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Stavroula Bougani, Greece, Passionate for sustainable gastronomy and eco-friendly practices in Greek Gastronomy and Hospitality Industries. Active in introducing ethical consumerism and promoting innovative CSR practices for premium restaurants. Previously Sustainable Culinary Arts Consultant with experience in Hospitality Human Resources and Cultural & Corporate Events Management. Direct experience with Public Relations, Communication, and Customer Services. Specialized in CSR, Business Management, Staff Employment & Training, Freelance Travel & Food Writer.
"Foodity" Sustainable Food Movement Greece (SFMinGR) is a social startup tackling food waste and promotes sustainability in the Greek Culinary Arts Industry. Foodity is a low-cost surplus food meals app for high-end hotels and premium gastronomy restaurants.
Vlado Damjanović, Bosnia and Herzegovina, was supposed to teach English at a local school in his hometown. After graduation, he decided that this was not his career path and decided to do something totally different. For two years he worked as a PR executive for tech brands, two years he spent designing graphics for top brands, for five years he worked as Head of Sales at prominent Belgrade startup. Today, he’s shifting yet again, this time towards agriculture where he will be producing plum kernel oil, gluten-free flour, and marzipan-tasting butter.
"Euroseed d.o.o" EuroSeed aims are to minimize food waste of the kernels of bone fruit (plum, apricot etc.) through the organized processing of high-quality oil production. Besides oil, the company will produce gluten-free, vegan flour, butter, and wood.
Dion Deva, Kosovo, born in Gjakova on April 14, 1995. Students of the "Faculty of Mechanical Engineering" at the University of Prishtina, respectively in the department of mechatronics. Dion has been a part of various social, political, and artistic projects as well and as a result of his curiosity and will to improve the current situation within the community, he has created TE Pema.
"TE PEMA” has conceptualized, designed, and developed a revolutionary new product for urban green spaces, which is 100% based on local resources, takes only 4m2 and is able to clean more CO2 emissions than 70 trees combined
Naida Pandžić (Represented by Ermina Halilagić), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Naida is from Sarajevo, and she is co-founder and CEO at social business Kesa. She is also the owner of a small bakery. After graduating with honors, she could not get a job, so she started to think about her own business. Having used plastic bags all around her she started to collect them from playground fields creating new fashionable and everyday use products. Naida patented some of her products for which was awarded globally and holds “Inventor of the year in Bosnia and Herzegovina” award for 2013. Her dream is to contribute to waste reduction and hopes one day she will be remembered as a one who did great things for society. Naida feels that she already lives her dream what makes her really happy and proud.
"Kesa Ltd" Kesa's goal is to reduce the disposal of plastic bags in open fields in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kesa produces high-quality fashion accessories. Currently, it has a portfolio of 6 products (bags, makeup bags, laptop cases, rain jackets, suit covers, rain jackets for pets, etc). All products are made of plastic bags
Albert Hysa, Albania, is born and resident in Belsh. He graduated for Law in Public Sector and he holds a Master's Degree in Science in Economics and Law in International Markets. During university studies he has been very active, attending many training courses and improving his skills in managing time and communication by keeping an active role in some community groups and leisure activities. He is 25 years old. Last year he won another competition organized by Act for Society organization for the best innovative idea. The purpose that he is to this competition is to develop even more his city’s tourism. And the other reason is to encourage young people from his city to invest there, to generate income and not to leave the city.
"Visit all 84 of Belshi’s lakes via bicycle (2wheels and 4wheels )" To create a new bike rental service in the city of Belsh, fulfilling one of the current demands; The idea will give a very substantial and considerable contribution to the expansion of the tourism in Belsh. The bicycle lane in Belsh is about 2.2 km long and is being built along the entire lake line of Belsh.
Genc Ibrahimi, Kosovo, is the creator of artistic artwork from glass, owner, and employee in "GMB" company. He is in contact with renowned architects in the region and his current work is based on successful collaborations carried out over the years with the workshops performed at "UP" and "AAB" University where Genc has earned scholarships for further studies.
"Recycled Glass Creations" Using recycled glass to design and build decorative glass mosaics and other decorative products. starting from interior products (such as lamps, dropped ceilings, glass mosaics, etc) as well as jewelry accessories made from glass pieces.
Vanja Jovanović, Serbia, is a vice-president of the Centre for Participatory Education. After graduating in 1999 from the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad, Serbia (Department for English Language and Literature) she moved to Belgrade. She has worked as a preschool English teacher for 23 years. Her main professional interest concerns early childhood education. She is the author and implementer of an early foreign language programme, based on contextually appropriate approach, post-method pedagogy, and the principle of participation. In the period 2017-2019, she participated at national and international scientific meetings organized at the Faculty of Philosophy and Teacher Education Faculty in Belgrade, where she represented her works dealing with the topic of institutionalized early foreign language teaching and learning. She is a co-author of a seminar accredited by Serbian Institute for the Improvement of Education. The aim of the seminar is to introduce the concept and significance of participation in early childhood education, which is recognized as one of the basic rights prescribed by UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the underlying principle of contemporary high-quality educational programmes. She lives in Belgrade with her husband and two daughters.
"AndraMolje " Our business idea is to start the production of innovative toys that are made of environmentally friendly materials and are designed on the bases of research conducted with children. Our toys are transformative boards with accompanying elements that children use in order to create different functions, shapes, and purposes thereof. The process of their production involves the engagement of persons with disabilities who belong to socially vulnerable groups.
Valton Karaxhiu, Kosovo, is the ideator and founder of PANDATEX. He has more than 20 years of experience in the institutional development of non-governmental organizations in Kosovo, the Balkans, and the US in the field of environment, governance and democracy. He has worked as a private consultant and facilitator for Kosovo's sincere international contractor and is the co-author of USAID 2019 - 2024 assessment reports (DRG assessment) for civil society in Kosovo.
"PANDATEX" Recycling second-hand clothes into industrial sheets/mats. The company will feature 2 main products: industrial sheets/mats and recycled clothes. Second-hand clothes that are well preserved will be recycled and sold for direct reuse, whereas others will be recycled into sheets/mats for industrial use, primarily targeting restaurants, auto shops, and factories in which the employees deal with oils and various greasy materials.
Slobodan Knežević, Serbia, was born in 1993. Even in an elementary school, he was interested in birds and nature. He stepped into the world of protection and study of birds and nature at the age of 14 when he climbed to a high-voltage transmission line where nesting saker falcon was nesting to collect the remains of prey of this extremely endangered species for his research. Since then he has been participating in all the activities of the Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia, first as a volunteer, then as a practitioner, and since 2016 as a project assistant. Slobodan currently coordinates educational activities and is at the forefront of the communication sector within the organization. He believes that together we can do great things for nature and people.
"Eye of the Falcon" Creating a sustainable means of financing of nature protected areas through ecotourism services. Our idea is the placement and renting of innovative and mobile photo-hides for bird and nature photography in the protected area Lake Veliko Blato, which has the status of IBA area (Important Bird Area).
Bozina Komatina, Montenegro was born on 7th October in 1974 in Podgorica. Mechanical engineer by profession, he works many years in IT department as system engineer and web programmer. Full of passion for testing and inventing electric vehicles and eco-friendly devices. In 2004 started MADEinMONTENEGRO.com, one of the first Montenegrin web portals that promotes everything positive in the country. Part of the organization team in one of the strongest environmental NGO in Montenegro - Biciklo.me – that promotes bike riding and better rights for cyclists. Previous green projects "Electric bike from the scrap", "Recycling of laptop batteries", "Emergency electricity generator", "Old satellite dish to solar cooker". One of his big passions is discovering new ways for the usage of solar energy for food processing.
"SunRocket – solar cooker" Cooking food using just solar energy. Smart usage of solar energy to prepare food. No CO2 emission. No energy cost. Our solution can make solar cooking affordable to everyone. That is why we developed SunRocket, a very efficient solar cooker that converts 80% solar energy to heat.
Jordanco Lefkov, North Macedonia, is president of the association “Core group for sustainable rice production - RICE TILLER, Cheshinovo, Cheshinovo-Obleshevo”. As experienced farm leader and ex-mayor of the municipality Cheshinovo-Obleshevo, he devoted his entire life and career in improving the socio-economic environment of the local population in this rural region, which is characterized by strong migration, especially of the young population. In that direction, he initiated activities for the promotion of rural tourism, production of local healthy food, promotion of natural beauties, rural traditions, and culture in the eastern region of the country. As a veterinary technician and passionate lover of nature, he, along with the Macedonian Ecological Society, undertakes local activities and participates in projects for the preservation of the natural habitats in this region, especially for the protection of the stork, which has the densest population in this municipality and is a part of the rural living. He is the initiator for the establishment of the Rice Cluster, which has a strong power in creating the public policy for rice sub-sector development. Jordanco recognized the Nature Conservation programme of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, implemented by FARMAHEM, as a huge opportunity for making positive changes in the rice sub-sector, thus became actively involved in the implementation of the activities for sustainable rice production, within which is established the association RICE TILLER.
"PRODUCTION OF BIO - SMART RICE" Тhe main objective of this green business idea is the implementation of technology for rice production with a dry seedling of seed materials, which is a substitute for the traditional way of seedling in water, combined with laser leveling of the agricultural land and controlled use of inputs, thus obtaining a unique healthy product BIO- SMART RICE, produced with big care for nature and the human health. as а result of this green business, the idea will be produced a white and integral rise, which is healthy, quality, environmentally friendly, and safe.
Stamatina Ioanna Moschandreou, Greece, an electrical engineer (NTUA) specialized in renewable energy and focused on energy transition. Member of the cooperative "Wind of Renewal" which promotes clean energy transition and ways to fight against energy poverty.
"Community Energy River" CER has developed an end to end system supportive to the creation of citizen’s energy cooperatives. CER Accelerates the creation of Energy Cooperatives, Digitalizes their management, Facilitates their investments and Develops their Market opportunities.
Ana Novkovic, Serbia, is an environmental researcher and activist interested and engaged with topics of regenerative sustainability, sustainability transformations, environmental behavior, and communications. She has been involved in researching environmental communication and mapping environmental conflicts in the Balkans. In 2018, together with friends, she has founded The Urban Regenerative Sustainability Centre in Novi Sad, Serbia, and they are working together to improve the quality of life in the community while respecting the environment, the principles and values of human rights, inter-culturalism, and neighborly solidarity
"Stvaraoteka" Stvar(a)oteka - the first library of things in Serbia. Stvar(a)oteka will provide affordable access to items that are used occasionally, such as tools, various electrical household appliances, and equipment for hobbies or sports. This service will operate as a conventional book library, but instead of books, it will lend items.
Sokol Prenga, Albania, is a master pastry chef, baker, and chocolatier with a passion for creating delicious, visually appealing pastries and confections. Also a master of baking sciences and proper flavor combinations. He always focused on high standards for taste and quality, while maintaining profitable margins. He has skills in communication and leadership skills and is an expert in managing kitchen staff and preparing foods at reduced cost without compromising quality and taste. He has terminated his study in culinary in 1991 and since then has worked in restaurants.
"Table of Taste" Promotion of traditional Albanian cooking and products in an inclusive environment. The guests will be all seated in the same table, referred to as the social table, in order to share the experience together. Promotion of local Albanian products including agriculture, craftsmanship, alcoholic beverages.
Olga Rajchikj, North Macedonia, is a passionate activist about social change with experience in various types of entrepreneurship projects and start-up competitions. Her mission is to create a business model that will not only be sustainable, but will also be an example to all young people in her country that businesses can make an impact. Olga is currently working in a family business but is also affiliated as Co-Founder of Challenger, and a Member of the Youth Council of US Embassy in North Macedonia. She is devoted to working on creative initiatives that ensure social change and youth leadership, thus has taken part in formation and development of a few social enterprises. Moreover, she has experience in project management. Olga holds a BA in Business Studies and an MSc in Management of Human Resources, as well as she is certified in digital marketing.
"Challenger" Our product is an innovative mobile application - Challenger, a marketplace that offers a socially responsible marketing channel that brings businesses and users together in the act of creating a better society. In the Challenger virtual store, businesses place their products/services, for which users can get discounts (with their accumulated coins). For every km on a bicycle or on foot users get Challenger coins).
Ana Shima, Albania, has studied Political Sciences and International Relations in Sweden and after returning to Albania started working at a local NGO. After some time she decided to pursue her dream of opening her own company of gourmet, quality vegan products. This was due to the lack of these types of products in the country, but also because of the high quality of locally sourced ingredients that are cultivated in Albania.
"Pemla Living Foods" The main objective of the business is the production of high quality, artisanal nut butter, with locally sourced ingredients to increase demand for the cultivation of tree nuts and oilseeds, thereby stimulating rural development. Half of the grant funds will be used to improve the nut butter making process, by acquiring a nut cracking machine and a few machines to transform the waste shells into pellets, so that we use all of the raw ingredients and have 0 waste.
Darko Spaić, Montenegro, born in Podgorica. Through his employment with many foreign companies and representative offices in Montenegro (European Observer Mission, US Embassy, etc), he had the opportunity to show foreigners the nature and beauty of Montenegro. That inspired him to give rebirth to his village and provide an appropriate place for outdoor activities near Podgorica. He inherited land from my grandfather, which he is planning to revitalize and start to promote his touristic offer, the first one on that side of Montenegro.
"Trip to the Cottage" The project aims to reconstruct an old cottage that aims to become the focal point of the tourist offer that will bring life to the village. Podgorica does not have quality spaces for outdoor activities and this project that is only 26 km from the center can provide a connection with the traditional way of life and coexistence with nature.
Dejan Spasovic, North Macedonia, (born in Skopje in 1974) has graduated at the sculpture department of the Skopje Faculty of Arts in 1997 and obtained an MA degree at the same faculty in 2017. His main interest is focused on interactivity in general, be it in audio-visual installations, kinetic sculptures, or performances. He has implemented several individuals and many group exhibitions in Macedonia and abroad. In the last several years he works on analysis and deconstruction of the building styles and techniques in order to revive them and adapt them to the needs of the modern people. He is a natural building consultant who runs the process of design and construction of facilities made of natural materials. In 2018 he started organizing life skills creative workshops for children and youth. He is the founder and coordinator of the Rakatrak Habitat Academy.
“RAKATRAK’’ NATURAL LIFE SKILLS EDUCATION CENTRE FOR CHILDREN" We create green spaces for parents and kids that want to escape polluted Skopje and learn life skills. “Rakatrak” as a green business located 16km from Skopje will offer tailored seasonal workshops for parents and kids. The idea of formalizing “Rakatrak” as a registered entity comes from the need and market request, and it completely supplements our green story and way of life.
Vasilios Stenos, Greece, Agricultural & Environmental Engineer, 12 years international business background, entrepreneurial interests, relationship-building, and solution-oriented skills seriously interested in solving the feeding issue on Earth as it will arise due to overpopulation. He also holds a BSc & MSc in Business Economics & Rural Engineering from the University of Athens, an MSc in Earth & Environmental Engineering from Columbia University and a Business Certificate from Columbia Business School. He is fluent in English and Greek, as well as proficient in German and has served as a Special Forces Parachutist in the Greek Army."
"Solmeyea" offers animal feed Protein from micro-algae with a unique process by utilizing the ambient air and increasing the capacity efficiency by at least 20%. Solmeyea's unique process and animal feed product help Animal Breeders solve the upcoming shortage of feed due to overpopulation & arable land scarcity
Salko Užičanin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, was born in Tuzla. He is currently studying medicine at the University of Tuzla. During high school, he was awarded numerous competitions for his knowledge and creativity. He won the first prize in the international competition of young inventors. He is co-founder and CEO at social business Solheat. "SolHeat Ltd" SolHeat aims to provide clean energy at affordable prices to households. Solheat has designed a new air chamber that makes their products more efficient and unique on the market. The product can be patented. Our products are 20% cheaper than those sold by competitors.
Aleksandrina Vujačić, Montenegro, is 52 years old, electrical engineer, computer science gymnasium teacher, leader of the school Entrepreneurial club, member of the school Eco board, permaculture designer and owner of small private business in the field of food production. She is also the founder and the president of Engineer pedagogic forum, an association of teachers-engineers, author of 18 licensed programs for the professional development of teachers, both from the field of engineering and environmental protection and TED speaker. She is a member of the Montenegrin Qualification Council, the roof body of the Montenegrin Qualification Framework. She is passionate about exploring the possibilities of redesigning urban space in order to meet both: people's needs and nature restrictions.
"OAKVILLE - School agriculture economy" Establishing school commercial agricultural local economy and creation of conditions for the preservation of the identity and biodiversity of space through long-term and stable supply of Montenegrin central geographical area with autochthonous perennial seedlings of oak, hackberry, and laurel produced in the students' local economy.