Western Balkans Philanthropy for Green Ideas Winners Announced

Philanthropy for Green Ideas participants

The fifth annual Forum on the Development of Philanthropy in the Western Balkans: Philanthropy for Green Ideas was held from July 24–27, 2014 in Llogara, Albania. Philanthropy for Green Ideas is a regional competition that encourages communities to generate business ideas, utilizing local resources and revitalizing traditions of production and community-based markets in an environmentally-friendly way.

The competition is a project of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund's Western Balkans program, in partnership with local foundations representing five countries from the region: the Center for Institutional Development in Macedonia, the Forum for Civic Initiatives in Kosovo, the Fund for Active Citizenship in Montenegro, Partners Albania, and the Trag Foundation (formerly the Balkan Community Initiatives) in Serbia. The project has established clear criteria and a transparent and fair competition process for selecting the best green business ideas that will contribute to a better, more sustainable life for people in different communities and thus model how philanthropy can produce tangible, long-term benefits.

Each local foundation nominated three small-scale business ideas promoting green economy to present at the forum. An independent, international jury selected three winners from these 15 local business ideas based on the following criteria: how the idea was developed; the sustainability and viability of the initiative; the sustainable use of local resources; and the social and educational impact on the local community and workforce.

The 2014 winners are: Igor Kojcic (Serbia) for his project, Circulating Fruit and Vegetable Dryer; Stevan Covic (Serbia) for his project, Worm Farm; and Eltjana Shrekli (Albania), for her project, Green Sight-Castle2Castle. Each of the three winners will be awarded up to $10,000 to implement their projects.

The competition was launched in 2012, after a forum on the development of local philanthropy had been held at the Fund’s Pocantico Center in 2010 and 2011. The forum stressed the interplay of local resources and public trust on the strategic development of the philanthropic sector. In light of rapidly changing donor practices and market conditions, participants highlighted the importance of developing locally relevant mechanisms to restore philanthropic development in the region.

To read more about the winners and all of the 2014 participants visit the Philanthropy for Green Ideas website.