22 April 2021
Today, April 22, in honor of Earth Day, the Balkan Green Foundation (BGF) organized a panel discussion on 'Green Businesses: The Future of the Balkans', which emphasized the application of the principles of sustainable development to activities addressing the problems of climate change and transforming traditional economies into greener and more sustainable alternatives.
This panel, inspired by the BGF's several years of work at the regional level in the field of green entrepreneurship, aimed to stimulate discussion among regional representatives from the business sector, towards achieving a vision of sustainable development by underlining the necessity of bringing the business side to the equation.
Part of the discussion panel were three women representatives from different fields from the region, who in addition to underlining the importance of green entrepreneurship, focused on the challenges related to the establishment and implementation of green businesses and green entrepreneurship in general.
Tanja Bjelanović, program director at Trag Fondacija, Serbia, Adela Ramić, business development analyst at Fondacija Mozaik, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Irina Toseva, stylist from Northern Macedonia, made up the panel discussion - organizations which BGF considers partners in forwarding and promoting green entrepreneurship.
During the discussion, panelists stressed that green businesses are extremely important because they can contribute as a driving force for advancing the sustainable development agenda. Furthermore, it was mentioned as a key element of regional cooperation as a contributing factor towards the development and advancement of green initiatives which enables the exchange of experiences and knowledge. Among other things, the need to improve incentive schemes by relevant institutions was underlined, but also to raise awareness and education on the establishment of green businesses in the region and the benefits derived from this sector. Great importance was given to sustainability as an effort that requires cooperation between businesses, governments, and consumers, who at the same time have to play an increasingly active role in this field.
The role of citizens in pushing the vision of a green future that channels business efforts in implementing the principles of sustainable development as a foundation was also underlined.
BGF continuously focuses its work and activities on supporting and empowering entrepreneurship, where it has initiated programs such as the Balkan Green Ideas and the Balkan Green Academy to support and encourage young people in entrepreneurship and implementation of green ideas.
The panel was organized within the Balkan Green Academy which is supported by the Balkan Trust for Democracy and USAID. The event served as the closing event of the first edition of this Academy.