RISE Bootcamp 2023: Connecting Social Entrepreneurs Across the Region

23 March 2023

Tirana - The RISE Regional Bootcamp brought together over 40 young social entrepreneurs, trainers, experts, RISE partners, and decision-makers from the Western Balkans and the European Union for the second consecutive year. 

The Bootcamp marked the start of the incubation chapter, giving the opportunity for the young entrepreneurs to deepen their knowledge of various topics and benefited from the expertise of local incubators. More specifically, Project managers from local incubators provided support to the teams according to their specific needs on the business model, branding, pitching, sales and marketing. By accelerating the lessons, participants were able to improve their projects further, develop product and/or service prototypes, and create an action plan for the next step

The event concluded with a pitch session judged by a jury, where three teams stood out for their diligent work. 

- Coffee Mates, supported by ARNO, turns coffee waste into organic fertilizer and other circular economy products. 

- Soko Camp, supported by Smart Kolektiv, reduces children's screen consumption by offering outdoor activities. 

- Komunumo, supported by IEC Tehnopolis, is a digital platform that combines language learning and employment services for migrants, creating independence in the region.

A showcase on youth reconciliation in the Western Balkans

Launched in 2019, RISE supports social ventures that have a positive impact on the region's ecosystems. The project fosters reconciliation in the Western Balkans by promoting and strengthening social entrepreneurship. The intercultural component involved the SEEYN, allowing the Risers to broaden their understanding of cultural differences in the business setting. Over the next four months, young entrepreneurs will participate in the regional mobility program and develop their business ideas into functional prototypes, which will be presented during the RISE Regional Forum in Skopje.

This project is co-funded by the Agence Française de Développement, the European Union; Regional Youth Cooperation Office and the Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ). RISE project is developed in partnership with the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), PULSE (Groupe SOS), South East European Youth Network (SEEYN), the Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ), ARNO, Balkan Green Foundation, Nesto vise, Smart Kolektiv, IEC Tehnopolis and Yunus Social Business Balkans.