Awarded new ideas for social enterprises: fertilizer from coffee grounds and toys and furniture from bulky waste
On February 23, in the Center for Social Enterprises in Skopje, ARNO organized the announcement of the winning ideas from the third generation of young people from the RISE project (Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs). The expert jury committee selected “Rebel” – creators of toys, souvenirs, and furniture produced from bulky waste and “Coffee Mates” – an initiative to collect coffee waste for the production of organic fertilizer and prototyping of eyeglasses frames. In this edition of the program, the teams receive funding in the amount of 2500 euros and support (mentoring, trainings, networking events) to further develop their ideas in the second stage of incubation. The winning teams will also receive support from “Kontura: – graphics design studio, which will award branding packages to both social enterprises.
“Congratulations to everyone! We have three RISE generations of young people from our country who want to solve a problem in our society through business. In the times we live in, we are grateful to these 6 teams from the 2022/2023 generation who showed that young people are not apathetic and that social entrepreneurship has a future. We are all here to help. Mentors, colleagues, institutions, and the private sector. We appeal to everyone for cooperation. These two teams are waiting to start working in the incubation phase, and the others will hopefully continue within the framework of other programs implemented by ARNO and other colleagues.” – said Marjan Icoski, Program Manager at ARNO.
The donors of the project also addressed the closing event. Irene Ketoff from the French Embassy in Skopje welcomed the young people and encouraged them to continue to be active citizens and contribute to both the green agenda and inclusion. On behalf of the Regional Office for Youth Cooperation (RYCO), Vladimir Gjorgjevski, director of the Local Branch Office, congratulated the project and the winners, who presented the role of RYCO and appealed to young people to use all the support provided to them.
The selection of the best ideas was made by the independent expert jury composed of Ratka Pemova – EPTISA project “Support of Social Enterprises”, Igor Madzov – President of Startup Macedonia and Director of Investments at Nest Group, Aleksandar Kostadinov – RYCO/Local Branch Office, Lenche Despotovska – studio for graphic design “Kontura”, Petrus Theunisz – International expert for civil society development. The third RISE generation of young social entrepreneurs received support from mentors: Katerina Zlatanovska Popovska, Natalija Burgieva, Sanja Mancheva, Ljubomir Trajkovski, Aleksandra Loparska Iloska, and Sofia Daceva. In this year’s edition, 7 teams with 21 members participated from Skopje, Negotino, Makedonski Brod, Gradsko, Prilep, and Kichevo, of which 6 teams presented to the jury (Active Workplace, Coffee Mates, Grasp, Medical Mushroom Garden, Natural Revolution, and Rebel).
The RISE project is led by a consortium composed of the Regional Office for Youth Cooperation (RYCO), the SOS Pulse GROUP, the South-East European Youth Network (SEEYN), and the Franco-German Youth Office (OFAY), and implemented by six local incubators – ARNO, Balkan Green Foundation, Nešto Više, Smart Kolektiv, IEC Tehnopolis, and Yunus Social Business. The RISE project is co-financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Regional Office for Youth Cooperation (RYCO) and the Erasmus Plus program. ARNO is proud to be chosen as a local incubator and the national structure that implements the 6-year project together with partners from the region.