faster financing, and better opportunity to negotiate sales activities.[1]

AGC's Co-CEO with Food Bar and Partner
AGC's Co-CEO with Food Bar and Partner
Food Bar Facility
Food Bar Facility

In 2017, a “USAID” project was implemented to improve access to funding for North Macedonian SMEs and to help small businesses enter new markets. Having concluded in 2020, the number of financial institutions offering factoring as a product grew from two to eight; however, challenges with legislative understanding of factoring remained and factoring has not yet become a widely used product.[2] Over a two-day period, AGC gained insight into the value that this form of working capital brings to the small businesses of Skopje, and while the factoring concept isn’t widely known, it is still creating advantages for small business growth.

We have our own distribution and commercial segment to produce orders for supermarkets

-Kiril Anchevski.

Food Bar Products
Food Bar Products

“We have two segments: One segment is producing and supplying the market chains in North Macedonia for fresh cut salads, and the other branch is supplying the hotels and restaurants with fresh fruits and vegetables”, Kiril Anchevski, managing director of Food Bar, shares. Led by the mission to provide healthy food to every North Macedonian family, Food Bar are pioneers known to be one of the first companies in the country to operate a fresh-cut business. 

For many SMEs in North Macedonia, getting a business off the ground can be slow and challenging. Eight years ago, Food Bar entered the market when packaged salad consumer habits were not well known. They eventually found their main customer segments among supermarket chains, hotels, and restaurants. “We have our own distribution and commercial segment to produce orders for supermarkets”, shares Kiril. However, despite successfully positioning themselves to meet the demand created by labour shortages in the HORECA sector (Hotel, Restaurant, and Café/Catering), Food Bar started experiencing challenges coordinating business with their suppliers. By sourcing goods from farmers in Serbia, Greece, and Italy, it was vital that Food Bar found a way to rationalize their negotiations, which soon led to the beginning of a relationship with AGC’s partner.

An invoice factoring relationship enabled Food Bar to take advantage of better cooperative conditions, empowering them to negotiate better prices and payment terms and to scale the quantity of products. A further key benefit of the relationship with AGC’s partner meant Food Bar would be paid on time. The second challenge resolved for Food Bar was their use of the facility to maintain a smooth relationship with supermarket clients, who often took a long time to make payments, typically between 30-90 days.

Today, Food Bar looks back on their eight-year journey with pride, celebrating their growth since its establishment with 32 employees across distribution, production, and administration, paving the way for further expansion and success.


Food Bar Facility
Food Bar Facility

[1].TRF News. Factoring and supply chain financing in Republic of North Macedonia. Accessed June 19, 2024.

[2]USAID. The USAID Factoring Project Final Report: October 1, 2017 to December 31, 2020. Accessed June 19, 2024.

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