BOLD Fellowship Program for Bosnia and Herzegovina Young Leaders

The BOLD Fellowship

on Entrepreneurship, Youth Employment, and Economic Development


About the Fellowship

The BOLD Fellowship is an intensive academic and practical program that provides a group of young students and recent graduates from across Bosnia and Herzegovina with in-depth training on entrepreneurship and leadership through a combination of in-person training modules and activities in New York State and virtual experiential sessions.

Fellowship Program Overview for 2022

  • Program travel dates: August 31 – October 1, 2022
  • Program duration: Six months (Four weeks of virtual activities; Four weeks in the U.S.; Four months of flexible BiH based activities)
  • Program locations: Buffalo and New York City, both in New York State (Four weeks)
  • Cohort size: Eighteen fellows (objective will be to have a gender-balanced cohort)
  • Program type: Full time commitment and weekend activities (during the time in the U.S.)
  • Expenses: All program-related expenses in the U.S. including airfare are covered (please see below for more details)
  • Format 

    The Program will provide Fellows with an overview of entrepreneurial approaches by reviewing the development, challenges, and successes of entrepreneurial enterprises, including social enterprises, business leadership and women’s economic empowerment, in the U.S., globally, and in BiH. Areas of further know-how development may include, but are not limited to, trade, investment, financial literacy, banking, marketing, organizational development and management, innovation, emerging markets and risk analysis, strategic business planning, corporate social responsibility, and minorities in entrepreneurship.

    The Fellowship will be done through a combination of classroom learning, site visits, workshops, field trips, and virtual sessions designed to:

  • Develop practical and leadership skills to launch ventures & impact local community in BiH
  • Create meaningful networking and mentorship opportunities with leading U.S. based professionals and successful diaspora members
  • Build awareness of the components of an entrepreneurial eco-system and act as a role model to other aspiring entrepreneurs in BiH
  • Generate self-reflection and understanding of leadership styles and risk-taking
  • Provide insight and tools so that each Fellow will develop/advance their own business ideas in the form of a business model, pitch, and an implementation action plan in BiH.
  • Network 20/20 in Southeast Europe

    In 2015, as part of Network 20/20’s Entrepreneurial Diplomacy Program, we launched a research project to understand the challenges facing the countries of Southeast Europe and innovative solutions that could address those hurdles.

    In 2016 a delegation of private sector leaders from Network 20/20 conducted on-the-ground research in countries of Southeast Europe, meeting with government officials, business leaders, media professionals, NGOs, academics, and other members of society. The trip resulted in the report: A Plan B for the Western Balkans: Reigniting U.S. Leadership in Southeast Europe. Among other findings, the report highlighted the necessity to support young, educated, and tech savvy individuals that are developing their own companies and tech-based startups. The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Southeast Europe provides a counterweight to the mass exodus of youth abroad and could be the driving force towards positive socio-economic change. For further details and the executive summary click here.

    Since then, Network 20/20’s team has conducted hundreds of interviews across Southeast Europe with leading startup hubs, entrepreneurs, academics, innovators, and diaspora members in the U.S. to gain a better understanding of the specific gaps and areas relevant to the further development of the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

    In 2019, Network 20/20, with the support of U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, launched the BOLD Fellowship for Entrepreneurship, Youth Employment and Economic Development. To meet the 2020-21 fellows, please click here or check out the video below.

    Apply and read more about the 2022 Fellowship

    This Program was funded in part by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.

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