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BOOST x Kosovo

The Kosovo Green Challenge

Submission deadline:
16 October, 2022

For a greener future

In the aftermath of COVID-19, Kosovo [1] is experiencing one of the most challenging societal and economic crises in the last two decades. A green and just recovery path can put Kosovo’s private sector back on track – creating new jobs, reducing greenhouse emissions and boosting competitiveness, while on route to a climate resilient future.    

UNDP Kosovo, in partnership with the Government of Japan,  the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Innovation Centre Kosovo (ICK), has launched the Kosovo Green Challenge to support green recovery in the private sector by fostering an enabling environment, with a people-centred approach. 

The global turmoil that we are faced with has disrupted value chains and business operations. The economic crisis, Ukraine war, and energy crisis have led to high levels of insecurity and poverty. This all comes at a time when extreme weather events and the impacts of climate change have intensified. 

Do you have an innovative solution in response to these compounding environmental, economic, social, and health crises that can put us on a just and inclusive green recovery? Are you a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) that wants to build resilience, but lacks knowledge and funding? 

Apply for our open call and join the BOOST x Kosovo acceleration programme to fast forward your innovative solutions to the next level and amplify your impact!  

We want to build the capacities of up to 50 SMEs with high potential to transition towards a green recovery by focusing on sustainable business models, risk management and disaster resilience. At the end of the programme, 15 SMEs will be awarded with grants of around 20,000 EUR (20% co-financing is requested from the SMEs).

[1] All references to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of the Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).

What we're looking for?

We want to support innovative green solutions, by focusing particularly on innovations that promote greener business practices and boost:

  1. Sustainability
  2. Efficiency
  3. Circularity

Eligibility criteria

  • Type: You are a local SME with a minimum of 1 year of business operations.
  • Location registration: You are registered and planning to implement your project in Kosovo
  • Language: English, Albanian, or/and Serbian. 

 

Selection criteria

  • Innovation: Innovations that use cutting-edge technologies or innovative digital tools, or introduce new ideas, approaches, products, or services to a target group or a market.
  • Viability and scalability: Your innovative solution is feasible – can be developed, tested, and/or implemented within one month upon graduation from the BOOST x Kosovo acceleration programme. Innovations that have the potential to be implemented and scaled within or even beyond their respective geographical area of operations.
  • Potential for impact: SMEs that work to understand the systems in which they operate, and continuously re-assess and adapt their organizations and businesses to the context and markets. Your innovation solution has a high potential for impact which you can demonstrate via a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
     
  • Management: SMEs must demonstrate that they have an adequate team in place, with clear roles and responsibilities, and the capacity to implement their innovations in one month. 

Timeline

26 September, 2022
Open call launch
16 October, 2022
Application deadline
25 October, 2022
Selection announcement
31 October – 8 December, 2022
BOOST x Kosovo acceleration programme
9-16 December, 2022
Mentorship sessions and getting pitch ready
20 December, 2022
Graduation event
20 December, 2022 – 25 February, 2023
Grants distribution and implementation

Who can apply

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Type of applicant:
SMEs

Issues

ISSUE #1
Resilience

Programme

The BOOST x Kosovo acceleration programme offers SMEs the opportunity to be among BOOST game-changing innovators. Our world-class experts will be there every step of the journey to address your needs and improve your skills! 

The programme will consist of individual and group mentoring sessions for entrepreneurship, coaching and technical advice aimed at advancing impact-driven capabilities, improving business skills, investment readiness, and soft skills, including networking and pitching skills. It will also help the participants access larger business networks, investors and other type of funders while enhancing the organizations’ cross-sectoral visibility. 

The BOOST x Kosovo acceleration programme curriculum is perfectly tailored for you to expand your knowledge and accelerate your innovative solution. 

BOOST Journey

1 Applications open until 16 October
2 50 SMEs selected
3 SME needs assessment
4 Module 1: Impact Measurement & Management 
5 Module 2: Entrepreneurship Business Acceleration
6 Module 3: Green Transformation
7 Module 4: Tech and Digital Transformation (Optional)
8 Mentorship sessions and getting pitch ready
9 Graduation event

BOOST x Kosovo acceleration programme

MODULE 1: Impact Measurement & Management 

Module 1 focuses on equipping the SMEs with a better understanding of the concept and principles of impact and how impact interlinks with sustainability and scalability. The SMEs will learn how to develop SDG-aligned impact visions and theories of change, with Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound (SMART) indicators for proper impact monitoring and management. 

MODULE 2: Entrepreneurship Business Acceleration

Module 2 focuses on developing the SMEs’ business, organizational, and management skills and capabilities. Participants get access to a step-by-step roadmap and approaches to building enduring business models to further develop and scale their projects and solutions. Topics covered in this module include Design thinking, Understanding your Target Group and Value Proposition, Prototyping, Building and Testing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Business Model Innovation, Financial Resilience, Innovative Finance, Design and Branding Strategies: (Agile) Project Management, Storytelling, Preparing and Presenting a Pitch Deck 

MODULE 3: Green Transformation

Module 3 introduces the green economy concept, environmental challenges and circular economy. During the sessions, you will explore ways to promote an inclusive green economy and integrate innovation and green transition into your business modules (enhance energy management in the commercial and industrial domains, main risks and their mitigation, financing possibilities, market trends, etc.). 

MODULE 4 (Optional): Tech and Digital Transformation 

Module 4 consists of a self-paced online training course focused on the principles for digital development and how they can be applied to drive social impact. The course introduces nine digital principles, contextualizes them in a case study, and showcases tools and resources that can be applied to all stages of a project life cycle.  

TOKYO TALKS

Throughout the programme, you will access a series of inspirational talks with successful entrepreneurs, philanthropists, global leaders, and experts from Japan. The objective is to shed light on specific topics relevant for the participating SMEs, inspire and share learnings. The topics and speakers will be announced during the programme to ensure they are relevant for the cohort. 

MENTORSHIP AND PEER-TO-PEER LEARNING 

To ensure the best outcome of the learning journey, you will be matched with mentors with whom you will have routine meetings to discuss and evaluate your organization’s progress. These focal points and mentors will also match you with relevant individuals, organizations and investors in their respective networks as well as facilitate peer-to-peer learning by connecting SMEs working in similar fields and/or using similar technologies or business models.  

Key partners

Funding Partners 

 

BOOST is a regional acceleration programme, powered by UNDP Europe and Central Asia, boosting social impact innovation and accelerating the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The BOOST x Kosovo edition is financed and supported by the Government of Japan. 

 

The Government of Japan stands committed to the environmental and climate change issues in Kosovo. In the past 12 years, it has implemented more than 50 projects in Kosovo. Currently, Japan is supporting countries all over the world in the transition towards net-zero carbon emissions. The people of Japan make the BOOST programme possible through the Climate Promise: Growth through Green and Just Recovery from COVID-19 project, speeding up Kosovo’s efforts in moving towards a greener and more climate-resilient future. 


Knowledge Partners
 

 

Innovation Centre Kosovo (ICK) is a centre whose aim is to connect research and development component of scientific field with the business sector, focusing on creating new job opportunities oriented towards the future, based on knowledge and new technology. ICK was founded to support entrepreneurship, innovation and commercially based business development, with a focus on information and communication technology. The centre supports both start-ups and existing companies with the potential for growth.