Call for Applications: A Social Entrepreneurship Program in the Western Balkans

01.09.2023

For the fourth year running, the Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs (RISE) is launching a Call for Applications for its program to support young social entrepreneurs in the Western Balkans.

A new Call for Applications

The fourth call for applications opens on September the 1st. The incubation program is looking for a new generation of young people aged between 16 and 35 from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo[1], North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia) determined to make a difference in their community.

To take part in the program, teams will need to demonstrate :

  • their motivation to learn about social entrepreneurship and get involved in a regional intercultural program ;
  • their ambition to develop a concrete idea with a social impact;
  • their willingness to learn from others in the region.

The RISE Call for Applications closes on October 1st, 2023

Apply here: https://www.risewb.org/apply-for-rise-journey/

RISE Journey 4, from idea to social business

The essence of the RISE Journey program lies in its support to young people in the Western Balkans in transforming their ideas into sustainable social enterprises.

Implemented by the six local structures operating in the region, the RISE Journey offers participants a 9-month program divided into the ideation and incubation chapters.

The Ideation Chapter offers young entrepreneurs a range of training courses, coaching sessions, meetups and a mentorship programme enabling them to transform their ideas into sustainable social and environmental projects. At the end of this chapter, participants have the opportunity to present a social enterprise model, highlighting its impact and viability. The two most promising ideas will be awarded with a 3000€ business development and mobility grant each, as well as access to the Incubation Chapter.

This next Chapter extends its reach to the regional level. While testing and validating their social enterprise concept, the young social entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to meet their peers at an event in Bosnia-Herzegovina (RISE Bootcamp) and a mobility program in the Western Balkans (RISE Expedition).

This year, RISE will bring a new model of cooperation with the implementation of a Hackathon stimulating innovation for reconciliation.

RISE, social entrepreneurship as a tool for reconciliation

The RISE project aims to open up new areas of reconciliation for young people in the Western Balkans through social entrepreneurship.

To this end, the project is actively working to enrich the social entrepreneurship landscape by strengthening the skills of six local support structures (ARNO, Balkan Green Foundation, IEC Tehnopolis, Nesto Vise, Smart Kolektiv and Yunus Social Business Balkans).

In addition, RISE promotes access to social entrepreneurship through its targeted support program for young people in the region who aspire to generate social or environmental impact within their communities. Since 2019, RISE has already successfully supported 130 teams made up of 365 young people in turning their social ideas into reality.

The RISE project is co-financed by the Agence française de développement, the European Union, the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) and the Franco-German Office for Youth (OFAJ). The project is being developed in partnership with the Regional Office for Youth Cooperation (RYCO), Groupe SOS PULSE, South East European Youth Network (SEEYN), the Franco-German Office for Youth (OFAJ), ARNO, Balkan Green Foundation, Nešto Više, Smart Kolektiv, IEC Tehnopolis and Yunus Social Business Balkans.

[1] This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

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