Winners of National Competition in Serbia

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:


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.

 “Connect Clean Roma Group”

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.

“Bleja Woolen Balls”

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 Dakić Đorđević, 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.