Trag Foundation awards the three best ideas with USD 5,000 each
June 9, 2021, Belgrade – At the 2021 Forum for Green Ideas, the Trag Foundation selected the three best entrepreneurial ideas based on the principles of sustainable development, which were awarded USD 5,000 each. The selected projects will participate in the Balkan Green Ideas (BGI) regional competition at the end of September, where they will once again have the opportunity to win additional funds, in the amount of USD 5,000 to USD 10,000.
The first place was won by the Women’s Center Užice from Užice, for the Retex project, an innovative center for the collection and recycling of textiles within the program for economic empowerment of women from vulnerable groups. The goal of Retex is to make waste textiles more valuable on the market and thus reduce their negative impact on the environment. Second place went to NewPen D.O.O. from Smederevska Palanka, which produces graphite pencils and crayons from old newspapers and recycled paper, while the third place was won by the association Pruži korak from Belgrade for the Pruži korak Biz app – pedometer for mobile phones, intended for companies for their CSR campaigns in which they motivate employees to do good for themselves and the community by walking.
“I am very glad that I had the honour of announcing the winners of this year’s Forum for Green Ideas. Every year, the jury’s job gets harder because more and more innovative green entrepreneurial ideas and projects arrive at the competition. I would like to congratulate all of this year’s finalists, especially the winners, and I would like them to continue to be equally committed to solving problems in their local communities, relying on community resources but also protecting the environment in it. I also wish the winners good luck at the Balkan Green Ideas regional competition, which is being held in Autumn,” said Biljana Dakić Đorđević, Executive Director of the Trag Foundation.
This year, 26 projects applied for the competition, of which 10 were shortlisted and had the opportunity to present their green and innovative projects to the jury during the Forum. The criteria considered by the jury were: the potential of the project to have a significant impact in its local community, reliance on local resources, employment of local people and use of their knowledge and skills, as well as a creative approach to solving economic, social and environmental problems.
The jury consisted of: Vladimir Jovanović, Head of the Social Banking Unit at Erste Bank a.d. Novi Sad, Marijana Savić, Director of the Atina Association and the social enterprise Bagel Bejgl, Milijana Lazarević, entrepreneur from the Center for Participatory Education (Andramolje toys), Paola Petrić, Program Coordinator and Deputy Director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation office, and Una Stanimirović, Sustainable Expert at A1 Serbia.
The ninth Forum for Green Ideas is being implemented with the support of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Balkan Green Ideas program and the European Union’s Erasmus+ program. The forum was launched with the idea of providing associations and small businesses with encouragement and funding, in order to develop innovative entrepreneurial projects, based on the principles of sustainable development.