BGF has selected the RISE Journey winners

21 February 2024

The Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs (RISE) is an initiative that aims to empower youth in the Western Balkans to create positive social and environmental change within their communities. Working in collaboration with ten partners, RISE supports budding social entrepreneurs by providing them with the necessary tools and resources through its support programme, The RISE Journey.

One of the key phases in the RISE Journey is the Ideation Chapter. At the culmination of this phase, a significant event known as the "Demo Day" was organized by Balkan Green Foundation. Co-funded by the Agence Francaise de Developpement and the European Union, this event serves as a platform for young entrepreneurs to present their social business ideas to an independent jury. The objective was to identify and recognize the two most promising social entrepreneurship ideas, which will then proceed to the Incubation Chapter.

Impressively, Creative Cultural Hub and Hhayatelier won the competition and earned their ticket to take part in the RISE Incubation Chapter, starting with a three-day regional Bootcamp in Budva, Montenegro, and will each receive a business development and mobility grant of €3,000.

Creative Cultural Hub aims to transform Malisheva, a culturally underdeveloped city in Kosovo, into a space where the artistic community can thrive. By promoting arts and culture, this initiative seeks to engage and educate the community about the significance of artistic expression.

Hhayatelier tackles environmental issues by transforming waste materials into eco-friendly lighting options. By offering sustainable alternatives, this initiative contributes to reducing waste, promoting environmental awareness, and supporting the community's interest in sustainability.

A 3rd deserving team has been selected to take part in the RISE Expedition, a mobility programme aimed at meeting social entrepreneurs in the region. Addressing the need for safe spaces, Bubble aims to unite and empower the LGBTIQ+ community in Kosovo. By providing workplaces, stage opportunities, and a safe space, Bubble seeks to break barriers and encourage active participation in the movement for positive change.

As well as being a remarkable demonstration of the dedication of the region's young people, this event provides an invaluable networking opportunity. By involving these influential individuals in the selection process, the RISE Project hopes to foster connections between various actors in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem. Additionally, for the participating entrepreneurs, the demo days serve as a gateway to engage with other key figures within the ecosystem, offering the possibility of garnering support for their projects in the future.

The importance of these RISE Demo days goes beyond the recognition of projects. It is an annual event, held in the Western Balkans, which provides a unique platform for players in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem to meet. This represents more than just a showcase of innovative ideas; it symbolizes the energy, dedication, and passion of the social entrepreneurs in the Western Balkans. By nurturing and supporting these young individuals, RISE is paving the way for a brighter and more sustainable future for the Western Balkans.

For more information on the RISE program, visit the link attached here