The 11th edition of the Regional Annual Competition of the Balkan Green Ideas (BGI) competition has been organized in Thessaloniki, Greece. This year, the competition gathered representatives from the Western Balkans and Greece, providing an opportunity for competitors to present their green ideas.

During the two days of the competition, 20 creative and unique green ideas were presented in front of the jury member, who had the challenging task of choosing five winners in total: two winners from the Concept Green Ideas Lot were awarded $5.000 and three winners from the Advanced Green Ideas Lot awarded $10.000.


Irina Janevska is a passionate activist with extensive international experience in non-formal education, advocacy, and social entrepreneurship. Irina is affiliated as the Founder & President of The Organization for Social innovation “ARNO”, Y-PEER Macedonia Focal Point, Global Shaper (Curator 2014) at the World Economic Forum (Global Shapers Skopje Hub) devoted to working on advocacy and creative initiatives that ensure social change and community outreach. Irina holds a BA in Communications Sciences and MA in Cultural Studies. “ARNO” (founded 2013) is recognized in the country for the devoted energy and advocacy of Social Entrepreneurship, Green Business Ideas and innovative approaches for solving social issues (organized the First Cooking Classes in the country for promotion of VET and SE, created the Campaign "MenEngage" and held the First Men Fair for promoting Gender Equality (cooking and ironing workshops for men and boys, etc.)

Jasmina Said is a Program Manager for sustainable development at the Organization for Social innovation “ARNO”. She holds a BA in economics (Department of international trade) and MA in international relations (conflict resolution). Jasmina has seventeen years of professional experience- nine years in the business/financial sector and eight years in the environmental sector, with a focus on energy, green economy, and social economy. She always strives to prove that profit and the environment must go hand in hand towards “greening” our economies and enabling a healthy future for the next generations. 

Biljana Maslovarić is the President of the Management Board of the Fund for Active Citizenship (fAKT) since 2008. She graduated in 1988 and earned the title of Professor of Marxism and Socialist education. She acquired a second university education degree in 1995, from the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Philosophy, and the University of Montenegro when Biljana became a professor of sociology. Since 2011 she is National representative for Montenegro at the World Forum for preschool - early care and education (World Forum on Early Care and Education). She is an active member of the International Step by Step association (ISSA) since 2001 and also, a volunteer member of the Board of EXPEDITIO,

Anica-Maja Boljević has been the Executive Director of the Fund for Active Citizenship (fAKT) since its foundation in 2008. She served as the Head of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) program in Montenegro from November 2002 to October 2005, after she had managed the CRS youth advocacy and leadership program for two years. Before joining CRS, Maja was an English high school teacher for eight years. Her professional background and experience have been strongly linked to education and civil society programs, with an emphasis on supporting and fostering civic participation to encourage proactive problem-solving and responsive governance. She is a member of the National Council for NGO Development and serves on several boards of Montenegrin non-profit organizations.

Panagiotis Tzannetakis is currently working with HumanRights360, focusing on social innovation, networking, and program design and implementation. He collaborated with Omnes, a grassroots housing association in Kilkis. Prior to joining HumanRights360, Panagiotis was working with Help Refugees, co-founding the Greek branch of the grassroots charity, where he focused on fostering partnerships between diverse stakeholders and supporting projects working towards the inclusion of newcomers. Panagiotis is a founding member of the Khora Community Centre in Athens. Panagiotis is an associate of Symbiosis, Civic School of Political Studies, supporting the organization of seminars on urban practice and social inclusion. He is a member of the Technical Steering Committee of ‘Curing the Limbo’, an Urban Innovative Actions funded pilot housing project in Athens, and a member of the Board of Experts of the Balkan Forum. He represents HumanRights360 in the Greek Network for the Right to Shelter and Housing, where he serves as the secretary of the Board of Directors.

Lena Panagiotarea is currently working with HIGGS as a Project Manager of large-scale projects and events. She has worked as Project Director at private companies from various sectors for 17 years and since 2014 is working in the Civic Society Sector as a project manager and as a consultant on strategic planning and project management issues. Also, she has worked as a volunteer at AIESEC for 4 consecutive years, 2 of them as a member of the Board of the local committee of the AUTH and has offered pro bono consulting to many national NGOs.

Avdo Halilović is a young inventor and entrepreneur with more than 10 years of experience in running a business. Avdo holds University degrees in management, international finances, and industrial engineering. Owner of a few globally awarded patents and two companies in the construction and health industries. Expert Associate at the Inventors Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina, helped inventors to protect, present, and sell or send to market their IPs all over the world. Currently working as a Social Business Mentor in Mozaik Foundation Impact Incubator, helping young social entrepreneurs to make our world a better place.

Dženan Šarić for the last 7 years, he has been actively working on the development of the ecosystem for startups in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As part of the Mozaik Foundation, he manages the Startup Studio program a unique ecosystem that provides end-to-end support for social entrepreneurs across the social business lifecycle, delivering outstanding results unmatched in the region. As a speaker and as a facilitator participated in numerous national and international conferences in BiH and in the region of Southeast Europe. He has a master's thesis on the topic of Social Entrepreneurship at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Sarajevo.

Irma Bečar has over 10 years of professional experience in leadership positions in the real and non-governmental sectors, as well as free marketing and promotion services. During her many year's work, she had the opportunity to meet with the organization of major events, from music to corporate events, recruiting processes for her own projects, and be the leader of numerous projects for different clients, creating various content materials. Since October 2019, she is the Director of the MASTA Agency, a social business owned by the Mozaik Foundation, where she is gaining new insight into the opportunities and programs that can be delivered at a highly professional level. Launching new products, developing software, and creating content for programs.

Alis Mustafa joined Partners Albania in 2022 as a Project Manager in the Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation programmatic area. She is responsible for the management and coordination of projects in the field of social entrepreneurship, youth work and empowerment, start-up development, innovation and support, and capacity building, contributing to the further development and expansion of this programmatic area. She holds a Master of Science in Business Administration in the Management profile and a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting from the Faculty of Economy at the University of Tirana. She has over seven years of experience working in business consultancy organizations operating in the fields of project management and development, business consultancy, analysis, research, and studies, and is primarily responsible for managing and coordinating the whole process of developing, implementing, and following up all the project’s phases, including building partnership and liaison with partners and stakeholders. 

Ivana Marković is the Grantmaking Program Senior Adviser at Trag Foundation. She has been with Trag since 2005 and has more than 17 years of experience in grant- making based on a bottom-up approach. Ivana is involved in the strategic development, monitoring, and evaluation of grant-making and capacity-building programs in Trag. From the beginning, she has been responsible for managing the Green Ideas program in Serbia. Ivana graduated from Landscape Architecture (The Faculty of Forestry of the
University of Belgrade) and is certified by Project for Public Spaces (USA) as a Place- making consultant for Serbia.

Marta Zagorac has a Bachelor Degree in Political Science from the Faculty of Political Sciences (University of Belgrade). She is a grants officer at Trag Foundation and coordinates a grant-making program called Active communities and Green Ideas. She is dedicated to working on developing the local communities with depth knowledge of community development, mechanisms for community mobilization, and community resilience. In addition, Marta is experienced in mentoring work with informal groups and
civil society organizations on their strategic and capacity development.


Visar Azemi is the Executive Director at the Balkan Green Foundation. Previously, Visar served as the representative and lecturer for the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) in Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. He has over ten years of professional experience in the non-profit sector, with extensive knowledge in partnership development, strategic planning, program management, and marketing. His prior work also includes management work with the Central Texas College, International Organization for Migration, and KBR. Visar holds a graduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pristina, a second Bachelor’s degree in Management Studies, and a Master’s degree in International Financial Management from the University of Maryland University College.

Aurel Morina is a Program Coordinator of Balkan Green Ideas, a regional program of the Balkan Green Foundation that stimulates and encourages ambitious entrepreneurs within the Western Balkans in generating green business ideas that utilize local resources and revitalize disappearing traditional production chains and community-based markets. He has close to two years and a half of work experience in audit and consulting.  He holds his Bachelor in Business Administration from the American College of Thessaloniki, Greece. In addition to that, he holds an MBA degree with a specialization in entrepreneurship and strategy from the University of Amsterdam. and strategy from the University of Amsterdam.

Egzona Aruqaj is a Communication Assistant at Balkan Green Foundation.  She has three years of work experience in the field of Marketing and Non-Governmental Organization, mostly focused on the improvement of the education system in Kosovo. In addition to that, she has been involved in volunteer work and attended numerous training about critical thinking, media literacy, digital marketing, and the empowerment of marginalized communities.  Egzona holds a Bachelor’s degree in the field of  Sociology from the University of Prishtina.

Alban Bytyçi holds the position of IT Officer at Balkan Green Foundation. He has more than 14 years of experience in the field of Informatics and Technology, specifically in projects covering software developments. Alban completed his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science at the University of Prishtina and is CCNA certified by the Cisco Certified Network Associate.