This year is the year of the 10th edition of the BCNL program "Entrepreneurship for non-profit organizations". And because every anniversary is special, especially when it finds itself in a situation of emergency, the Bulgarian Center for Non-Profit Law has created an adapted version of the Program - LET’s GO! Because we know that it is the civil society organizations and their social enterprises who can provide sustainable solutions - by adapting not only to the changed business environment, but also to the increased social needs in the areas in which they work.
Among 41 applications, we selected 15 organizations with strong motivation to move forward and resume their activities after the crisis.
"For us joining the Program is an honor and a responsibility and we believe that together we will write another page of the social entrepreneurship in Bulgaria and so to be remembered in history," said Milen Gechovski from the Association "Protectors", Montana.
Here are the participants in LET's GO:
- "International Council For Cultural Centers" Аssociation,Sofia. The social enterprise of the organization - the Bread Houses Network, needs support in the gradual resumption and adaptation of its main activity - conducting paid events with bread kneading, during which free bread therapy is provided to people with disabilities, refugees and homeless people.
- SingleStep Foundation, Sofia, which plans to open a Community Center – social enterprise to achieve the acceptance of LGBTI people in Bulgaria through the active participation of various stakeholdersгр.
- Parallel World Association, Plovdiv –finalist in the “Best Business Plan for NGOs” 2020 Competition with their idea Mission Hope for the production of a new product in their social enterprise Bookshop With a Mission “Hope” – canvas shopping bags for multiple use, which are produced by the young people with mental difficulties working in the enterprise
- Betel Foundation, Sofia - with the social enterprise “Rastro Betelshop” for restoration and resell of new and used furniture which provides employment for people in vulnerable situation from the Protected homes in Betel and Chelopechene. Their new business idea is to produce new furniture from pellets for gardens, open spaces and restaurants.
- Charity Catholic Оrganization Caritas Vitania, Rakovski. In the Caritas Workshop people with disabilities and unemployed people produce candles and soaps by the "melt and pour" method. The Workshop plans to stabilize its activities and increase sales of its products by creating a store for finished products and improving the skills of the team.
- IDEA Association, Varna, with the Social Teahouse, which provides first jobs and mentoring to young people who have grown up without parental care. While restoring its business and mentoring program for young people, the Association plans to organize courses and camps for young people, which bring them life experiences.
- „Nothing is Impossible“ Association, Varna. Their social enterprise employs people with disabilities and provides printing, catering services, landscaping, growing flower seedlings and herbs, etc. They plan to expand their catering service with a Kitchen for preparing food for delivery, as well as to provide space for a small greenhouse for their own production.
- The “National Alliance For Work With Volunteers” Foundation, Plovdiv, and their tailoring and assembly workshops for metal elements, which employ people with disabilities and people from vulnerable groups. They need support in finding orders and new customers to keep everyone at work
- Association of Polar Early Career Scientists, Sofia - finalist in the “Best Business Plan for NGOs” 2020 Competition and their idea for creating and selling of a collection of educational souvenirs with a polar theme - „Cool Antarctica” (T-shirts, cups, cards, magnets, etc.) with information about Antarctica, the protection of the Ice Continent and its significance for the earth.
- "Cancer Patients and Friends" Association, Burgas and their social enterprise "Draw me a smile", which employs primarily cancer patients and produces souvenirs and toys. They need to keep people at work which is their only opportunity for socialization and financial income until they overcome the difficult moment.
- “Sports Club SHARK” Association,Sofia - finalist in the “Best Business Plan for NGOs” 2020 Competition with their idea “ParkKids – sportswear for special children” for production of clothing for water sports and rehabilitation for children and young people with disabilities, which are easy and convenient to use
- „Seven“ Association,Sofia, supports the creative development of young filmmakers and the preservation of the Bulgarian film heritage. They plan to create an online store Kino Bookstore for merchandise products related to classical and contemporary Bulgarian movies.
- „Protectors“ Association, Montana, which wants to create a workshop for packaging products and materials in various forms, in which young people with intellectual disabilities can work. The organization also has a small social enterprise "Pchelin - Zakrilnitsi", in which young people in difficult life situations produce and sell honey.
- „Community 528“ Assciation, Shumen, which focuses on the problem of environmental protection by processing textile waste under the brand Be gRE: ensome. They want to stabilize the model of the social enterprise with a room, a team and to make the idea widely available.
- ADRA-Bulgaria Foundation, Sofia, with their project Bee4Thee, want to create a social enterprise for the production and sale of honey in order to stimulate the beekeeping business in the North-West region, as well as to provide work for people from vulnerable groups in it.
In the next 3 months (June - August) each organization will have periodic meetings with a team of mentors, from which they will receive specific advice and expert support for achieving progress.
After the intensive mentoring, the organizations will have one month (until September 10) in which to prepare a business plan and present their idea to a jury. At the end of September, the jury composed of representatives of the partners in the Program and the media will determine the best ideas and the financial support to be granted for their implementation.
Good Luck to all and LET's GO!
FUND: Social Enterprises is developed by Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law with the support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation, UniCredit Bulbank, Telus International Europe and Accenture Bulgaria