RISE Expedition, A Journey of Social Entrepreneurship and Inspiration

In celebration of the regional approach of the RISE project, the young social entrepreneurs participating in the support programme RISE Journey, are exploring the region in order to connect their social business idea to similar concepts in Western Balkans. This programme is called the RISE Expedition.

From Sremska Mitrovica (Serbia) to Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Soko Camp, a social business idea supported by Smart Kolektiv, aims to reduce children’s screen time and instil a sense of social responsibility through nature conservation, forest clean up, and tree planting. With the opportunity to travel in the region, Dario and Sara, the founders of Soko Camp, chose to visit Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina where they explored Citizens’ Associations and two longstanding children’s camps.

Firstly, these two Risers had the opportunity to visit Nešto Više and the RYCO Local Branch Office to give them an insight into ways and means of improving the Soko camp project and transforming it into a socially responsible enterprise through business practices.

One of the remarkable organizations the Soko Camp team encountered was the “Foundation for Support and Development of Mentoring – Older Brother, Older Sister” This mentoring program creates meaningful relationships between volunteers (older siblings) and children (younger siblings), fostering quality, caring, and supportive connections. Volunteers serve as role models, guiding children towards socially acceptable behaviours and supporting their overall life skills development.

During their visit, the team also learned about the impactful work of the “NARKO-NE” organisation, founded in Sarajevo in 2002. This organization is dedicated to preventing various types of addictions that children may encounter. Their vision is to create a healthier society where children and young people can effectively cope with the challenges of growing up.

The main objective of the Soko Camp team’s visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina was to explore the “Lazy Horse” children’s camp and the “Land of Friendship and Peace” Foundation. Nestled in nature, 20 km from Sarajevo, both camps offer horse-riding activities. The “Land of Friendship and Peace” Foundation, a non-profit organization, extends support to young people, especially those who lost parents during the war, and children with developmental difficulties. Children can experience the camp for one day, a weekend, or opt for a longer stay of 4 nights / 5 days.

After a full-day experience, including observation, workshops, and discussions with camp organizers, the Soko Camp team incorporated several new activities and workshops, enriching the camp’s content and enhancing the overall experience.

Visiting associations and children’s camps provided Soko Camp with fresh ideas and perspectives, contributing to the overall enhancement of their program.

The trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina gave us a better understanding of how we should run our camp in the future. Meeting people who have already developed their business helped us understand the next steps for our Soko camp. In addition, we had the chance to meet up with friends we had met in Albania, which made us feel part of the big RISE family.
Dario & Sara

From Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) to Bar (Montenegro)

Mingling, a social business idea supported by Nešto Više, is more than just socializing and having fun. It involves a thoughtful blend of diverse activities for each event.

As part of the RISE expedition, Azra, Ivana and Tijana went to the town of Bar, an ideal destination for gathering ideas and inspiration for organizing Mingling events and connecting with experienced organizations. Thus, The team visited two organizations: The Youth Club Bar and Business Center Bar.

The Youth Club Bar in Montenegro has extensive experience of working with young people, constantly organizing themed evenings for young people, and is a great source of ideas for Mingling in creating diverse and dynamic events. Their visit to the basketball club provided a unique perspective on organizing Mingling events for sports enthusiasts.

In addition, the head of the Bar Youth Club is also a young entrepreneur, which enabled them to share their experiences. She passed on a lot of her knowledge and useful information, and gave them tips for their social business.

Afterwards, these three Risers had the chance to meet with the Business Center Bar Teams. With a remarkable 15 years of experience, they were able to exchange views with the managers on various topics concerning the management of a social enterprise. This enabled them to learn from examples of successful enterprises.

Alongside their quest for ideas, Mingling couldn’t miss the opportunity to explore Montenegro’s cultural wonders. Stari Bar, one of the country’s oldest inhabited places, and King Nikola’s castle, located near the centre of Bar, captivated them. These cultural sites gave them a better understanding of Montenegrin history and traditions.

The RISE expedition to Montenegro proved to be an enriching experience. The wealth of ideas gathered and knowledge gained has enabled them to improve our vision of their future events. Mingling is full of inspiration for creating unique, diverse and attractive meeting experiences for all those who take part in our gatherings.

The RISE Expedition was a unique opportunity for us personally, but also for Mingling, to learn more about the culture and customs of Montenegro. Although we have visited Montenegro before, we have not explored the history and traditions of this country in such detail. The food, although similar to Bosnian food, is fantastic. People are open, communicative and ready to help.
Ivana, Azra and Tijana

About RISE Expedition

Following the Demo Day, the selected social entrepreneurs received a €500 mobility grant for a 3 to 7-day trip to the Western Balkans. The RISE Expedition is a valuable and enriching experience that provide Risers the opportunity to connect with their peers or social enterprises, explore similar social entrepreneurship concepts in the region and share lessons learned.

The RISE 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.

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