Announcing the Open Calls for Balkan Green Ideas 2024

Announcing the Open Calls for Balkan Green Ideas 2024

23-04-2024
Passionate about making a difference for our planet? Join us at Balkan Green Ideas for an incredible opportunity to showcase your sustainability solutions! We're thrilled to announce national competitions across the Western Balkan region, inviting all innovators like you to share your ideas for combatting climate change. Whether it's a groundbreaking technology, a community initiative, or an inventive solution to an environmental challenge, we want to hear from you. Selected winners from each country will advance to the final regional competition, where exciting prizes await! Don't miss your chance to be part of the Balkan Green Ideas movement. Submit your ideas today and help shape a greener future for us all! For details on open calls in your country, click the links below: ūüá¶ūüáĪ Albania - opens soon... ūüáßūüᶠBosnia and Herzegovina - opens soon... ūüáĹūüáį Kosovo - opens soon... ūüá≤ūüá™ Montenegro - opens soon... ūüá≤ūüáį North Macedonia - opens soon... ūüá∑ūüáł Serbia -¬†https://bit.ly/3xMv7bT¬† open till April 30. The 13th edition of Balkan Green Ideas (BGI) is supported by Rockefeller Brothers Fund and is implemented by Balkan Green Foundation in partnership with: Partners Albania for Change and Development (Albania); Mozaik Foundation (Bosnia and Herzegovina); VentureUP (Kosovo); ARNO (North Macedonia); Fund for Active Citizenship (Montenegro); and Trag Foundation (Serbia).
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Balkan Green Ideas 2023: Nurturing Innovation for a Sustainable Future

Balkan Green Ideas 2023: Nurturing Innovation for a Sustainable Future

07-11-2023
From October 23rd to 26th, 2023, the town of Budva, Montenegro, played host to the 12th edition of the annual Balkan Green Ideas program. This dynamic platform brought together 18 national finalists from six Western Balkan countries, all united by a common goal - to champion innovative green concepts that promise to shape a more sustainable tomorrow. This year's competition was fierce, with participants showcasing an impressive array of eco-conscious ideas. The international and independent jury faced a tough decision, ultimately selecting five standout initiatives divided into two categories. 
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Announcement of National Green Ideas Winners in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Announcement of National Green Ideas Winners in Bosnia and Herzegovina

23-08-2023
BGI's National Partner in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mozaik Foundation, has organized the Green Ideas Competition 2023, selecting 3 women-leading¬†initiatives to compete in the Regional Competition 2023, this October in Montenegro.¬† Recycling PET Revolution - is a project set to be realized in the municipality of Zavidovińái and beyond. In the Zavidovińái area alone, over 15 tons of waste find their way to rivers and other natural treasures, with a significant portion being recyclable plastic bottles. The initiative aims to strategically place collection bins or containers in every local community within Zavidovińái, as well as appropriate receptacles in residential buildings, enabling residents and citizens to properly dispose of PET packaging. When these bins are full, a redemption system will be in place, with the funds generated from recycling being channelled back into community improvements, overseen by local representatives or building management. This innovative approach not only engages the entire community in environmental conservation but also empowers them to enhance their living environment. This project signifies a collective effort to safeguard the environment while fostering community growth. MAGBAGO - an avant-garde project that harnesses the potential of vegan materials like orange silk, bamboo, and more. With an eco-conscious ethos, the brand aims to transform the Bosnian and Herzegovinian fashion landscape, offering sustainable alternatives that bridge the gap between premium natural and synthetic fabrics. Embracing a zero-waste design philosophy, the collection presents staple pieces for every occasion. With aspirations to reach the EU market and beyond, this initiative heralds a transformative approach to style and sustainability. Humperia A Vanguard of Sustainable Fashion and Empowerment - mission revolves around fashion that leaves no footprint, showcased through a zero-waste collection. This initiative not only highlights our dedication to waste-free production but also celebrates the artistry of crafting bags from natural materials like jute. Beyond aesthetics, our journey intertwines with fair trade principles and empowering small producers, fostering growth in communities that have been adversely impacted by talent migration.¬† The 12th edition of Balkan Green Ideas is supported by Rockefeller Brothers Fund and is implemented by Balkan Green Foundation in partnership Partners Albania for Change and Development; Mozaik Foundation; Venture UP; Fund for Active Citizenship; ARNO and Trag Foundation.
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Announcement of National Green Ideas Winners in Kosovo

Announcement of National Green Ideas Winners in Kosovo

18-08-2023
This year the National Green Ideas competition in Kosovo was organized by our partner VentureUp, dedicated to promoting sustainable initiatives. The competition witnessed enthusiastic participation from across the country. After a rigorous selection process, three finalists have been selected, each with innovative ideas aimed at contributing to a greener and more sustainable future. Panacea - Their plan involves the cultivation of aloe vera plants, not only promoting sustainable agriculture but also empowering women through skill development and economic independence. [Vesh Desh](https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100088482023648) -  Is an online platform for selling and buying used clothes. This innovative idea not only promotes recycling and upcycling of clothing items but also addresses the growing concern about fast fashion's environmental impact. Ventius- uses a method of producing mushrooms from coffee waste. By recycling coffee grounds to cultivate mushrooms, Ventius not only tackles the issue of coffee waste disposal but also offers a sustainable source of nutritious food.  We are proud to announce that these outstanding participants will be representing Kosovo in the upcoming BGI Regional Competition in Montenegro, in October 2023. This is a fantastic opportunity to exchange knowledge with other innovators in the region and contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly world. Stay tuned for more updates on their journey towards a greener future! The 12th edition of Balkan Green Ideas is supported by Rockefeller Brothers Fund and is implemented by Balkan Green Foundation in partnership Partners Albania for Change and Development; Mozaik Foundation; Venture UP; Fund for Active Citizenship; ARNO and Trag Foundation.
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Success Story: Miljan Grba's Organic Recycling Yard

Success Story: Miljan Grba's Organic Recycling Yard

20-07-2023
The 11th edition of the Regional Annual Competition of the Balkan Green Ideas (BGI) competition has been organized in Thessaloniki, Greece. 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, which selected 5 winning ideas for BGI 2022.  Miljan Grba's idea 'Organic Recycling Yard', won the first prize for the LOT 1 - Concept Green Ideas, awarded $5.000 for the implementation of the idea. His idea aims to develop innovative methods for recycling organic waste in urban areas, turning it into a valuable resource which reduces emissions and creates a model for sustainable farming. After the competition ended, Miljan continued to work on his farm located in the center of Podgorica, gathering in one place, from Indian ducks to California earthworms.  Watch his short interview for Jutarnji program Dobro jutro Crna Goro and see how they all get along on his farm: [interview](https://www.facebook.com/JutarnjiprogramRTCG/videos/244823468169177)
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Announcement of National Green Ideas Winners in North Macedonia

Announcement of National Green Ideas Winners in North Macedonia

23-06-2023
ARNO recently announced the winners of the "Green Ideas" competition held on June 20. The jury committee of the competition chose the best green ideas that reflect a strong business model for the integration of local communities and companies that showcase their commitment to a regenerative economy. This year, like last year, we have a winning idea for insects and protein food, providing local solutions to the global challenge. We are delighted to have Macedonian innovators who are given the opportunity to showcase their strong commitment to a regenerative economy in fashion. The jury was encouraged by the social enterprise element and the alignment with green principles, leading them to support sustainable fashion. We have two solid Macedonian brands prepared to enter the market with exclusive pre-order products, aiming to generate both profit and benefit local communities. - Irina Janevska, President of ARNO. ["Mirjana Josifoska"](https://urma.mk/brands/mirjana-josifovska/?fbclid=IwAR268__EEUFFED0giXXX9zguyDHxyH8qeS9miVTKuQ98UFO7IgP4UkhgyEA) Produces products using textile waste from local factories that help to reduce textile waste and its environmental impact. The brand utilizes the leftover scraps from hat production to create smaller accessories like scrunchies. Additionally, all of our products are biodegradable, decomposing within a timeframe of 6 weeks to 6 months. ["Yovanka"](https://www.facebook.com/yovankamaison) This is the first fashion brand from North Macedonia that focuses on ethical practices. They specialize in handcrafted fashion accessories using crochet techniques, ensuring zero waste in their production process. Yova goes beyond just creating durable products; they prioritize ethical considerations throughout the entire life cycle of their items. This includes the materials used, the working conditions, and even what happens to the product at the end of its life. Moreover, Yovanka is dedicated to supporting women, as their products are made by single mothers and women from vulnerable categories and rural areas. "Blagojce Najdovski's Apico-Pro" Is a groundbreaking, insect-based protein superfood designed for the whole family's health. This innovative product combines locally produced chickpeas, a well-known vegetable protein, with a highly nutritious powder made from drone larvae. The larvae are dried under vacuum conditions with freezing, a process called lyophilization, to retain their nutritional value. The company aims to make the entire range of products showcased in the competition readily available in stores. ARNO has been organizing the national competition "Green Ideas" for nine years in a row. They are proud to have had regional winners and have invested a total of $85,000 in the development of green businesses in the country. Some notable winners include the first cooperative of organic consumers "Our Good Earth" (2015), the upcycling furniture initiative led by architect Marta Mojsova - "SPIN" (2016), the last-minute food sales platform "Food for All" (2017), the educational project "Green Magic Production" (2017), sustainable rice production called "Bio smart rice" (2019), the "Challenger" mobile application that rewards citizens for walking (2019), "Wice Additive" that produces a food additive from grape pomace (2020), the circular startup "O-Krug" (2021) which makes essential oils and fresheners from orange peels, and the "Insect Pilot Room" (2022) that produces insect protein pet food. The 12th edition of Balkan Green Ideas is supported by Rockefeller Brothers Fund and is implemented by Balkan Green Foundation in partnership Partners Albania for Change and Development; Mozaik Foundation; Venture UP; Fund for Active Citizenship; ARNO and Trag Foundation.
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Announcement of National Green Ideas Winners in Serbia

Announcement of National Green Ideas Winners in Serbia

21-06-2023
The winners of the 3 best sustainable entrepreneurial ideas were recently announced by Trag Foundation, with each initiator receiving a $5,000 award. The selection process involved shortlisting 10 project proposals from the National Forum for Green Ideas. The criteria for selection included the potential impact on the local community, utilization of local resources, creation of employment opportunities for the local population, and a creative approach to addressing economic, social, and environmental issues. Meet the 3 winning ideas of the national competition: ‚ÄúZadrugarstvo"¬† Operates as a social enterprise, first of this kind in Kragujevac, focusing on training and employing adults with developmental disabilities. Their goal is to promote the inclusion of socially vulnerable individuals through work programs. Through a successful donor campaign and the completion of necessary preparations, they established an inclusive workshop for recycling and producing handmade paper from used cigarette packs. ¬†‚ÄúConnect Clean Roma Group‚ÄĚ Addresses the issue of secondary raw material collected by Roma. They recognized that Roma individuals often collect these materials and sell them to others for processing. To change this dynamic, the cooperative employs Roma individuals as formal collectors of secondary raw materials. They take responsibility for collecting, storing, processing, and selling these materials. Additionally, the team is dedicated to advocating for public policies related to climate change and the circular economy in Serbia. ‚ÄúBleja Woolen Balls‚ÄĚ Concentrates on creating a sustainable initiative for collective housing for the elderly in an ecological settlement in Barajevo. They aim to achieve this by producing woollen balls for softening laundry, which serves as an important step towards their overall goal. The envisioned settlement would also feature a daycare center for preschool children and a camp for visitors. The team has purchased a plot of land to build an eco-village consisting of approximately 20 smaller houses to accommodate 42 people, ranging in age from 23 to 84. Their objective is to inspire other local communities to adopt a similar approach to organizing themselves. Biljana Dakińá ńźorńĎevińá, Executive Director of Trag Foundation, pointed out why such a program is important: "The goal of the Forum for Green Ideas, which has its own national and regional component of the program, is to encourage and support citizens to, using successful business practices, solve social problems into their communities, as well as to responsibly use resources and protect the environment. We are pleased that the proposed projects are more and more creative every year, so this competition has brought some new, fresh ideas. This shows us that there is still a lot of room for work and improvement in the field of sustainable and solidarity economy." In addition to this year's finalists, the event was attended by representatives of the company New Pen doo, which received support in the framework of the BGI program in 2021, and who since then actively contribute to the program and support the program itself and its participants. ¬†The Forum for Green Ideas was supported by Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Dm Srbija and Lidl and implemented by Trag Foundation.¬† The 12th edition of Balkan Green Ideas is supported by Rockefeller Brothers Fund and is implemented by Balkan Green Foundation in partnership Partners Albania for Change and Development; Mozaik Foundation; Venture UP; Fund for Active Citizenship; ARNO and Trag Foundation.
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Announcement of National Green Ideas Winners in Albania

Announcement of National Green Ideas Winners in Albania

07-06-2023
The Green Business Competition¬†is an activity organized by Partners Albania since 2012. It aims to stimulate and encourage innovation for green business ideas at the local level and explores the role of philanthropy in engaging local communities to generate green business ideas that utilize local resources and revitalize disappearing traditional production chains and community-based markets. By supporting innovative, local sustainable economic development initiatives, The Green Business Competition aims to substantively contribute to building a peaceful, competitive, and prosperous Western Balkans and Greece region in line with the seven (7) Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda. This year, the organization of the Green Business Competition was supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Tirana Bank, and Credins Bank. The competition supports business ideas in two main LOTs according to their stage of maturity: LOT 1: Business Ideas at Conceptual Stage LOT 2: Businesses in Pre-Seed Stage Twenty-one finalists selected among competitors from social enterprises, individuals, small business ventures, and non-profit organizations, presented their business ideas which were evaluated by an independent jury of experts in the area of economy, education, and business development, which selected the winners: LOT 1: Business Ideas at Conceptual Stage Mar√ßela Tringaj with ‚ÄúPurteka. Gardening for children‚ÄĚ The business idea consists in investing in a "mobility" store for selling gardening products, such as the "Gardening for Children" book, which offers information for the plantation of 38 plants in indoor conditions in the form of small projects, packets of edible plant seeds, a manual and instructions to be used by children at home, as well as other gardening objects such as tote bags, watering cans, bee hotels, free-range bird feeders, flowers, vegetables, and tree seedlings, etc. Leonida Palushaj with ‚ÄúEarth Scent‚ÄĚ The idea consists in creating a workshop for the preparation of ceramic products. The workshop will serve as a community space for the organization of residential classes, evening courses, or clubs for children and adults, including people with different physical abilities, who can come together, learn a new skill, and develop their creativity. Each of the winning ideas under this Lot will be financially supported up to the amount of 500,000 ALL. LOT 2: Businesses in Pre-Seed Stage Sentiljana Marku with ‚ÄúMjedrat e Danj√ęs‚ÄĚ The idea consists in the cultivation of raspberry fruit, thus bringing a new product to the area of Vau i Dej√ęs and offering to the consumers an organic fruit certified according to the "Organic" standard, with high nutritional values. Through the support from the Competition, the aim is to expand the activity in Shkodra and Lezha Districts, increase the capacities for cultivation and storage, as well as the diversification of the raspberry product, otherwise known as the "Red Gold". Ornold Bazaj with ‚ÄúReality Escapers Albania‚ÄĚ Reality Escapers Albania is a tour operator that provides tourist services mainly in outdoor sports, such as hiking, camping, bird watching and kayak tours in the areas around Vlora district. Through the support from the Competition, Reality Escapers Albania will offer a new tour service "hiking" tours, which includes hiking in √áika Mountain, the fantastic and wild bays of the Karaburun Peninsula (such as Dafina Bay, Bristani, Grama and Saint Andreu), water caves (such as Secret Cave, terrestrial caves such as that of Duk Gjon and ‚ÄúAnglezi‚ÄĚ in Karaburun, prehistoric caves in the village of Vel√ß√ę); kayaking in the lower basin of the Vjosa River and the Narta Lagoon of Zvernec, as well as the birdwatching activity. Marjana¬† Jakini with ‚ÄúTrendy Tradit√ę‚ÄĚ The "Trendy Traditions" idea consists in preserving the local culture and tradition through the traditional clothes of the Vau i Dej√ęs area, promoting the craft work, and transmitting it to the youngest generation. The support from the Competition will be allocated to investment in machinery and equipment, as a way to facilitate the work of the women involved in the local community, affecting the reduction of labour costs and the increase of product quality. Each of the winning ideas under this Lot will be financially supported up to the amount of 800,000 ALL. Three of the winners, namely¬†‚ÄúPurteka. Gardening for children‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúMjedrat e Danj√ęs‚Ä̬†and¬†‚ÄúReality Escapers Albania‚Ä̬† will automatically become part of the regional Balkan Green Ideas Competition 2023, which will take place in October, in Montenegro. The 12th edition of Balkan Green Ideas is supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and is implemented by Balkan Green Foundation in partnership with Partners Albania for Change and Development; Mozaik Foundation; Venture UP; Fund for Active Citizenship; ARNO and Trag Foundation.
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Open Calls for National Competitions

Open Calls for National Competitions

20-04-2023
Are you passionate about the environment and have some great ideas to promote sustainability? Then this announcement is for you! Balkan Green Ideas is excited to announce open calls for national competitions in the Balkan region. This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to showcase their ideas and solutions that could make a real difference in the fight against climate change. Whether it's a new technology, a community project, or an innovative solution to an environmental problem, we want to hear from you. Selected winners from each country will have the chance to compete in the final regional competition and win some exciting prizes! Submit your ideas and become a part of the Balkan Green Ideas movement! For more information on the open calls in your country, visit the links below: Albania [- bit.ly/3GYKorW](https://bit.ly/3GYKorW)  (April 28, 2023) - Closed  Bosnia and Herzegovina - [https://bit.ly/41ALiD2 ](https://bit.ly/41ALiD2) (May 22, 2023)- Closed  North Macedonia - https://bit.ly/3MWywKG  (May 21, 2023)- Closed  Montenegro - https://bit.ly/3orzQLt  (May 4, 2023) - Closed  Serbia - [https://bit.ly/3UNujet ](https://bit.ly/3UNujet) (May 10, 2023)- Closed   Kosovo - https://bit.ly/3LJaOj9 (May 15, 2023)- Closed 
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Study Visit in the framework of Balkan Green Ideas Program

Study Visit in the framework of Balkan Green Ideas Program

18-11-2022
Study Visit in the framework of the Balkan Green Ideas Program 
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11 YEARS IN SUPPORT OF GREEN IDEAS THROUGH THE "BALKAN GREEN IDEAS" PROGRAM

11 YEARS IN SUPPORT OF GREEN IDEAS THROUGH THE "BALKAN GREEN IDEAS" PROGRAM

18-10-2022
11 YEARS IN SUPPORT OF GREEN IDEAS THROUGH THE "BALKAN GREEN IDEAS" PROGRAM Thessaloniki - On September 20 - 23, Balkan Green Foundation (BGF) organized the annual regional competition¬†"Balkan Green Ideas". This year's competition presented the eleventh (11) edition, conveying the same goal, supporting the development of small local and sustainable green ideas in the Western Balkans and Greece. In this edition, 20 green ideas were presented to the independent jury consisting of Synthia Dodig, Andras Krolopp, Yvonne Reif and Andreas von Schoenberg. Based on the presentations and documentation provided by the teams before the competition, as in previous editions, the teams competed in one of the two categories of Balkan Green Ideas. In the "Green Concept Ideas Lot" category, the finalists competed for the prize of $5,000. While in the "Green Advanced Ideas Lot" category, the competition was held for the price of $10,000. The¬†winners of the 11th jubilee edition of the Balkan Green Ideas regional competition, in the Green Concept Ideas Lot category (prize of $5,000) are: Organic Recycling Yard (Montenegro); and Eco Solution Research (Kosovo) The winners of the 11th jubilee edition of the Balkan Green Ideas regional competition, in the Green Advanced Ideas Lot category (prize of $10,000) are: Insect Pilot Room (North Macedonia) Organella - The Garden Can Do Anything (Serbia); AND Sporos ‚Äď Regeneration Institute (Greece) As a program, Balkan Green Ideas explores the role of philanthropy in engaging local communities to create entrepreneurial ideas that use local resources and revitalize traditional disappearing production chains and community-based markets. Balkan Green Ideas is a project of the Balkan Green Foundation, organized annually and supported institutionally by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Western Balkans Program, and this year's edition has been co-supported by Erasmus+.¬†Balkan Green Ideas is organized closely in cooperation with our amazing partners: Partners Albania for Change and Development from Albania, Mozaik Foundation from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Green Ideas Greece (A partnership between HumanRights360 and HIGGS) from Greece, LENS from Kosovo, Fund for Active Citizenship - fAKT from Montenegro, ARNO from North Macedonia and Trag Foundation from Serbia.
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Roadmap of Green Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Western Balkans 2022

Roadmap of Green Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Western Balkans 2022

23-08-2022
Green Entrepreneurship Roadmap of Western Balkans has been designed to provide a concrete overview of the existing ecosystems and map the relevant stakeholders in the countries who are fostering the development of green entrepreneurship in the Western Balkans.¬† This publication is part of the Balkan Green Academy 2.0 project funded by the Balkan Trust for Democracy, a¬† project of the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Click¬†[here](https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-SGHc8lNw_EROe4hTfNg6WgKZZyAwBzQ/view) to read the full publication on ‚ÄėRoadmap of Green Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in the Western Balkans‚Äô.¬†
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WINNERS OF THE JUBILAR TENTH EDITION OF THE BALKAN GREEN IDEAS ARE ANNOUNCED

WINNERS OF THE JUBILAR TENTH EDITION OF THE BALKAN GREEN IDEAS ARE ANNOUNCED

22-08-2022
Today we have concluded the 10th jubilee edition of the Balkan Green Ideas Regional Competition. This year's edition was organized in Belgrade, Serbia, by Balkan Green Foundation in close cooperation with our national foundations from each of the participating countries. Five awards were presented to the winning teams in a ceremony held on 28 October 2021. Out of 21 presentations, the winners were selected by an independent jury, consisting of Andras Krolopp, Marina Queins, and Teo Petricevic. Based on the teams' presentations and documents provided by teams prior to the competition as in previous editions of the event, teams competed in one of two categories of the Balkan Green Ideas. In the Green Concept Ideas Lot category, winners could secure an award of $5.000. In the Green Advanced Ideas Lot category, the awarded price amounted to $10.000. Winners of the 10th jubilee edition of the Balkan Green Ideas Regional Competition, under the category Green Concept Ideas Lot (award of $5.000) are: 1. O-Krug from North Macedonia 2. NewPen from Serbia 3. Permeti's Yummy Treasures from Albania Winners of the 10th jubilee edition of the Balkan Green Ideas Regional Competition, under the category of the Green Advanced Ideas Lot (award of $10.000) are: 1. Paleovraha from Greece 2. The Botanic Project from Kosovo The 21 innovative, green ideas from six countries of the Western Balkans and Greece were presented for two days. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's competition was organized in a hybrid format. While a majority of the teams presented their ideas and businesses in person in Belgrade, some of the teams participated online via Zoom. The event concluded with the selection of the five ideas that resonated best with the jury, based on, amongst others, their ambition to create positive impacts on the environment and their community through their entrepreneurship. This year's edition was a special one, as next to giving all participants the opportunity to present their green innovations, it also marks the tenth year of organizing Balkan Green Ideas, formerly known as Philanthropy for Green Ideas. For a full decade, Balkan Green Ideas has been supporting the establishment and further development of many successful entrepreneurship ideas in the region of Western Balkans and Greece. We continuously explore the role of philanthropy in engaging local communities to generate green entrepreneurship ideas that utilize local resources and revitalize disappearing traditional production chains and community-based markets. Balkan Green Ideas has been a leader in the region of Western Balkans and Greece to incentivize communities to work together and create a better future for everyone living in this region and beyond. Balkan Green Ideas is a project of the Balkan Green Foundation, organized annually and supported institutionally by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Western Balkans Program, and this year's edition has been co-supported by Erasmus+, Balkan Trust for Democracy, and USAID. Balkan Green Ideas is organized closely in cooperation with our amazing partners: Partners Albania for Change and Development from Albania, Mozaik Foundation from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Green Ideas Greece (A partnership between HumanRights360 and HIGGS) from Greece, LENS from Kosovo, Fund for Active Citizenship - fAKT from Montenegro, ARNO from North Macedonia and Trag Foundation from Serbia. 
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Roadmap of Green Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Western Balkans

Roadmap of Green Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Western Balkans

22-08-2022
Green Entrepreneurship Roadmap of Western Balkans has been designed to provide a concrete overview of the existing ecosystems and map the relevant stakeholders in the countries who are fostering the development of green entrepreneurship in the Western Balkans This publication is part of the Balkan Green Academy 1.0 project funded by the Balkan Trust for Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Click¬†[here](https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Sl1sv8A1OF5hoV2pJG8UndTFwuwBAKpB/view?usp=sharing) to read the full publication on ‚ÄėRoadmap of Green Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in the Western Balkans‚Äô.
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Balkan Green Ideas 2021 Kick-off Meeting

Balkan Green Ideas 2021 Kick-off Meeting

19-02-2021
[Balkan Green Foundation](http://www.balkangreenfoundation.org) held the kick-off meeting of the Balkan Green Ideas 2021 edition, gathering our regional partners that cooperate with BGF in the implementation of the program in the Western Balkans and Greece. This year as well, through this program, BGF will aim to promote principles and values of sustainable and green policies in issues related to the economic, social, and political development of the WB societies, and connect grass-roots green activists and CSOs with green sustainable initiatives in WB and Greece. As in previous years, through BGI, many youngsters will have the chance to realize their green business ideas and be prepared to identify potentials within their communities for the creation of green and sustainable initiatives and businesses. Balkan Green Ideas is supported by Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.  
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Five Winners Announced at the Regional Competition Balkan Green Ideas 2020

Five Winners Announced at the Regional Competition Balkan Green Ideas 2020

07-09-2020
September 7th, 2020¬†‚Äď The Best Green Ideas for 2020 were awarded by the independent jury at the 9th Annual Regional Competition of the¬†[Balkan¬†Green Ideas (BGI)](https://balkangreenideas.org//?_revision=1195) hosted by¬†[Balkan Green Foundation ](https://www.balkangreenfoundation.org/?beta=1)on September 3rd and 4th. Winners within the¬†Green Concept Ideas: Green School Days from Greece (joint concept of Green Community of Thessaloniki with the support of [őöőŅőĻőĹő¨ ip√≥ kato√≠kisi-Commons in Residency](https://www.facebook.com/CIRproject/?__tn__=K-R&eid=ARDPWDnVR3v1OSlQRESqQKfSqssgteE185dtk5rio7xnle-WPL6igjTA0k4KycqWdK_688iRmak3oO6r&fref=tag&__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARAdNfLLQp3DBu9yHRkjueFWH8jygbqiwan3jOkdKSUnDR0f2FJM5SH9wuzFHu1aQI9i1a9HMbmcQGpCWTvoSgzw5iW24rfMiyDdO18u5nMH_0jg6IZI-h13KftlR2ah5G1DoRyKztlVWsmGEpDnDN12bjx17cEJjJbnzMslkVj6V1SiayQCd-L58nNUwTgrJ1YIi60oDjR1r-L8Id2B21n5iDLRqDk9gqRKwgp3H6hn0_Qha-ahvgnvjP6mtItnFQ5T3B6YiNKSSBURVsoVOjZ0xq31sJM4HMyHlOndtt1AZ9z72-D8kDoLEhQQ5c2mJQQlTq1rgwye8qTKTzOc5Qc)) presented by Dominiki Vagiati (5.000$ award) [Rinora Handmade](https://www.facebook.com/rinorahandmade)¬†from Albania, presented by Rakip Belishaku (5.000$ award) Winners within the¬†Green Advanced Ideas: [Mediterranean Cleanup](https://www.facebook.com/mediterraneancleanup.enaleia/)¬†from Greece, presented by Lefteris Arapakis (10.000$ award) Wise Additive from North Macedonia, presented by Sofija Daceva (10.000$ award) [City and Me](https://www.cityandme.org/)¬†from Serbia, presented by¬†Branko Krsmanovic (10.000$ award) This year‚Äôs competition was in virtual format due to the COVID-19 movement restrictions across the region. National Foundations representatives from Western Balkans and Greece were present online to follow the pitches of green and innovative ideas from 7 countries. For two days, 21 innovative, original and unique green ideas were presented in front of the jury members divided in two LOTs: Green Concept Idea¬†Lot with 10 National Finalists competing for two awards of 5.000$ each and Green Advanced Idea Lot with 11 National Finalists competing for three awards of 10.000$ each. Jurors: Goran Jeras (Croatia), Lucija Marovt (Slovenia), Christina Forster (Austria) and Andras Krolopp (Hungary) had very challenging task of choosing the five winners. For almost a decade, BGI has been supporting the establishment and development of many successful business ideas in the region of Western Balkans and Greece. BGI also continuously explores the role of philanthropy in engaging local communities to generate green business ideas that utilize local resources and revitalize disappearing traditional production chains and community-based markets. Balkan Green Ideas is a project of the Balkan Green Foundation, supported by the [Rockefeller Brothers Fund Western Balkans Program](https://www.rbf.org/programs/western-balkans), and in cooperation with national foundations in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. More info about the competition could be found on www.balkangreenideas.org
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Winners from the Region Announced at the 2019 Regional Balkan Green Ideas Competition

Winners from the Region Announced at the 2019 Regional Balkan Green Ideas Competition

16-04-2020
Tirana, 12 July 2019¬†‚Äst[Balkan Green Foundation](https://www.balkangreenfoundation.org/?beta=1) organized the 8th Annual Regional Competition of the Balkan¬†Green Ideas (BGI) competition. This year the competition gathered representatives from countries of the Western Balkans and Greece and provided an opportunity to competitors from 7 countries to present their green and innovative ideas. For two days, 21 innovative, original, and unique green ideas were presented in front of the jury members who had the challenging task of choosing the four winners who were each awarded $10,000. This year‚Äôs winners are: Jordanco Lefkov from North Macedonia for growing a new ‚ÄúBio Smart Rice‚ÄĚ, Stamatina Ioanna Moschandreou from Greece for her idea "Community Energy River",¬† Olga Rajchikj from North Macedonia for the mobile application named "Challenger" and Salko UŇĺińćanin from Bosnia and Herzegovina for the unique solar panel "SolHeat Ltd". Over the years, BGI has strongly supported the initiation and development of more than 22 successful business ideas which continue to thrive and strive for incremental growth on the and regional levels. BGI also explores the role of philanthropy in engaging local communities to generate green business ideas that utilize local resources and revitalize disappearing traditional production chains and community-based markets. Balkan Green Ideas is a project of the Balkan Green Foundation, supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Western Balkans Program, and in cooperation with national foundations in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.
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Balkan Green Ideas 2018 - Regional Competition

Balkan Green Ideas 2018 - Regional Competition

16-04-2020
Macedonia, July 2018¬†‚Äď Balkan Green Foundation (BGF) organized the annual regional competition of the Balkan¬†Green Ideas in Mavrovo, Macedonia. This year, the competition which gathers representatives from countries of the Western Balkans, provided them with the opportunity to present their green and innovative ideas.
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Balkan Green Foundation supports joint NGO proposals on the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans

Balkan Green Foundation supports joint NGO proposals on the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans

21-04-2020
We, the undersigned, welcome the European Commission‚Äôs (EC) work to advance the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans, a timely opportunity to realise the region‚Äôs potential for sustainable development, allowing a better quality of life and a healthier environment. The Western Balkans has the necessary resources not only for sustainable renewable energy and energy savings, but also for the production of healthy food, while nurturing its exceptional biodiversity. With only 18 million inhabitants, change in the region should not be as daunting a task as in larger economies, if carried out efficiently, with true political commitment and regional cooperation. We underline that considerable attention needs to be given to implementation of the Green Agenda, as sustainability has not been given the priority it deserves in the region so far. Rather than burdensome rules, it is an opportunity to improve our quality of life and put the region at the forefront of a sustainable Europe.¬† Proposals per component:¬† Decarbonisation¬† - The Green Agenda must be based on ‚Äčsustainable decarbonisation‚Äč of the Western Balkans‚Äô economies by 2050, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and EU climate and energy policies, including the Clean Energy 4 All package. Guided by the EC and the Energy Community, all countries need to commit to climate and energy targets by 2030,‚Äč in line with the EU‚Äôs ambition‚Äč. These must be complemented by concrete implementation measures, support and financing, and reflected in the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). In practice, this means not only a rapid coal phase-out but also a shift away from oil and gas use. This needs to be complemented with action to boost energy efficiency in buildings, address energy poverty, optimize energy systems, industry and transport, and deploy sustainable forms of renewable energy, with careful consideration of the individual and cumulative effects of power sources with high environmental and social impacts, such as hydropower. This is an excellent opportunity for the countries to relieve their pollution burden while spurring job creation in the sustainable energy sector.¬† -¬†With the EU‚Äôs assistance, the countries must do more strategic planning of the energy sector, to give equal consideration to the ‚Äčclimate, biodiversity and social impacts‚Äč of energy transition.¬† -¬†Commitments to the Green Agenda must take a legal form, notably through the Energy and Transport Community Treaties, as well as the EU accession process - the key implementing tools that the Commission has at hand. This needs to include a legal climate commitment from all Western Balkans countries. Robust monitoring and sanction tools must be used to achieve full implementation. -¬†¬†Transparency on the use of public resources in the countries has to be increased. To achieve this, State aid regimes must finally be made independent and functional,‚Äč and Stabilization Association Agreement and Energy Community obligations upheld. The European Commission‚Äôs Energy and Environment State aid Guidelines must be immediately adopted, to ensure greater efficiency of the countries‚Äô renewables incentives systems.¬† -¬†Carbon pricing‚Äč, including in the energy sector, must be introduced as soon as possible in those accession countries which have not done so already. In those which have (ie. Montenegro), its effectiveness must be ensured. Western Balkans coal plants account for 45 mio tCO‚Äč2‚Äč eq annually, and if emitters purchased CO‚Äč2‚Äč allowances, countries in the region would collect at least EUR 1 billion per year. The mechanism should be based on current emissions, and should be aligned with carbon neutrality goals by 2050. ‚ÄčTaxing imports of electricity‚Äč based on their carbon content could help speed up the process.¬† -¬†The region‚Äôs transport system is currently too reliant on roads and motorways. Sustainable transport needs to be made more prominent and ‚Äčrailways and urban mobility put at the fore‚Äč. Too much EU-related financing has supported motorways, while rail transport has declined. This has to be reversed. Electrified urban public transport and pedestrian/cycling infrastructure need to be prioritised, and local authorities assisted to ensure public participation and investment into these modes. Circular economy - The circular economy must be used as a tool for delivering part of the 2050 decarbonisation agenda, linking industry sectors producing sustainable products and design, supporting the sound use of secondary materials by facilitating a market for them, developing an efficient waste prevention and management system, and engaging communities and regions.¬† -¬†The ‚Äčcircular economy package urgently needs to be adopted and implemented‚Äč. The experience with the ‚Äúnew‚ÄĚ EU Member States shows it is crucial to start early with implementing such legislation. The region can learn much from ‚ÄčLjubljana‚Äôs positive experience‚Äč in this respect.¬† -¬†EU financing sources must be used ‚Äčonly for measures which contribute to the circular economy‚Äč, especially waste prevention, recycling, and composting. They must not be used for waste incineration, which locks in cities, financially and materially, for decades.¬† -¬†Attention needs to be paid to including ‚Äčinformal waste collectors‚Äč in recycling systems and enabling them to work in healthier and more regulated conditions, instead of being further marginalised. Pollution¬† -¬†Decarbonisation of the electricity, heat and transport sectors have immense potential to reduce air and water pollution if sustainable solutions are used. Particular support is needed for ‚Äčhousehold energy efficiency measures, heat pumps, prosumers and energy communities, as well as the electrification of public transport‚Äč. -¬†Nevertheless, this will take time, and in the short term, ‚Äčcompliance with‚Äč existing obligations under the Energy Community Treaty - ‚Äčthe Large Combustion Plants Directive‚Äč - is crucial, with fines for polluters high enough to be dissuasive and proportional to the health damage caused. Countries failing to comply need to see concrete consequences, such as withholding IPA funds for the companies concerned.¬† -¬†The existing official air monitoring systems must be upgraded to measure all regulated pollutants and make the measurements available in real-time‚Äč. Setting up new monitoring stations and expanding the network is also of huge importance. Fugitive emissions from coal-related facilities, such as mines and ash disposal sites, should also be subject to continuous monitoring, with the data available made to the public. Competent institutions should regularly and without delay inform the public of the concentration of pollutants in the air, with the necessary health recommendations and measures. -¬†Additional pollution prevention ‚Äčacquis ‚Äč is also needed in the Energy Community Treaty, namely the Water Framework, Air Quality, National Emissions Ceiling Directives and Chapters II and IV of the Industrial Emissions Directive.¬† Sustainable farming and rural areas development¬† -¬†Strict enforcement of obligatory common rules and standards for preserving the environment and the landscape (including measures to reduce the use of synthetic chemical pesticides, fertilisers, antimicrobials for farmed animals) and the extension of the area under organic farming management. -¬†Implementation of voluntary programmes and measures for the provision of environmental public goods and services going beyond mandatory requirements (agri-environment measures). In particular, these programmes should be tailor-made for small farmers in high nature value farming areas, because the abandonment of these leads to loss of landscape, habitat and species diversity (notably grassland).¬† -¬†‚ÄěGreening‚Äú of the human and social capital of farmers and other actors involved in the agro-food chain by introducing and promoting adequate educational, information, demonstration, dissemination and advisory programmes.¬† Biodiversity¬† The Western Balkans is well-known as a global biodiversity hotspot. It is a home to hundreds of unique freshwater and terrestrial species, many of which are under risk of extinction from infrastructure development. Therefore, mainstreaming biodiversity safeguards across all economic activities needs to guide the EU‚Äôs and national governments‚Äô political and financial decision-making. In particular:¬† -¬†Additional support from the EU is needed to implement ‚Äčresearch and protection of high-biodiversity areas ‚Äčas a future part of the Natura 2000 network. Too many nominated Emerald network sites remain poorly researched and unprotected by national legislation, for example the upper Neretva area of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the identification of new proposed sites is hardly happening at all, even where important species are present (for example the upper Drina, the most important habitat for the endangered Danube Salmon, is not proposed as an Emerald site at the moment, nor is it protected under national legislation). To that end, and in light of recent pressures on freshwater ecosystems due to hydropower, we invite the Commission to encourage countries‚Äô to protect their most valuable rivers, such was recently the case with Zeta in Montenegro and Krupa in 2 3 neighbouring Croatia. Finally, since most of the critical ecosystems, particularly freshwater ones, are transboundary, there should be a regional assessment of critical habitats, which should inform decision-makers, both national and EU, about future infrastructure development.¬† -¬†The lack of the ‚ÄčBirds and Habitats Directives, ‚Äčas well as insufficient transposition and implementation of the ‚ÄčEnvironmental Impact Assessment ‚Äčand‚Äč Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment Directives‚Äč in the countries also needs to be resolved as a precondition for further sustainable infrastructure development. This also means ‚Äčaccelerating the transposition of the Water Framework Directive‚Äč (and its ‚ÄúDaughter‚ÄĚ Directives ‚Äď FD, GWD, UWWTD, EQSD), which would see both biodiversity and water legislation move forward to jointly tackle the issue of freshwater biodiversity decline and water quality issues in parallel. The EBRD has critical habitats provisions in its environmental policy which can help to overcome the Nature Directives gap in projects it finances, but an increasing number of projects in the region are now financed by other actors, who do not have such provisions. Therefore increased efforts are needed to transpose and implement this legislation. As 2020 has been declared a ‚ÄúSuper Year for biodiversity‚ÄĚ, in preparation of the upcoming COP15 under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the Commission should engage with all countries to ensure they develop ambitious commitments to protect and restore their ecosystems. ‚ÄčNational Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) will form a key part‚Äč of the Western Balkan countries‚Äô strategy to tackle biodiversity issues. Streamlining these Plans with the broader EU Biodiversity Strategy would be beneficial. The Commission should encourage governments to develop an implementation and financial plan for the successful execution of the NBSAPs. This could also inform the Commission and other donors on needs for financial and technical support.¬† Financing (including a potential just transition fund) We need to underline that much of the apparent difficulty in finding public financing in the countries is the result of mis-prioritisation and wasteful spending, rather than an overall lack of funds available. Therefore, the first measure needs to be to stop building infrastructure which is not in line with a decarbonised, efficient, circular economy, which would free up funds for measures which are. Similarly, investing in energy savings measures would help to reduce costs of electricity and heat generation infrastructure and introducing CO‚Äč2 taxes would also bring in additional funds.¬† We see the IPA funds and the European Investment Bank playing a key role, with assistance from the EBRD, World Bank/IFC, KfW and others. However, all donors need to be coordinated, unlike in the recent case of¬†the Belgrade incinerator, when the EBRD, OeEB and IFC financed a project that the EIB, EC and NGOs found incompatible with the circular economy. More funds will be needed for a ‚Äčjust transition of mining regions‚Äč, which we imagine as grant-based co-financing for local development measures, plus a public sector loan facility by the EIB.¬† - These must be based on participatory and transparent local development plans, created ‚Äčbottom up‚Äč. -¬†The ‚ÄčEuropean Code of Conduct on partnership‚Äč has proven to be a useful tool within the EU on Structural and Cohesion Funds, and needs to be a binding condition for a potential Western Balkan Just Transition Fund as well. -¬†It must be made clear that such funds cannot be used to support any kind of ‚Äčfossil fuel ‚Äčinvestments (not only coal but oil or gas), nor ‚Äčother investments likely to hinder the achievement of EU policy objectives,‚Äč such as waste incinerators.¬† -¬†Additional ‚Äčtechnical assistance for project preparation and public consultation‚Äč may be needed, as the EIB has told us in the past that one of the reasons it finances very few energy projects in the region is due to their low quality. -¬†The allocation of funds to coal regions must be fair, ie. it should ‚Äčreflect the magnitude of the transition challenge‚Äč.¬†¬† -¬†More funds should go to regions whose economy and population are currently more dependent on coal -¬†¬†It should reward climate ambition, giving more money to countries committing to clear mine closure and coal phase-out dates Role of CSOs in the Green Agenda process¬† Civil society is ready to be a watchful but constructive partner to the EU and national governments in implementation of the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans. On our side, we commit to:¬† -¬†Promoting the benefits of sustainable development to communities across the region, thus ensuring their support for the necessary measures; -¬†Providing our expertise on policy, law, science, communication and community engagement to governments open to partnerships; -¬†Raising awareness and encouraging debates on sustainable development policies with key stakeholders in the public, private and civil society sector, including engaging in dialogue with the European public banks to help to shape funding directions for future actions. -¬†Continuing our watchdog activities and ensuring that public interests are served and prioritised in political and financial decision-making, at programme and project level. In return, we invite the European Commission to establish a quarterly dialogue with civil society representatives in Brussels working on the region. These should involve representatives of all key DGs, including the rotating presence of high level officials. These would enable a regular exchange of views on progress with implementing the Green Agenda. EU delegations should ensure similar dialogues with the CSOs based in the Western Balkans.¬† The European Commission and the delegations should require regional governments to follow the same approach and establish or keep an open dialogue with the civil society and follow best practice when it comes to civil society early participation in decision making processes. The ‚Äčpartnership principle‚Äč needs to be adapted for the IPA funds as well. We also believe a similar code would be useful in the accession process‚Äč, in order to better include bodies representing civil society in monitoring the quality and transparency of decision-making.¬† This statement is supported by:¬† Association for sustainable development (ASOR), Serbia Balkan Green Foundation, Kosovo Center for ecology and sustainable development, CEKOR, Serbia Center for Environment, Bosnia and Herzegovina Center for Ecology and Energy, Bosnia and Herzegovina CEE Bankwatch Network Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe Eco-team, Montenegro Ekotim, Bosnia and Herzegovina Eco Justice Valandovo, North Macedonia Center for environmental research and information Eko-svest, North Macedonia Environmental center for Development Education and Networking (EDEN center), Albania Green Home, Montenegro Green Art Center - Prishtina (GAC), Kosovo The Nature Conservancy in Europe VedvarendeEnergi, Denmark Young Friends of the Earth Macedonia, North Macedonia Young Researchers of Serbia, Serbia
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CALL FOR TENDER - EVALUATION OF BALKAN GREEN ACADEMY

CALL FOR TENDER - EVALUATION OF BALKAN GREEN ACADEMY

27-11-2020
November 27, 2020 - Balkan Green Academy (BGA), project supported by Balkan Trust for Democracy and USAID, aims to educate young people on three main pillars: policy-economics-society, using a cross-sectoral and transdisciplinary approach. The Academy was delivered this year for the first time, where it was able to facilitate deliberation of actual issues into the Western Balkan region in the framework of the green sustainable development values and ideas. With the objective is to get an independent review, outside look, and analysis of the process and delivery of the first edition of the Academy that was delivered October to November 2020, [Balkan Green Foundation ](https://www.balkangreenfoundation.org/?beta=1)announces this open call. All information on the call can be found [HERE](https://www.balkangreenfoundation.org/uploads/files/2020/November/27/Invitation_to_Tender_for_Evaluation_BGA1606470173.pdf).  The deadline for application is December 7, 2020, at 23:59 CET (Central European Time). Any application received after this deadline will not be considered. Application format and details to be provided: The offer should contain Document confirming the scope of work of the expert(s), including their experience as stipulated Financial offer in calculation per day. However, the bidders should be aware that the Contracting Authority (Balkan Green Foundation) may request the provision of supporting documents to confirm the statements given in the respective documents and CVs. Applications should be sent to the following address: greenideas@balkangreenfoundation.org with the subject line "Evaluation of the Balkan Green Academy"    
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Gallery

 Balkan Green Ideas 2023 - Budva, Montenegro

 National Competitions 2023

 Study Visit of Mentors and Entrepreneurs - Albania 

Balkan Green Ideas 2022 - Thessaloniki, Greece