Philanthropy for Green Ideas (PGI) is a Regional project run by the Balkan Green Foundation, with support of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s (USA) under their Western Balkans Program. PGI aims to stimulate and encourage innovation for green business ideas at the local level and explores the role of philanthropy in engaging local communities to generate green business ideas that utilize local resources and revitalize disappearing traditional production chains and community-based markets.

Competitors may be individuals, civil society organizations, social businesses or small private companies that have ideas with social, economic and environmental elements.

By supporting innovative, local sustainable economic development initiatives, Philanthropy for Green Ideas aims to substantively contribute to building a peaceful, competitive, and prosperous Western Balkans region.

The Annual Regional Competition is organized every year in different partner countries. The two-day competition takes place every July at a different location in the Western Balkans region.

The competitors are national winners from Western Balkans 6: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, and also from Greece (three from each country). An international independent jury assesses projects and four winners receive an award of up to $10,000 to implement their business ideas in whole or in part.

Since 2015, when ARNO started administering the national competition, N. Macedonia got its first regional winner (Good Earth Cooperative). In 2016 N. Macedonia won at the Regional competition one more time with the idea of “SPIN” (Marta Mojsova young architect doing upcycling of furniture). In 2017 we got two winners: “Eco Illusions” (Kristian Shopov, magician that uses edutainment) and “Food for Everyone” (platform for sales of last minute food). In 2019 again we came back from the Regional Competition with 2 Awards: “Challenger” – A mobile app that encourages people to collect green steps and receive awards, “Bio Smart Rice” – rice grown on dry soil, production that cuts inputs and environmental risks, run by organic farmers from Kochani.

Each winner received 10,000 $ for the implementation of the green business idea, while the National Administrators are responsible for the process of monitoring and evaluation, and further matching with donors and networks.

In total, until 2019, 60 000 $ are invested in the country for the support of the green (social) businesses.

For more info in English please visit http://www.philanthropyforgreenideas.org/

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