Find out the latest on EU-related activities and events in the Western Balkans
The second RISE Regional Forum for Social Entrepreneurs, organized by the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), was held in Skopje from 12 until 14 September. This region-wide conference gathered more than 100 social entrepreneurs, changemakers and government officials from the region and the EU, to discussed how to improve environment for social entrepreneurship as a powerful instrument for the social and economic development in the region. Through different panels, discussions, and interactive workshops, participants had the opportunity to exchange ideas, experiences and best practices across sectors.
The Forum delivered on its promise to advance the social economy and foster collaborations that address societal challenges. It began with a global presentation entitled “State of play of the social economy in the Western Balkans 6 2023”. This session enabled regional politicians to elucidate the complex nuances of the social entrepreneurship landscape in the Western Balkans and set the stage for dynamic discussions.
Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of Economic Affairs of North Macedonia Mr. Fatmir Bytyqi said in his opening speech that Western Balkans Governments created and implemented policies for the development of social enterprises, in order to support socio-economic development, but that regional cooperation need to be strengthened.
Through a following series of enlightening sessions, experts underscored the need for adaptable legal frameworks to enhance social innovation, inspired renewed commitment to harnessing youth potential, and emphasized the transformative power of sports in empowering marginalized youth.
The final day focused on the young entrepreneurs from the RISE project. They eagerly shared their insights as emerging changemakers who had actively participated in the RISE incubation program, shedding light on the valuable lessons gleaned from their mobility program within the region. The RISE Regional Forum was organized as a part of the Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs (RISE) project, supported by L’Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the European Union, RYCO and the Franco-German Youth Office .
Photo credits: RYCO
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