On February 15, 2021 we closed our five-day conference, celebrating the results achieved by young people across Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2020: Youth Bank supported 549 projects worth 1,200,000 BAM, Startup Studio has invested in 66 small and micro businesses, over 46,000 registered members in the online community lonac.pro actively searching and finding opportunities to improve their communities.
The conference brought together 730 participants from 12 countries and 102 cities, an extraordinary virtual experience provided by the start-up Beyond42, which with the support of the Foundation Mozaik developed the CollectiVibe platform. The event itself was organized by the Agency Mašta, one of the 130 social enterprises in which the Foundation Mozaik invested.
See the full closing ceremony here
Let us remind ourselves once again what were the most important messages of the Conference:
Director Zoran Puljić explained why Mozaik is trying to create a climate for entrepreneurship in Bosnia and Herzegovina:
“We wondered how difficult it is for a young person in Bosnia and Herzegovina to succeed here. How hard is it actually to get an education, to fall in love, to form a family, to raise children…? Indeed, it is a huge issue that young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina think about every day. I think there are too few such examples where young people have succeeded and even when they see them through the media or through lonac.pro they just don’t believe the stories are true. They think it’s some lottery that hit some young person and that lottery has no chance of hitting them. The real problem is that young people don’t believe in anything anymore and we can’t blame them for that, the real situation is like that. Therefore, we have two challenges – the first is to show young people that it is possible to succeed here, and the second is that when someone succeeds, we tell those stories, to show that their friend, neighbor, succeeded without bribery.”
You can watch a video of the conference opening here: Annual Conference of the Mozaik Foundation: The future of Bosnia and Herzegovina lies in a dynamic and entrepreneurial young generation. During the conference, two fairs were opened: The Youth Banks Fair and the Business Fair, where the virtual experience was closer to the one in real life – participants could interact with and talk with young people, have meetings with them and search for opportunities for further cooperation. At the closing ceremony, we signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the 50th Municipality in BiH, which will have the Youth Bank – Municipality of Teslić.
The inspiring story of a social business “Greens” did not leave anyone indifferent, because this business managed to adapt to the new market conditions with a challenging pandemic and to keep jobs:
Young Zlatan Samardžić from Wolfen d.o.o., another social business from our Startup studio, recorded the speech of the Mayor of Jezero, Snežana Ružičić and the Mayor of Bosanska Krupa, Armin Halitović. In the last two years, the Youth Bank Bosanska Krupa has been the most successful among 49 municipalities and cities. At the closing, the 50th memorandum of cooperation was signed – with the municipality of Teslić.
The opening of the conference was attended by the Swiss Ambassador, whose Government, together with Sweden and 58 other financial partners, despite the pandemic, contributed to a successful 2020. H.E. Daniel Hunn said at the opening:
“Our cooperation with the Foundation Mozaik has been ongoing for two years and we are very happy with this partnership – because we have such a strong partner with a long-term strategy and common values. Both you and I are convinced that the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina lies in a dynamic and entrepreneurial young generation. We are committed together to ensure that the young generation of this country is given a perspective to develop their visions and ideas.”
Through our ten-year strategy, we will bring together as many as 50,000 young people in the lonac.pro community, support 5,000 projects through Youth Banks and explore 500 micro and small businesses in the Startup Studio. For 2021, we have provided 568,000 BAM for projects and 962,000 BAM for small and micro businesses. Over 160 partners are already in lonac, and the number continues to grow every day.