Over a hundred social entrepreneurs at the RISE Regional Forum 2022!

05.09.2022

Upon closing down the second cycle of the RISE Journey, and in the perspective of starting the third cycle,the Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs (RISE) project, supported by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) will deliver a three-day regional Forum on social entrepreneurship in Tirana, Albania on 6-8 September 2022.

The Forum will bring together the most relevant actors and stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem from the Western Balkans 6 and Europe. The event will be attended by representatives of a wide range of ecosystem players, including central and local government institutions from the region, local, regional and international development institutions, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, academia, and experts and mentors.

The second RISE Regional Forum, supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, is a region-wide conference focusing on the importance of developing support mechanisms and legal frameworks to foster social entrepreneurship as a powerful instrument for the social and economic development in the region.

Through different panels, discussions, and interactive workshops, participants will exchange ideas, experiences and best practices across sectors with speakers, experts, social entrepreneurs and start-ups. They will discuss the current state of social entrepreneurship in the region and best practices to shed a light on European initiatives and the Western Balkans’ perspective. By bringing different actors together, this event aims to give a platform to exchange experiences to take the region’s social economy to the next level.

By providing a more inclusive and in-depth understanding of social innovation and entrepreneurship, Forum is a great platform to motivate young social entrepreneurs to engage in intercultural dialogue and learning, provide opportunities to enhance business skills and support networking between peers.

About RISE project

The RISE project is developed and monitored by a consortium composed of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), PULSE (SOS Group), South East European Youth Network (SEEYN), Institut Francais, and the Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ), and implemented by six local incubators: ARNO, Balkan Green Foundation, Nešto više, Smart Kolektiv, IEC Tehnopolis and Yunus Social Business.

The general objective of RISE is to foster reconciliation in the Western Balkans through the promotion and strengthening of social entrepreneurship in the region. The project opens new spaces of reconciliation for the Western Balkan youth through a regional program to support social entrepreneurship. The RISE project is supported by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO). The second RISE Regional Forum is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.

RISE project launched in 2019 already supported 92 teams composed of 258 young people from the Western Balkans in the development of their social business ideas. The participants accessed a series of training, individual coaching sessions and a mentorship program. Twenty-four of those teams were rewarded with financial grants of 2.500€ and a regional incubation program. RISE was recently supported for three more years of operations, and will support at least 350 young people in the future.

In the second cycle, a total of 12 teams were awarded, 2 of which are from Montenegro – Prezla and Earth Soldiers. The Prezla team is dealing with the issue of food waste and environmental pollution caused by that waste, developing a platform/application that will enable restaurants (hotels, shops…) to sell excess daily supply and expired food at a favorable price. The idea of ​​the Earth Soldiers team is to open a summer camp with the task of educating children about climate change through workshops in nature and teaching children about entrepreneurship through recycling. Children will make their own items, market them and reduce the harmful impact on the environment, while waste disposal, composting and growing organic food are of primary importance to the camp.

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