Among a large number of great ideas, we have selected seven teams with whom we will work in the next 4 months to develop their business ideas.

The call for participation in the RISE program was open from the end of August to the end of September. Thirty-five teams applied for the competition, i.e. over 100 young entrepreneurs who have a strong motivation to solve a social and/or environmental problem through innovative and sustainable models. Based on the reviewed applications, the expert commission consisting of members of the Smart Kolektiv and experts in the field of social entrepreneurship, selected 7 teams with whom we will work in the next 4 months to develop their business ideas:

  1. Civic education of national minorities – This team comes from Preševo and consists of economics graduates and lawyers united in one mission – to provide free legal aid to all those who are unable to afford legal services, with special emphasis on the representation of national minorities. The law office will provide services to everyone else on commercial terms, which will enable the sustainability of pro bono legal services.
  2. Driving to independence – During volunteering and internships in social care institutions, these three young people asked themselves “How do young people without parental care maintain themselves after leaving institutions or foster families?” In order to provide them with a stable income during the first months of independence, this team develops a business model that will provide them with driving training, job training and employment as courier drivers and other jobs.
  3. Woman on the Way – The idea of this team, which comes from Belgrade, is to develop a brand of clothing and textile items that will economically empower refugee women in Serbia and be a thread that connects their and local culture. Through work in a social enterprise, they want to give women who are staying in refugee camps the opportunity to sew, embroider, design and thus earn money, empower themselves as well as their families.
  4. SpecialRise – Guided by professional values and experience working with people with disabilities, members of this team want to provide a stable income to these people through the production and sale of their unique products. Their idea is to develop an umbrella brand of products made by people with disabilities from several organizations and institutions in Novi Sad.
  5. Saga – Through working with children, this team recognized the problem that books that promote social topics such as ecology, social responsibility, social inclusion, etc. are poorly represented in children’s literature in our country. Saga wants to raise the awareness among children and parents about important social topics by writing and publishing books on these topics and including children with disabilities in their illustration.
  6. House of Urnebes – In order to develop the cultural scene of the city of Smederevo, this team wants to start the House of Urnebes (HoU): Cultural Center. Within the center, there would be a hostel and a cafe, as well as a fully equipped music recording studio and art studio. The idea of this center is to become an accessible place of creation and creative expression for all interested young artists, from Serbia and around the world.
  7. Ceramic cup is better – This creative duo from Belgrade offers a solution to the problem of excessive use of disposable cups and plastic in restaurants that offer takeaway coffee. By producing reusable clay cups, creative and urban design, they want to create an alternative to plastic packaging and awake environmental awareness within both hospitality industry and consumers.

RISE – Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs is a regional support program for young social entrepreneurs implemented by Smart Kolektiv within Serbia.

During the 4 months of the Ideation Program, these teams will build their idea from scratch to the business model. Also, they will have the support of experts and mentors, with whom they will go through all the important steps in starting a social enterprise. During the Incubation Program, the two best teams from Serbia, i.e. a total of 12 teams from the region, will receive additional financial and practical support to implement their idea and develop the business of their parent company.

The RISE project is developed and supervised by a consortium consisting of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), GROUPE SOS Pulse, the South East European Youth Network (SEEYN), the Institut Français and the Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ), and implemented by six local incubators – Smart Kolektiv (Serbia), IPC Tehnopolis (Montenegro), ARNO (Northern Macedonia), Balkan Green Foundation (Kosovo), Nešto više (BIH) and Yunus Social Business (Albania). RISE is co-financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO). More about the RISE program >> WEBSITE