OPEN CALL: FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR BUSINESS IDEAS AND PLANS TO ENHANCE INTERETHNIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION
1:42 | Saturday, 30. October, 2021
If you have a business idea and plan that could enhance interethnic business cooperation and that encompasses a robust interethnic component, then apply for Bridgeafund, the grant scheme launched by Alternative Dispute Resolution Center (ADRC) in the framework of the project ‘Fostering Mutual Understanding and Development’ supported by Embassy of Switzerland in Kosovo and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kosovo.
Fostering Mutual Understanding and Development is a project implemented by the ADRC and supported by the Embassy of Switzerland in Kosovo and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kosovo. It primarily aims to place business-level inter-ethnic cooperation at the center of future reconciliation work, promote its benefits and provide a platform that stimulates and supports joint business-level engagement and cooperation. It does so by providing, inter alia, a funding opportunity (through the Bridgeathon Scheme) for business ideas and plans that can improve business-level interethnic communication, cooperation, and understanding.
The relations between Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo Serbs remain strained and complicated. This is despite the efforts of the international community and civil society aimed at initiating communication, rebuilding links, and promoting mutual understanding. Socio-economic underdevelopment adds a further layer of burden and distress over the communities and community relations. These can be countered by increased interethnic communication, the sustainability of which can be best established through interest-based business cooperation. Indeed, strengthening economic interests and ties between ‘opposing sides’ facilitates and contributes to their increased and sustainable communication. This is one of the key forces to breaking down prejudices and harmful narratives on a long-term basis. For instance, members of communities that communicate more frequently with their counterparts from other communities, whether because of work or trade purposes, measure lower ethnic distance towards that ethnic group and vice versa. Accordingly, the economic normalization of relations at the community level can also contribute to the political normalization of relations and the change of discourse on a larger scale.
Fostering Mutual Understanding and Development and the Bridgeafund Scheme recognizes the importance and contribution of mutual interest-based interethnic business cooperation to lessening distrust, non-communication, and prejudices and increasing joint engagement and economic development. It, therefore, seeks to support or fund solutions, ideas, start-ups, and projects that have the potential to contribute to these aims. The Bridgeafund Scheme forms the funding pool, which shall be used to support or fund the referred solutions, ideas, start-ups, and projects, and it is the second time it is being deployed.
The objective and approach of the Open Call under the Bridgeafund Scheme
The objective of the second round of the Bridgeafund Scheme is to garner and award business solutions, ideas, start-ups, and projects that can contribute to interethnic economic cooperation in the regions of Mitrovica (Mitrovica South, Mitrovica North, Leposavić, Skenderaj, Vushtrri, Zubin Potok, Zvečan) and Pristina, including Gračanica. All interventions should be aimed at achieving this goal. In other words, the ADRC and its partners expect solutions, ideas, start-ups, and projects that are able to establish basis of business–to–business interaction, simulate and ease cooperation, help build networks among businesses across the ethnic divide, and produce income and employment in the referred regions.
Applicants to this Open Call can be start-ups or existing MSM enterprises that operate in one or more of these areas, whose composition has or intends to have an interethnic component, and whose ideas and plans have the potential to contribute to advancing interethnic economic cooperation.
Applicants are invited to consult and engage the ADRC’s Assessment of Inter-Ethnic Economic Cooperation in Kosovo, which reports on the areas on interethnic economic cooperation ripe to engagement and/or intervention. The publication lists a number of obstacles that may be addressed by the applicants and submitted business ideas and plans.
The business ideas and plans will be evaluated by a professional panel with reference to their feasibility, potential impact, innovation, and sustainability. The best idea(s) and plan(s) will then receive financial assistance from the Bridgeafund Scheme. The applicants are expected to demonstrate in the application in a clear and unequivocal way how the project will retain sustainability and continue to function after the termination of the grant period (see below). Sustainability plays a heavy role in the evaluation process. Each applicant may not submit ore than 1 application under this Open Call, whose eligibility and appropriateness (of both the idea and plan and budget) will be thoroughly evaluated by the panel.
The implementation of the awarded idea(s) and plan(s) may last until March 2022, and it will be monitored and assisted by the ADRC. The minimum grant size it can be applied for is 5 000 Eur and the maximum 7 500 Eur. There will be at least two grants awarded.
Submitting the Business Ideas and Plans and Deadline
The applications can be submitted in Albanian, Serbian, or English and must contain the relevant Business Plan Form,
which contains a Budget Template enclosed here: Business Plan Form and Budget Template
Please use this link/document to fill in your application. The amounts or needs referred to in the budget have to match the explanations provided in the Business Plan Form.
The applications that are not prepared and submitted according to the requirements and criteria of this Call, are incomplete or submitted after the deadline (which is 7 November 2021) will be dismissed.
The applicants will be promptly informed after the deadline about the outcome of their applications and the associated
evaluation and selection process, which will be conducted in a professional, independent, and documented manner by the representatives of the ADRC, its partners, and possible external assessors.
You can send any other questions that might arise to ADRC until 4 November 2021, 17:00 hours, and the replies will be given by 5 November 2021. To ensure equal treatment of applicants, no prior opinion will be given on the eligibility of applicants, partners or associates, an action, or specific activities.
The Open Call: Funding Opportunity for Business Ideas and Plans to Enhance Interethnic Economic Cooperation has been extended to Sunday, 21 November 2021. Apply now.