43 non-governmental organizations have applied for the eighth edition of the NGO Entrepreneurship Program of the Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law. From all over the country there is interest in the program - we have received applications from cities such as Varna, Sliven, Vratsa, Pernik, Sofia, Rousse, Montana, Pleven and others.
The business plans were carefully examined by a jury consisting of experts in the field of social entrepreneurship. The jury awarded 16 applications which move on to the second stage of the program. The main criteria for their choice were related to the viability of the business idea and its relation to the mission of the organization as well as the potential of the organization itself and its readiness to implement the project. Individual interviews and meetings with representatives of the 16 organizations are held in August. Their goal will be to select the final 10 to 12 projects that will be included in the program.
For the first time BCNL's program promoting business with a cause posed a serious challenge to the candidates, as a criterion for their participation was the presentation of a developed business plan. The presence of such a criterion was intended to provoke deeper and systematic work at the stage of planning by organizations willing to develop business activity in support of their mission.
The BCNL team provides systematic support to non-governmental organizations to launch business activity related with their mission for more than 8 years, with the deep conviction that this is one way to achieve sustainability and financial independence. This tool offers exceptional opportunities for social change, but organizations that are motivated to develop it need expert and financial help to achieve good results. It is precisely in response to these needs that the "Entrepreneurship for NGOs" program has been set up, in which opportunities for individual consultations and upgrading trainings are provided at all stages, while the best developed and considered ideas have a chance for a financial investment.
At the end of August, the final selection of 10 to 12 program participants will be announced, which will have the opportunity to optimize their entrepreneurial projects with the support of specialists in various fields such as entrepreneurship and planning, financial forecasting and pricing, presentation skills etc. Next year, they will have the opportunity to compete with their business ideas in the "Best business plan of a non-governmental organization," which will announce its winners at the traditional "Social Entrepreneurship Bazaar." The winners will be included in Lab4e - an intensive mentoring program to be held between March and December 2019.
The NGO Entrepreneurship Program is happening with the support of the „America for Bulgaria“ Foundation and in partnership with TELUS International Europe and UniCredit Bulbank.
Photo 1: Winners of the contest "Best business plan of a non-governmental organization", 02.2018