To learn more about NVO COE, we spoke with Jugoslav Radovic, Executive Director of NVO COE and Jelena Rajkovic, Project Manager of the organisation. Jugoslav has been coordinating the organisation since 2018 and with his colleagues has won three European awards in the fields of “Quality of benefits for young people” and “Strengthening of sustainability” for the implementation of the European Youth Card (EYCA) project. He is actively involved in youth policy, human rights, media as well as automation processes in business and digitalization of youth work in the country. Jelena joined the organisation earlier this year and coordinates the Social Impact Award (SIA) programme, the largest European support program for social entrepreneurship of young people.
NVO COE is recognised for…
NVO COE was founded 13 years ago in Podgorica and is a non-governmental, non-profit and non-political youth organization, with the aim of supporting, affirming and encouraging young people to strengthen activism, volunteerism, mobility and informal education. In the last five years the organisation has implemented more than 20 projects focusing on strengthening the capacities of young people, their informal education, developing a culture of youth participation, providing mechanisms for fostering activism, developing youth work as a support in the process of independence and improving interdepartmental cooperation, etc.
Additionally, NVO COE works with their state partners, various universities and ministries and business society to develop infrastructure that creates meaningful initiatives. The organisation proposes over 30 to 40 workshops every year focusing on business planning, modelling, design thinking and marketing etc, with the overall aim of promoting social responsibility in Montenegro.
NVO COE actively wishes to give the youth a voice on a local as well as international level.
‘We wish to create a community of young innovators who can be role models for their peers and we are happy to share information that more than 40.000 young people were involved in our project activities in last 5 years,’ says Jugoslav.
What the organisation has been working on
NVO COE has worked on several impactful projects over the last few years surrounding employment, education, entrepreneurship, culture, art etc. The organisation emphasises on the importance of creating better conditions for young people and providing support them in every phase of their preparing process for labour market.
During their recent contribution with Social Impact Award (SIA), the largest international project focusing on social entrepreneurship, dedicated to young people, NVO COE provided over 20 educational activities in 2022. Over 130 young people who recognised NVO COE’s efforts, registered and applied on the platform. This allowed the youth to connect with other’s and different regions, as well as transfer knowledge around Montenegro.
‘Young people in Montenegro are very creative and have great potential, but it is necessary to invest more time in their further non formal education and to be supported with better infrastructure for their development through synergy with state institutions. We look forward to the fact that we have SIA winners for 2022. and waiting for a new generation of young social innovators.’
’We want to make the SIA program useful and attractive to young people who have quality ideas. We are proud of the fact that the participants and our partners are satisfied with the quality of the project and that the story of social entrepreneurship is spreading rapidly.’ says Jelena.
What the future holds for NVO COE?
We asked Jugoslav and Jelena how they envision the organisation to evolve in five years’ time, to which they responded;
‘We see education and networking as key advantages for the further development of young people in Montenegro. We will be happy to support them in that process and connect them with the companies and organizations, in order to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills and prepare them for the labour market.’
Currently, social entrepreneurship and CSR culture in Montenegrin society is not on such a high level, ‘we wish to change that,’ says Jugoslav.
‘We don’t see other projects focusing on social entrepreneurship as competitors because we believe it is important to work together and create a strong, national strategy for better understanding all advantages of social entrepreneurship. At the end, our idea is to change a perspective of young people about this field and create a culture of developing social enterprises in Montenegro.’
Currently, NVO COE is preparing and collecting advices and suggestions for partners from state institutions in order to have all necessary information for their next goal in future period – preparing and talking about Law of social entrepreneurship – we are eager to see the results!
NVO COE & Euclid Network join forces
The organisation wishes to share and spread knowledge. Joining Euclid enables NVO COE to be more connected with entrepreneurial stories and share results.
‘Joining EN allows us to network and be more present in this beautiful social entrepreneurship space,’ says Jugoslav. EN gladly welcomes NVO COE on board!