1. Startup incubation and acceleration
We provide a range of startup/business development services helping entrepreneurs transform their initial business ideas into concrete, viable and investable business models, through training, coaching, mentoring, for business model design, prototyping, piloting and market testing, business planning and go-to-market strategies. Entrepreneurs can join of the two tracks of the incubator program: (i) a flexible incubation support with open entry opportunities throughout the year and services tailored the needs of individual entrepreneurs; (ii) structured incubation/acceleration support, targeting especially young entrepreneurs, starting with online applications and followed with a 2 to 3 months of intensive incubation and acceleration programs; and (iii) post-acceleration support for the most promising teams and portfolio businesses.
2. Investment readiness support and facilitation of access to financing
The most promising entrepreneurs/teams are supported by YSB Balkans with investment preparedness and facilitation of access to financing. Such financing may come through: (i) facilitation of access to third party financing sources and/or YSB partners; and (ii) direct financing through YSB balkans financing facility (as available). This includes provision of investment readiness support and carrying out the due diligence for the selected startups/businesses. YSB Balkans's direct financing may take various forms, including as pre-seed or seed financing in the form of grants, equity and/or, quasi equity, long-term shareholder loans. These loans are long-term loans at below-market interest rates, with long grace periods on principal (depending on the startup stage and business model) and without personal collateral. Post-financing services are provided to portfolio companies to help entrepreneurs to successfully grow their businesses. In addition, YSB Balkans may provide services, such as facilitation of market linkages, access to third party business support, etc.
3. Business development, corporate innovation and advisory services
We believe that great development agencies and corporate leaders see the world how it should be – and create what is missing. They are following a holistic vision for society that expands beyond the frontiers of their usual development approaches (charity support), companies’ activities and boardrooms. Our work helps them realise their vision through social and impact business. We support them by creating purpose-driven businesses and innovations that help people brake the poverty cycle, get access to decent jobs, quality social services or live in a pollution-free environment. We engage and excite your employees about purpose-driven business and innovation, helping them understand the potential of social and impact business and how it matters to your agency or company, guide them through an ideation process along your core strategy to develop inspiring social impact business formats and bring your CRS to the next level, and we help develop and/or implement with you your own social impact business ideas. Let us support you in finding your sweet spot in impact investing, building pipelines, setting up financing processes and measuring the impact you care about.
4. Entrepreneurship ecosystem building support
The impact entrepreneurship depends very much and builds on the overall social and business environment in the country. Hence fostering impact entrepreneurship, especially in the Western Balkans' context, requires also efforts for creation of an enabling entrepreneurship support ecosystem in the country Accordingly, YSB support towards creation of such an enabling ecosystem includes: (i) support to strengthening of youth entrepreneurship communities and networks; (ii) strengthening of local mentors' networks; (i) promotion of entrepreneurship role models in the country; and (iv) promotion of Western Balkans' ecosystem and impact businesses abroad and networking/linkages and partnership building with regional and European startup actors. YSB partners with governments, national and international development agencies, VCs and startup communities, business associations, academia and other relevant market players to implement the necessary approaches, infrastructure and networks for creating a lively and open-minded entrepreneurial ecosystem