RISE Awards for new Social Entrepreneurs image

RISE Awards for new Social Entrepreneurs

On February 20th  ARNO awarded the young social entrepreneurs from the RISE project. As winners, the jury commission chose Biohide – a team that will produce bio leather from kombucha tea and Celilicious – a team that will produce gluten-free baked goods and help people with celiac disease. Through the RISE program, the teams are awarded 3000 euros and further non-formal education, mentoring, and regional networking. In this edition, a special prize of 500 euros for regional mobility was awarded to the third team – Combo (artistic eco-collective). The event took place in the Fund for Innovation and Technological Development (FITR), with public presentations and the presence of an audience (photo album).

“At ARNO we are delighted that RISE has its continuation and that is recognized as a program for young entrepreneurs, not just a project. Young people need support, so ARNO not only has the role of an incubator but also a supporter and connector of all believers in social entrepreneurship. Many quality mentors, trainers, donors, and media who believe in young people are part of this puzzle. We need everyone on board for these ideas to succeed and for the young people to at least try to stay in our country and realize themselves through social entrepreneurship.” – said Marjan Icoski, program manager at ARNO.

The project’s donors and supporters also addressed the closing event. Ms. Irene Ketoff from the French Embassy in Skopje congratulated the young people and all the teams, emphasizing the importance of social entrepreneurship. Mr. Festim Halili, director of FITR who hosted the event, expressed support and welcomed all future social entrepreneurs within their programs. On behalf of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), Mr. Vladimir Gjorgjevski, director of the local office in Skopje congratulated all the teams, winners, and supporters of RISE. 

The winners were selected by an independent expert jury commission composed of Ms. Dobrinka Stefanova-ProCredit Bank, Mr. Igor Madzov-Startup Macedonia and Nest Group, Mr. Vladimir Gjorgjevski-RYCO, Mr. Fisnik Yusufi-FITR, and Ms. Alexandra Loparska Iloska-Association Public. Mentoring support for the fourth RISE generation of young social entrepreneurs was provided by: Katerina Zlatanovska Popova, Jasmina Glavinche, Natali Ristovska, Katerina Ilijovska, Svetlana Gjorgon Bocevska, Dimitar Jovevski, Simona Vasileva and Jana Klopchevska.

In this RISE edition, 8 teams with 24 members from Skopje, Ohrid, Bitola, and Kocani participated, of which 7 teams pitched their ideas to the jury (BioHide, Celilicious, Creative Mind, TravelTales, Combo, TarshPinger, and Vision for a better future).


The RISE project is co-funded by the French Development Agency (AFD), the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), and the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union. The RISE project is led by a consortium composed of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), GROUPE SOS Pulse, and the Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ), and implemented by six local incubators: ARNO (North Macedonia), Balkan Green Foundation (Kosovo), Nesto Vise (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Smart Kolektiv (Serbia), IEC Tehnopolis (Montenegro) and Yunus Social Business (Albania).
This is the second edition of the project which started in 2019 and will be implemented until 2025 in the Western Balkans region. More information about the project can be found at www.risewb.org and ARNO`s social media Facebook, Instagram , and Linkedin.


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