START – Create Cultural Change

START is a capacity building and fellowship program for aspiring cultural managers in Greece. The program supports creative minds to kick-start cultural initiatives that generate a positive social impact on their local communities. By facilitating growth and exchange in the sociocultural sector, START aims to create new perspectives for young professionals in Greece and foster social cohesion in Europe.

Each year the program has 3 consecutive phases in Germany and Greece, enabling START Fellows to develop an innovative project idea into a cultural initiative and acquire the entrepreneurial skills to scale it up to become a sustainable creative venture.

The program phases at a glance

Phase I

Capacity building in Germany
Sep – Nov

Phase II

Project implementation in Greece
Dec – May

Phase III

Scaling the projects in Greece
Sep onwards
Phase I: Capacity building in Germany
September – November

The 2-month capacity building program in Germany offers 30 START Fellows the opportunity to enhance their applied knowledge in international cultural management. It also helps them shape their idea for a cultural initiative into a viable project design. A pitching event marks the end of Phase I and leads successful Fellows to access the project implementation phase (Phase II).


  • 2 weeks of advanced training in project management, public relations, fundraising, and audience development
  • 6 weeks in a Placement at a vibrant sociocultural organization, including mentoring and a Small-Scale Project Grant up to Euro 1,500
  • Stipends, covering accommodation costs in Germany, travel expenses and monthly subsistence of Euro 800
Phase II: Project implementation in Greece
December – May

The 6-month fellowship and project implementation phase in Greece provides 15 START Fellows with funds, networks, and a support structure to launch their cultural initiative in Greece. It also offers them an opportunity to promote themselves as cultural managers. A 2-day START Fellowship Celebration event concludes Phase II, providing all Fellows with a public platform for their projects and networking opportunities with public and private donors.


  • A coaching scheme, furthering grant management, entrepreneurial and problem-solving skills
  • Project grants of up to Euro 10,000 each
  • Stipends, covering travel expenses to START events and a monthly subsistence of Euro 800
Phase III: Scaling the projects in Greece
September – onwards

START Scaling Awards are awarded to exemplary initiatives that have excelled in creating a positive social impact, sparked cultural innovation and shown outstanding potential for future expansion. These project grants are provided by supporting organizations of the program in Greece. Accordingly, the availability, number and amount of Scaling Awards may vary between program years.


  • Every program year, START seeks to facilitate 3 to 5 Scaling Awards with a budget ranging between Euro 5,000 and 15,000 each
  • Special access to the services of the Social Dynamo, a hub for civil society capacity building in Athens
  • Alumni network activities

START is a program of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, conducted in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki, and the German Association of Sociocultural Centers, supported by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and the Bodossaki Foundation.