Join RISE Journey – Call for Application is now OPEN!

WESTERN BALKANS – The six Local Incubators based in the Western Balkans are looking for young people from 18 to 35 years old from the region in a group of a minimum of two persons who are motivated to learn about social entrepreneurship and be involved in a regional program. They should be ambitious and committed to developing a concrete idea with social impact and ready to learn from other actors in the region. Participation in the RISE project develops young people’s skills and contributes to their employability.

The applicants should have identified a social or environmental issue they want to tackle and/or working on their idea on a small scale, without being engaged in a real business activity yet.

To apply to the call for applications click the button below.

Learn More and Apply

RISE (Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs) aims to enrich the Western Balkan social entrepreneurship ecosystem and enable young people to develop innovative societal solutions thus contributing to reconciliation and cooperation in the region. A positive change in the Western Balkans is possible while stability and prosperity can be achieved only by fostering reconciliation and cooperation in the region.

During the first cycle of the RISE project, the call for applications collected 257 ideas from around the region. 46 teams have been selected to participate in an incubation program, gathering 137 young entrepreneurs.  During the first month, 33 training sessions on social business development were held, 19 meet-ups for community building, 182 mentoring sessions, 26 expert consultations, 135 one-to-one coaching sessions, and 6 regional peer learning business sessions were organized, and 12 teams were selected to participate in the Incubation phase. These 12 teams, composed of 36 young entrepreneurs, participated in the 4 months long Incubation program that consisted of 10 developmental topics delivered by regional experts and Local Incubators as well as a prototyping process. To learn about ideas that we have supported, click here.

The RISE project promotes dialogue and cooperation between actors and between territories through the mobility of its participants, the organization of regional trainings, exchange workshops and events as well as the creation of a real network of young entrepreneurs. It is a three-year-long project that started on 1 October 2019 and is being implemented across the Western Balkans 6.


On the project

The RISE project is developed and monitored by a consortium composed of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), GROUPE SOS Pulse, 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, Nesto vise, 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 youth of the Western Balkans, through a regional program to support social entrepreneurship.

This project is co-funded by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO).

On social entrepreneurship

A social enterprise is an operator in the social economy whose main objective is to have a social impact rather than make a profit for their owners or shareholders. It operates by providing goods and services for the market in an entrepreneurial and innovative fashion and uses its profits primarily to achieve social objectives. It is managed in an open and responsible manner and, in particular, involves employees, consumers and stakeholders affected by its commercial activities.


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