Director CEED Slovenia
Barbara Bregar Mrzlikar is the director of CEED Slovenia which supports entrepreneurs by providing the know-how and networks they need to accelerate the growth of their businesses, to develop new markets and get access to finance. Prior to CEED, Barbara worked as an assistant at the Ekonomska Fakulteta in Ljubljana and then for more than 10 years in a leading Slovene software development company HERMES SoftLab that grew from a start-up to an international company with more than 1000 employees with offices all over Europe as well as in the USA. She started her career in corporate communications & international marketing, worked as strategic marketing manager and finally was a Strategy Office Manager supporting the Managing Board on strategic plan, M&A projects aswell as other strategic initiatives. She joined CEED to help companies in growth and contribute to through different projects on developing a more open, innovative and enterpreneurial society in Slovenia.
Director CEED Albania
After graduating with a degree in Business Administration in 1998, Deni Guga began working for domestic and international companies. While working in the corporate division of the Raiffeisen Bank Albania, Mr. Guga enhanced his customer service skills. Mr. Guga then went to work for ICTS Albania as a business development manager. There he worked on two consecutive projects with the Council of Ministers and UNDP Albania.
Mr. Guga’s main focus as the Program Manager of CEED Albania is assisting entrepreneurs in acquiring the know-how necessary to increase and empower their network.
Director CEED Armenia
Jemma is the director of CEED Armenia, which was launched in 2012 as part of the Enterprise Development and Market Competitiveness Project of USAID. Jemma has extensive experience both with international organizations and in the private sector. She has led a range of projects in Armenia, focusing on private enterprise development, and consulted to retail, financial services, and technology clients in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Fortune 500 companies. Jemma holds a BA/MA in Russian and English from the Yerevan Linguistic University and an MBA degree from the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley.
Director CEED Kosovo
Kreshnik Lleshi has more than ten years experience in project management and has worked as a consultant for international and local organizations in Kosovo. Kreshnik joined CEED in 2009 and launched the CEED Kosovo program. Prior to joining CEED, Kreshnik worked for the Office Business Center Kosovo – OBCK as their Business Development Advisor where he taught international entrepreneurs, ‘how to do business in Kosovo’ and helped them find potential strategic partners. Kreshknik has also managed projects in UNDP, worked as a Monitoring Officer for Special Spinn Off’s at Corporate Governance, Kosovo Trust Agency and for a short period of time was acting Head of Monitoring Unit within this department, where he dealt with monitoring of the post sale commitments of SOE’s.
Kreshnik holds a Bachelors degree in economics from the University of Pristine and also holds a title of Expert in Management and Planning of Agricultural and Wine Companies with an emphasis in drafting business plans, project cycle management, marketing plan creation, and the management of agricultural enterprises from the University of Tuscia in Viterno, Italy.
Director CEED Macedonia
Jovan has fifteen years of experience working with development organizations such as USAID, UNDP and the EU. He has vast experience in the field of organizing training events/study tours abroad, project management of multi-million projects for economic growth in the area of micro-financing, equity investment, environment/recycling, energy and local economic development. Jovan is Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and a Trainer in job search and strategic planning. Jovan was a co-founder of two private businesses and is very familiar with the challenges that each entrepreneur and manager faces when trying to develop and grow their business. Jovan holds a B.Sc. in economics from the University “Ss.Cyril and Methodius” in Skopje and an MBA from the same university.
Director, CEED Tunisia
Wafa Makhlouf is the Director of CEED Tunisia, which was launched in late 2013. Wafa joins CEED with deep knowledge of entrepreneurship development having served as the former president of the Young Entrepreneurs Association National (CJD) and having been an entrepreneur. Wafa started as a CJD Board Member in charge of treasury and was later elected President of the Tunisian chapter. She currently serves as the International President of CJD. Wafa also acted as the Chairman of the Board for Enactus Tunisia.
During her CJD presidency, Wafa initiated the first Tunisian women entrepreneur incubator, which unleashed the entrepreneurship potentials of women in opportunity deprived locations of Tunisia. Wafa also initiated the Wajjahni program, which highlights young entrepreneur success stories to inspire youth into taking risks, investing in their passions and step away from their university degree specialty.
Wafa founded Proclean in 2003, an environmental services provider to public sector agencies. Proclean employs 70 individuals and is involved in a wide range of public area environment management in Tunisia.
Director, CEED Romania
Cristina Manescu has a wide range experience in various areas of SME development, both in Romania and abroad. Cristina worked for 20 years as a national and international consultant for UNDP, UNIDO, UNOPS in 10 countries from Central and Eastern Europe, Caspian Sea area and Central Asia, and in various projects funded by USAID, UNDP and EU in Romania. As the Task Manager of the Delegation of the European Commission in Bucharest, Cristina coordinated the whole portfolio of projects for SMEs in Romania. Since 2006 Cristina Manescu is managing the activities of the Foundation CEED Romania, devoted to strengthening entrepreneurship in Romania and throughout South Eastern Europe.
Cristina Manescu holds an University degree from the Cybernetics Faculty of the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, a Master of Business Administration from Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers – CNAM Paris, and an executive master degree from The National Institute for Economic Development, Bucharest.
Director CEED Morocco
Fatima Zahra Oukacha is the Director of CEED Morocco which supports entrepreneurs by providing know-how and networks they need to accelerate the growth of their businesses, to develop new markets and get access to finance. Prior to CEED, Fatima Zahra was a serial entrepreneur. She founded a company called Transworld Protection which offers services to companies in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Fatima Zahra has also launched a training company and press company in Morocco.
Fatima Zahra has always been passionate about entrepreneurship and working with other entrepreneurs as seen by her work with the Young Business Leaders Organization – Centre des Jeunes Dirigeants d’entreprise (CJD).
Director, CEED Moldova
Anatolie Palade is the director of CEED Moldova, the co-founder and director of ProConsulting, and the co-founder and executive director of the Business Advisory Center (BAC). Mr. Palade has experience working in the banking system and more than 12 years of experience in managing and consulting national and international projects related to private business development and access to finance. Mr. Palade also has experience in non-governmental organizations and has managed projects focused on SME development in Moldova (IFAD, RISP, PASET, UNDP, USAID). He also has previous experience in development of industrial parks and start-up and business development. Mr. Palade has almost 10 years of active experience as an investor in launching businesses in a variety of sectors such as services, pharmaceutical, production of construction materials and he has also conducted corporate business trainings.
Mr. Palade’s certifications include expert-level in analysis of investment projects and financial analysis of the company (Alt Invest Russia); expert-level in Balanced Scorecard (BSC), optimization and reengineering of business processes (Business Studio Russia); and internal auditor in quality management systems according to ISO 9001:2008 (Certind Romania, C & I Moldova). Mr. Palade has a Bachelors in Finance and Insurance from the Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova (2001), Master in Business and Administration (MBA) from Newport University, UJSC (2008).
Director CEED Bulgaria
Nikolay Yarmov is one of the CEED Network founders and has been with CEED Bulgaria as Executive Director since its inception in September 2005. Mr. Yarmov has more than 15 years of extensive hands-on experience in entrepreneurship, finance, private sector growth, SME development and loan guarantees. During his employment with USAID as Senior Private Sector Advisor, he developed and implemented a successful $50 million firm level assistance program. In recognition of his professionalism and achievements, Mr. Yarmov has received various honors to include numerous Meritorious Honor Awards, Franklin Award, Federal Certificates and recognitions.
Nikolay Yarmov has Master degrees in International Economics, Strategic Planning and studied microfinance in Boulder, Colorado. Mr. Yarmov continues his support for SME development in the region through consultancy work, lecturing on international conferences and training seminars to assist young entrepreneurs in their early stages of development.