Balkan Green Ideas

Balkan Green Ideas (BGI) is a program that supports the development of local and sustainable small green ideas in the Balkans. BGI aims to stimulate and encourage innovation for green ideas while engaging local communities to generate green businesses that utilize local resources and community-based markets. By supporting innovative, local sustainable economic development initiatives, Green Ideas aims to substantively contribute to building a peaceful, competitive, resilient, and prosperous Balkans. 

The program is providing financial support and targeted assistance to selected ideas and businesses that are providing innovative solutions and contribute to the achievement of the following seven (7) Sustainable Development Goals in the region of Western Balkans and Greece: 

Competition Criteria

Competition is targeting green ideas in the early stages of development (not older than three years and not having more than 20.000 EUR annual profit). 

The idea should satisfy the following criteria: 

  1. Environmental sustainability
  2. Economic viability
  3. Innovative approach
  4. Valuable social impact and
  5. Relies primarily upon local resources by employing local people and utilizing traditional skills 

The Green idea should also focus or contribute to one of the listed SDGs above.

Competition is open for Citizens and Residents of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. Competitors may be individuals, civil society organizations, or small private companies. Public entities (educational institutions, municipalities, or other public institutions) are not eligible to apply.




Regional competitors are those who have won annual national competitions organized by the Balkan Green Foundation (BGF) and Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF)'s partners. Local foundations may identify and select the top three ideas to compete in the regional competition through the mechanisms of their choice. For more information on national competition regulations and deadlines, contact ARNO in North Macedonia, FAKT in Montenegro, Lens in Kosovo, Mozaik Foundation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Partners Albania for Change and Development in Albania, TRAG in Serbia and HumanRights360 and HIGGS in Greece.


* The idea/business is still in the early stages of development (is not existing more than 3 years).
* The idea/business relies primarily upon local resources, including by employing local people and utilizing traditional skills.
* The idea/business has a vision or action plan for environmental sustainability
* The idea/business has a plan for economic viability and/or incremental growth.
* The idea/business has innovative approach and valuable social impact
* The idea/business has assessed the local market and is aware of its competitors and comparative advantages.
* The idea/business is innovative and unique compared to other businesses and projects in the community.
* The idea/business is having focus or contribute to one of the listed SDGs 2, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13 and 15



Structure of the Program

The national competitions are open in each participating country and is officially announced. National calls for applications are open between 30 and 60 days. Trainings and workshops are organized to help potential applicants to prepare their applications. National Finals are organized where short-listed finalists are pitching their ideas in front of the National Jury. A total of 3 winning ideas per country get selected to compete at the Regional Competition. National Leads ( NLs) are selecting minimum one competitor in the first lot (Green Idea Concept) and one competitor in the second lot (Green Idea Advance), the third competitor is nominated in any of the two categories and is decision on each NL.

In addition of the financial support selected five regional winners receive technical assistance in form of mentorship sessions. Mentors have been delegated by National Leads and are dedicated to support selected winners to further develop their green ideas in the next months. All mentorship sessions are implemented trough offline and online one-to-one sessions and the whole process is monitored by county’ National lead.

The Regional competition are gathering the best three national finalists per country ( 21 finalists in total). They are competing in front of international jury members consisted of policy makers, investors, entrepreneurs. The Regional competition each year is hosted by different National Lead. During the three-day event the competitors are attending different educational sessions as well as pitching session and gala ceremony. Each year the international jury is selecting three best green ideas advance winners and two green ideas concept winners. Advanced winners are receiving awards of $10,000 each and the Concept winners are receiving awards of $5,000 each.

Balkan Green Academy is one-week long program consisted of modules that covers three main pillars: policy-economy-society. The Academy uses cross-sectoral and transdisciplinary approach, encourages in-depth knowledge building and in the same time combining modules that will explore the policy perspective, economical business approach and societal impact. Each year the academy is educating future Balkan Green Ideas applicants about green and sustainable development.

Balkan Green Ideas Fund

The available fund of 40.000$ is distributed to maximum of five regional winners each year. Depending on the available financial means the international jury members are selecting 

Advanced Lot


Is the prize for each winner in the Advanced Lot Category



Is the prize for each winner in the Category Lot Category

BGI fund can attract additional funding from other interested donors who want to support green ideas development in the Western Balkans and Greece.