The Day of Big Waves in February in Banja Luka. What? Yes, we have the first successful crowdfunding campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina by "Talas" magazine team.
Talas means wave! The campaign name was "Swim upstream" or #PlivajUzvodno. There is no ocean in Banja Luka to make waves or to swim, but Talas magazine team has done their job!
They started a quarterly print magazine back in June 2016, determined to write only positive stories about great, productive, proactive and enthusiastic people in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Those stories deserve to be told and inspire other people to strive in making a positive change, starting a business, creating jobs, doing good for themselves and for the community. They went into a crowdfunding campaign to secure funds for one-year print costs and they've paved the way for the other teams who attended the first Global UNDP Crowdfunding Academy in Bosnia and Herzegovina to dare. To dare dreaming big and swimming upstream.
But let us go back a bit. In December, while the first snowflakes were covering Banja Luka and later-on Tuzla, eleven teams were getting the first insights in how to create and implement a successful crowdfunding campaign. The teams were selected by UNDP B&H Local Integrated Development project, UNDP AltFinLab and Terra Hub Croatia team.
The selected teams represent different socially responsible entrepreneurial initiatives: starting from promotion of Bosnian tradition like old Bosnian dishes and handicrafts, through the promotion of organic and ecological producers, to establishing social enterprises, as well as educational board-game makers for children or the IT-education for girls. The crowdfunding is one alternative way of increasing their access to capital. But not only, crowdfunding is so much more than just money that it simply had to come to Bosnia and Herzegovina to place the seeds of a future crowdfunding ecosystem in South-East Europe/Western Balkan.
The teams went through a set of four thematic educational modules of UNDP Crowdfunding Academy, similar as those from Ukraine, back in February 2017: Those are about the building strategies for implementing crowdfunding campaigns, building campaign groundwork and community engagement; communications planning, creating great visual communication, social networking, using media, technical aspects of crowdfunding campaign and team preparation, tips&tricks for successful campaign implementation.
"During the trainings we've had our own creative process with parallel pop-up clouds above our heads with sets of questions coming and going away as we were learning." said a girl named Sanela from Multifunctional house "Labyrinth" from Tuzla. "Perhaps the most motivating were the presentations of other campaigners who already have been through a crowdfunding campaign about their own experiences, both good and bad. They encouraged us to try it. We want to be a part of global crowdfunding community!"