Berlin Incubator for Media in Exile

Consulting, fundraising, building capacities


Berlin Incubator for Media in Exile is a programme for independent media from Belarus and Russia. BIMEX will provide support to enable media outlets to develop strategies after relocation and to understand their main needs; to register new legal entities or create remote editorial offices; to raise funds; and to launch a new project with a German partner.


Media teams already relocated to Germany or those planning to relocate are invited to participate. Due to the support of the German government participation in the incubator is free of charge. Mentorship programs and other forms of support are available for the participants, as well as an opportunity to get additional funds and grants during the program. Selection of the participants will be made upon submitting a written application through an online form and a selection interview. 
Deadline for application: October 6, 2022, 12 am (CET).
New deadline: October 10, 2022, 12 am (CET)
Interviews to be held: October 4-12, 2022.

The first phase of the programme will be held from October to mid-December 2022 in Berlin. In the initial phase, modules will include workshops, trainings and individual consultation on developing a media financial  module and organizational structure; German tax and legislation; human resources; fundraising and grant applications. BIMEX provides participants mentorship on launching and managing new organizations and media products. In the second phase, media will test new products, develop organisations in exile and can implement joint projects with German partners.


Phase 2 will run until May 2023. During this phase participants have an opportunity to further develop and implement their projects, with support provided by a global professional media development agency. This programme will include legal consultation, bespoke mentorship, access to expert training in the use of digital tools and platforms. The exact content of this programme will be developed with the participants during Phase 1 according to their needs.



The program modules include training, study visits and individual consultations between October and December 2022. After the first stage, the best media teams will participate in the program’s second phase in 2023.


Needs and risk analysis

Relocation and legal issues in Germany

Developing a sustainable business model after relocation

Strategic planning



Basics of organizational management in Germany

Forms and models of management

Taxes and accounting (in gGmbH, gemeinnütziger Verein)

Labor, human resources and freelance management

Optimization and development of a simplified media model in exile

Partnerships in the management and launching of joint projects

Development of cooperation with media and other relevant stakeholders in Germany

Mentoring and consulting support



Basics of financial management in Germany

International translations and alternative solutions

Budgeting, accounting, monitoring and controlling

Taxes for organizations and freelancers

Outsourcing of financial accounting



Media grants in Germany and in the EU: projects and structural funding

Pitching and promoting project ideas

Writing grant proposals

Basics of project management and grant management

Donations and crowdfunding

Partnership projects

Sponsorship & Advertising

Development and testing of new products



Risk Assessment and Security Protocols

Visa and legal issues in connection with a relocation


IT solutions for remote editorial office


Infrastructure in Berlin


Innovation Lab

Space for meetings and events

Studio for podcast recording

Networking and development of cooperation

Establishing and developing your organisation in Berlin


Terms of participation

Participation in the program is open to media from Belarus and Russia with a strong commitment to editorial independence and high standards of journalistic ethics. We invite media representatives or journalists in teams of 2 to 4 individuals. Media in exile are encouraged to apply. We welcome participants whose editorial office plans to (re)launch a project, develop a media, or carry out an active fundraising campaign in Germany. Your team should already be based in Germany, the EU or able to move to Germany by the program start.

Training and mentoring support

The program includes lectures, seminars and consultations held by experts in law, taxation, entrepreneurial management, project management, fundraising, security and digital media. Editorial offices will receive mentoring support from the partner media, NGOs and foundations.

Media from Belarus and Russia

BIMEX invites the media teams from Belarus and Russia, who had to leave their countries due to political restrictions on their capacity or due to threats to their safety or ability to operate. The format of the Incubator events may be subject to change in consultation with participants and trainers.



Languages of instruction are English and Russian. Good English command is necessary to participate in meetings, pitches and study visits in Germany and the EU.

Incubator programme

The programme runs in-person from October to mid-December 2022 and includes lectures and training in Berlin, a seminar in Brussels, individual consultations and mentorship program. Media teams will have an opportunity to receive additional support from a leading professional media agency in 2023.


After successfully completing the BIMEX program, the editorial representatives will gain knowledge of how to run a business in Germany, create and test media in exile models, prepare employment documents for employees, write grant applications, register a legal entity or launch a partnership project with German media.

How to apply?

To apply for participation in the incubator program you would need to fill out a short application form online before October 6 October 10, 2022, and attend a selection interview. An independent panel will evaluate applications. We will inform you of the selection results via e-mail. Please, read the FAQ section below before submitting the application.

Eligibility criteria

The program is open to teams of journalists and media organisations from Belarus and Russia with a strong commitment to editorial independence and high standards of journalistic ethics;

Application can be submitted by media teams that have relocated to Germany or can travel to Berlin to participate in training workshops;

Applicants must not be connected to a political party, political institution, or sanctioned businesses and individuals;

Applicants must have published stories on Belarus or Russia in the past 6 months in the country or from exile;

Applicants must have a clear concept for their media, a 12 month plan, and a budget for their media project;

Applicants may be subject to due diligence, as part of the selection process.

The decisions will be made by an expert panel comprising independent journalists and media experts, as well as jinn, JX Fund and Thompson Reuters Foundation representatives, based on the strength of the concept, plan and budget.

Contact us


BIMEX is organized in cooperation with JX Fund and Reporters Without Borders with financial support from the German Government Commissioner for Media and Culture (Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien).

Photo by Ivan Sumlikin on Unsplash.