RISE Bootcamp 2024: a Successful Event Empowers Youth in the Western Balkans

The recently concluded RISE Regional Bootcamp was a resounding success. It brought together 35 participants, including social entrepreneurs, actors in the field of social entrepreneurship, and decision-makers from the Western Balkans region. From the 4th to the 7th of March, participants gathered in the beautiful town of Bečići, Montenegro. The bootcamp served as a platform for sharing knowledge and ideas, allowing the participants to connect and learn from each other.


During the welcome session, the Bootcamp was opened by words from Mr Brkuljan, Coordinator of the center for program activities at IEC Tehnopolis “Throughout this bootcamp, we will start a transformative journey of learning, collaboration, and growth. We will challenge ourselves to think differently, to innovate boldly, and to embrace failure as a stepping stone to success. Together, we will forge lasting connections, drawing strength from our diversity and collective wisdom. We will build a future where social entrepreneurship thrives, where innovation knows no bounds, and where every individual has the opportunity to realize their full potential.”.

Then, Ms Jocović provided her perspective as the representative of the Ministry of Economy of Montenegro “Regarding the current state of the social economy sector in Montenegro, there is considerable potential for the growth of social entrepreneurship. In order to meet the sector’s needs, social enterprises require systematic and continuous support to ensure their sustainability and profitability, as well as the policy and legal framework in creating an enabling environment for the social entrepreneurship to thrive. In that sense, I would like to emphasize the important role that collaboration and synergy between the government, business sector, and civil society organizations plays in unlocking the full potential of social entrepreneurship.”.

“The event in Budva brought together the holders of the best projects, selected from numerous applicants in each country. This mobilisation demonstrates the attractiveness of the incubator programme and its ability to generate innovative ideas for social entrepreneurship. Bringing together young people from different countries around the same social and innovative ambition makes them realise that the destiny of their region is in their own hands, and offers the prospect of success through dynamism and cooperation.” Mr Uhres, First Counsellor at the French Embassy in Montenegro pointed out.

Highlighting Entrepreneurial Skill Enhancement and Gender Mainstreaming

During the bootcamp, participants engaged in various sessions aimed at enhancing their entrepreneurial skills. The prototyping session provided them with basic knowledge on how to prototype their business ideas, building their creative confidence and critical thinking skills. Additionally, coaching sessions led by local incubators were conducted, offering support and guidance in marketing and finance to each team of social entrepreneurs. These sessions enabled the entrepreneurs to refine and strengthen their business strategies.

The bootcamp also prioritized discussions on gender mainstreaming within the Western Balkans region. A roundtable session was organized to highlight and address the existing gender disparities and challenges within the context of social entrepreneurship. This served as an important platform for raising awareness and fostering gender equality in the field.

Fostering Connections and Cultural Immersion

In addition to the knowledge and skills acquired, the bootcamp also emphasized on fostering connections and building relationships within the region. An icebreaker session was organized to enable the participants to get to know each other better, establishing relationships and collaborations. Furthermore, an activity was organized where each social entrepreneur exchanged gifts representing their respective regions, further strengthening the bond among the participants. As part of the cultural immersion, the participants also had the opportunity to visit the beautiful city of Budva, experiencing the rich history and culture of the region.

“Through the RISE Bootcamp, we wanted to do more than just share knowledge and skills. The goal was to plant the seeds of a strong community of young entrepreneurs of the region. It is truly heartening to witness participants from the Western Balkans coming together, working on their projet, building bonds that will undoubtedly lead to collaboration and change-making in the future.” stated Mr Nommer, Director of operations at PULSE.

Skip to content