Closing event of the second cycle of the Program for Sustainable Businesses took place on October 12 in Delta House, when participants of this six-month program had the opportunity to pitch their businesses.
The event was opened by Neven Marinovic, director of Smart Kolektiv, who said few words about the importance of businesses with positive impact, about the activities of the Smart Impact Fund, and also expressed gratitude to all partners who supported the program. The audience was also addressed by one of the mentors, Sonja Dakic, who spoke about the Program for Sustainable Businesses, its activities, goals, pointing out the important role and dedication of consultants involved in the program.
Participants of the Program presented their social missions through short, informative and interesting pitch sessions, and Smart Impact Fund Advisory Board will decide by the end of October which one or two enterprises will achieve interest-free loans worth up to EUR 50,000.00. Participants who pitched their businesses to the audience were representatives of Šumska tajna, Cozy2wear, Atfield Techonologies, Hoff, Inak, Udruženje za prosperitet Roma, My spoon i Zdravo produkt. Attendees, among which weredonors, company representatives and Smart Impact Fund Advisory Board had unique opportunity to learn about the social missions of these great enterprises, as well as to find out more about
Representatives of these enterprises worked intensively over last six months on the strategy of business development and preparation for impact investments at home and abroad. This year’s program cycle began in May and included workshops, 1-1 work with mentors and online lessons. This is the first time the program has taken so-called hybrid model that included online lessons and live workshops, which brought additional flexibility and efficiency to the program.
The Program for Sustainable Businesses is part of the Smart Impact Fund – Fund for the Development of Sustainable Economy, which will invest about half a million euros in the next five years in initiatives and companies that contribute to sustainable and positive changes in their communities. The Fund strives to provide long-term professional and financial support to social enterprises in various stages of development and thus contribute to the development of an economy with positive social impact. By 2024, the program will invest about half a million euros in initiatives and enterprises that contribute to sustainable and positive changes in their communities.
The Program for Sustainable Businesses is implemented with the support of EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy, Open Society Foundation, the Balkan Trust for Democracy of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Belgrade.
The Smart Impact Fund was launched by Smart Kolektiv in 2019 with support of EVPA – the European Venture Philanthropy Association and the former USAID-funded Framework for Giving project that was implemented by the Coalition for Giving led by the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation.