SUPPORTING STARTUPS AND YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS IN THE WESTERN BALKANS THIS YEAR CONTINUES – WB6 STARTUP ACADEMY
Youth and especially young entrepreneurs are a part of society that is usually bursting with energy, good ideas and positive attitude. We are missing more of such an approach in the Western Balkan countries that is why we have once more joined forces with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and the German development agency GIZ. After four years of a bilateral cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina and a three-year cooperation with Kosovo, last year’s program was for the very first time organized regionally, and included all six countries namely: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia. Due to excellent feedback and a rich exchange of experience among countries, we have contacted the regional office of GIZ based in Sarajevo that already has experience with regional startup workshops and joined forces in a rich program that will be organized in English. Four workshops will unfold in different cities and countries: Tirana (Albania), Nikšić (Montenegro), Pristina (Kosovo) and Ljubljana – Maribor (Slovenia), with an intensive mentoring program occurring between the activities. We named the overall program ‘Building the WB6 Unicorn’, and by doing so clearly indicated, that we firmly believe in excellent ideas in the region. We want to empower them and make sure, that they will take the lead globally.
Workshops were developed by experts with vast experiences and are therefore pretty intensive and very practically orientated. The size of the group is also suited to this type of work, as we have selected 2 best startups from each country that will cooperate in all of the planned activities. In addition, the focus point of the program is based on two dimensions – peer to peer learning and regional networking, as international cooperation is a skill that is essential for a global breakthrough of startups and their positioning on the international market.
The first workshop is intended for actors of the startup support environment (leaders of HUBs, accelerators, incubators), while the other three are intended for startups.
Project is part of the activities that are through the Slovenia’s Development Cooperation financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia.