Bosnia and Herzegovina - Empowering the breakthrough generation
The cooperation that began in 2012 between the UniCredit Foundation and the Mozaik Foundation continues. Specifically, in 2016 UniCredit Foundation supported the development of the ten-year strategy (2015-2025) “Empowering the breakthrough generation in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, which the Bosnian foundation had begun with the aim of spreading good social enterprise practices, in particular among the youngest members of society. In this sense, the concept of social enterprise is promoted through a multi-step process (increasing awareness about social innovation, business planning and incubation), both as a means of individual activation and growth and, in particular in the current economic crisis, as an engine for local economic and social development.
From 2015 to 2016, Mozaik tested its ten-year plan, starting with a careful analysis of the context and needs expressed by the population. In a country with one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe (43% on average; 62.8% for youth), to create jobs is clearly the most urgently felt need. The focus on the next generation of social entrepreneurs is an element that makes this project fit perfectly with UniCredit Foundation’s approach to social inclusion and innovation which, in the first cycle of the project (by the end of 2017), will disburse 5 grants in favour of the same number of youth teams. They will work to develop their own social business proposals and will also receive non-financial support (training, mentoring and consulting) from experts of the Mozaik Foundation and the world of academics, non profits and local business. Employees of UniCredit Bank in Bosnia and Herzegovina may also be involved as mentors in supporting the start-up businesses.
The teams will work for around 18 months to transform their ideas into social enterprises able to remain on the market and become part of the community of Mozaik alumni, benefiting from long-term assistance and monitoring. And there’s more. During the training cycle, Mozaik will also assess the possibility of participating in the management of the enterprises with the greatest potential which, in turn, will be called on to develop solutions to identify alternative self-financing sources and synergies with the initiatives of the other teams, activating a virtuous cycle that helps achieve long-term sustainability. Together with UniCredit Foundation, the development of the Mozaik Foundation strategy will also be supported by local institutions and international foundations, including Bosch Foundation, Zeit Foundation and Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
Samira Nuhanović-Ribić, Social Business Incubator Director, Mozaik
“We aim to create a new breakthrough generation of young entrepreneurs over the next ten years, able to use the social business model to change the future of our country”.