The Third RISE Journey Culminates in the Regional Forum for Social Entrepreneurs

To celebrate the closure of the third RISE journey, RISE – Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs will deliver a Regional Forum for social entrepreneurs in Skopje, North Macedonia, from the 12th to the 14th of September 2023.

The social entrepreneurship landscape in the Western Balkans is a dynamic mosaic of challenges and opportunities. As the concept of social entrepreneurship gains ground, there is a simultaneous need for awareness, supportive policies and access to finance. As young innovators and established organisations mobilise to create positive impact, the Western Balkans are poised to reshape their socio-economic landscape through innovative business models and community- and environment-focused initiatives.

In this context, this regional conference will contribute to the advancement of the social economy and foster collaborations likely to bring innovative solutions to societal challenges.

The RISE Regional Forum for social entrepreneurs aims to serve as a pivotal platform for the exchange of experiences, insights, and best practices among different diverse social entrepreneurship stakeholders, ministry representatives, the region’s policymakers and representatives of foreign embassies. 

The city of Skopje is set to take centre stage as a hub of social entrepreneurship over the next month. From experiences on support instruments and mechanisms to sharing lessons on the legal framework for greater impact, participants will learn from each other, enabling them to make more informed decisions and navigate the complex landscape of social entrepreneurship more effectively.

By bringing together thought-leaders for the sharing of experience and best practices, the Forum aims to facilitate the signature of a Manifesto. This policy document seeks to strengthen the social economy within the Western Balkans by incorporating insights and recommendations from policy-makers and key players of social entrepreneurship. 

In addition, the forum will also feature a stage dedicated to the region’s social enterprises. Alongside a visit to the Regional Social Enterprise Fair, participants will meet the young social entrepreneurs who participated in the Incubation Chapter of the RISE Journey 3. They will be keen to share their experiences as Risers, and the valuable lessons they have learned from both the support program and their expedition to the region. 

An exciting new feature of the Forum is the RISE Alumni Award. It provides an excellent opportunity for social entrepreneurs who have participated in the RISE Journey to present their social enterprise to a jury and potential partners. Two winning teams will be selected to receive €5,000 in financial support each to develop their businesses further.

The RISE Regional Forum for social entrepreneurs promises to be a dynamic gathering with the shared goal of redefining the future of social entrepreneurship in the Western Balkans.

About the RISE project
Launched on 1 October 2019, RISE (Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs), with its ten partners, supports young people’s ventures in the Western Balkans that aims to have a positive social or environmental impact on their communities. The implementation of the project takes into account the specific needs of the region as well as its historical and political context. Thus, this project aims to foster reconciliation in the Western Balkans through the promotion and strengthening of social entrepreneurship.
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),Groupe SOS Pulse, South East European Youth Network (SEEYN), the Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ), ARNO, Balkan Green Foundation, Nešto Više, Smart Kolektiv, IEC Tehnopolis and Yunus Social Business Balkans.

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