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Companies participating in SDG Accelerator for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) programme today in Sarajevo, in UN House, presented their business ideas to the Sounding Board.

This event was held as part of SDG Business Week 2020, organized by the United Nations Development Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNDP in BiH), and focused on promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with special attention given to recovery, leadership, and innovation. SDG Business Week 2020, taking place from 5th to 9th October 2020, gathers more than 300 participants as well as eminent guest lecturers from all over the world.

SDG Accelerator for SMEs in BiH entails work with companies that have received support, guidance, and a comprehensive methodology for the development of new products, services, or business models based on the SDGs from a network of top international and domestic experts. In addition, the companies were assisted in communicating with and educating their employees to integrate sustainable development into business through internal campaigns and activities. The representatives of the companies and the members of the Sounding Board were greeted by Steliana Nedera, the Resident Representative of UNDP in BiH.

Each company held a 10-minute presentation during today’s event in order to demonstrate the business valuation behind the proposed solution. After that the Sounding Board used an additional 10 minutes to give their suggestions for the proposed business ideas.

In order to comply with the epidemiological measures, the companies’ representatives waited their turn to present in a separate hall and there they followed the other presentations over Zoom platform. The Sounding Board members from Denmark also joined the event over Zoom.

Samira Nuhanović presented the business idea of the company Softhouse Balkans: „The Acceleration Day was a very useful opportunity to test our initial solution. The comments given to us by the Sounding Board were excellent and direct while pointing to what still needs to be strengthened and done better – both in the structure of the services and in the way we plan to offer it to our clients. We are even more aware of the importance of integrating sustainability into business models because it is the only way to offer solutions for the challenges of long-term development.“

Adisa Karahodžić from the company Koteks: „I am very pleased with the way today’s presentation went. In the past period we have worked on our idea and, together with our team, we collected a lot of information. I would like to emphasize the quality of our cooperation with Deloitte consultants, who offered truly top-notch services to us, as well as with UNDP. Koteks recognized that Sustainable Development Goals are the essence of our business and that is why we are happy to be a part of this project.“

Aleksandar Vukmirović from the company Plantago: „It is very good to have an opportunity to present an idea on the future of our products and our brand in front of a panel of experts such as this one. This is especially important in the context of sustainability; that is, the reflection on whether what we are doing will make the place we live in nicer, better, and safer for our collective future.“

Elma Badžak from the company Jaffa-Komerc: „Today’s event served for presenting what we did so far, and the feedback from the Sounding Board was precious because they pointed out some aspects to think about that we may not have given enough thought. We as a company have been empowered and encouraged by today’s event.“

The Sounding Board was made up of Stine Kirsten Junge from UNDP Denmark, Amir Ćoralić, the president of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in BiH, Lada Buševac, the Director of IFC office in BiH, Igor Jokić from Raiffeisen Bank BiH, Ismar Ćeremida representing UNDP in BiH, Bahare Haghshenas and Soren Schou from acacia – the Sustainable Innovation Hub of Deloitte Denmark.

SDG Accelerator for SMEs aims to accelerate innovations and the growth of small and medium enterprises through the development of new business solutions that are in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals. SDG Accelerator for SMEs is unique in that it combines UNDP’s insights into challenges to achieving SDGs with the advice of a network of carefully selected experts as well as advisory competencies of the prominent professional services company Deloitte in the innovation process.

It is organized as part of the „SDGs Roll-Out Support and Private Sector Engagement“ Project, implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in BiH and financed by Sweden.