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26 November 2020

This week the Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law launched the new initiative "Let's grow together: ideas and actions for a better tomorrow". The aim is to support social enterprises across the country by giving them new ideas and tools to deal with the crisis caused by COVID - 19.

Businesses with a cause, like many other industries in our country and around the world, have taken a major economic blow, the full consequences of which are yet to be felt. That is why, while creating the new program, with the idea to provide the best, most useful and most practical, we decided to turn to the leaders in the sector.

Today we will introduce you to the lecturers who within the upcoming training will dedicate their time to support the community of social enterprises BCNL works with.

And here are the experts:

Nadya Zaharieva, America for Bulgaria Foundation

Nadya Zaharieva is Program Director of “Business, Entrepreneurship and technology” Department in the America for Bulgaria Foundation. Nadya has 17 years of experience in the investments and banking field. She was Manager of the “Investments” in the program for funding hotels in Bulgarian-American Credit Bank and formerly in Bulgarian-American Investment Fund. Nadya Zaharieva has graduated International Economy Relations at the University for National and International Economy in Sofia.


Ivan Dimov, Single Step Foundation

Ivan Dimov is the founder of Single Step Foundation, whose mission is to help young people with different sexual orientation and gender identity in Bulgaria to go through their daily challenges, to be free and to feel part of a community. Ivan is also the CEO of The Steps, the social enterprise of the foundation, which owns and operates a bistro and a fully-equipped multifunctional space for virtual and physical events in Sofia.

His professional career was in the field of finance, as an investment banker and venture capitalist in New York and Sydney, Australia (Credit Suisse, Gramercy Communications Partners, Lazard), mainly in the fields of media, telecommunications and technology.

Ivan is the co-founder and CFO of the Bulgaria Innovation Hub in San Francisco, a social enterprise that aims to support entrepreneurship in Bulgaria and facilitate the access of Bulgarian technology startups to the US market - to create a two-way bridge between the Bulgarian entrepreneurial ecosystem and Silicon Valley.

In addition to being a social entrepreneur, Ivan is an avid marathoner, CrossFit athlete and traveler.


Ewa Koncza, European Venture Philanthropy Association

Ewa Konczal joined EVPA in May 2014 as the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) Manager. Ewa is spreading the knowledge about venture philanthropy and social investment in CEE.

She manages the first Polish VP Fund Valores, inititiative of PE community in Poland. Ewa has over 15 years of experience in social entrepreneurship as Representative of Ashoka in Poland and as Ashoka Director for Central and Eastern Europe.

Prior Ashoka, Ewa worked in India with Global March Against Child Labor, and in Egypt with AIESEC and Egyptian-Polish Businessman Association. She has set up the Magic Mountain Foundation, using mountain sports and natural horsemanship as tools for change for people with disadvantages. Ewa is the recipient of the AIESEC Alumni Entrepreneurship & Leadership Award. Has Master in Marketing and Management.

Viktoria Blazheva, UniCredit Bulbank

Victoria Blazheva is the First Vice President of UniCredit Bulbank. She is the Director of Communications as well as the Diversity Manager of the bank. Victoria is a board member of the Trust for Social Alternative; leads the working group on communication strategy to the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria; is a member of the communication working group to the Association of Banks in Bulgaria; member of the European Association of Communication Directors and Harvard Club of Bulgaria. She is the founder of The C-Suite Minimalists initiative as part of her MBA dissertation at Warwick Business School. Author of articles in Capital, Manager, 24 hours, blogs, etc. She graduated from HBX Harvard Business School's CORe business program; the Stanford Graduate School of Business professional program "Innovation and Entrepreneurship"; the Harvard University Senior Management Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government for Strategic Management of NGOs. She graduated from OU Business School, UK and has a degree from the London School of PR, where she teaches, and others. Her interests are in the fields of entrepreneurship, innovation, education with a focus on raising the financial culture.


Georgi Breskovski, Microfund

Georgi Breskovski is the executive director of Microfund AD - the first Bulgarian non-governmental organization dealing with microfinance, which has been transformed into a trading company for financing micro and small companies. The company's mission is to provide business loans for micro-entrepreneurs, to finance the needs of low-income families and to maintain good financial results in order to serve customers in the long run.

Plamena Dimitrova, Reach for Change Bulgaria Foundation

Plamena Dimitrova is a Program and Communication Manager at the Reach for Change Bulgaria Foundation. She has been part of the foundation's team since 2015 and has participated in the organization of trainings, consultations and meetings for exchange of experience for over 80 social entrepreneurs in the Incubator and Accelerator of the foundation. Plamena is responsible for the strategic communications and campaigns of Reach for Change Bulgaria. In partnership with various media partners, she creates interviews and stories that tell about the development of social entrepreneurs and the change they achieve.

Ivan Neykov, Balkan Institute for Labor and Social Policy

Ivan Neykov is the chairman of the Management board of the Balkan Institute for Labor and Social Policy. He has over 30 years of experience in the fields of social policy, labor law and industrial relations. His work involves analyses, expert assessments and strategies.


Benjamin Malliart, Advocate for Non-Profit Enterprises Network

Mr. Malliart is a Graduate of the Institute of European Studies (ULB) and of the College of Europe, Masters in European Studies. He has three years’ experience in European Affairs, with a focus on social economy issues (health, prudential issues, sustainable finance and social Europe) and European law subjects (IPR, company law, business law). For 2,5 years, Mr. Malliart served as a Parliamentary assistant at the European Parliament.


Georgia Efremova, DG Economic and Financial Affairs to the EU Commission  

Georgia Efremova is a Policy Officer for Social Impact Investment at the European Commission, Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs, where she currently coordinates the work of the Directorate on EU policy development and financial instruments in the area of social investment, developed together with the EIB Group and other IFIs and contributing to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

This builds on her previous experience working with the United Nations Development Programme on area-based development and social inclusion in CEE. Georgia has also previously worked in the fields of urban policy and poverty reduction, CSR and finance. Her academic background includes studies in Economics (UIC Chicago), Political Science (CEU Budapest), and doctoral research in Social Anthropology (UCL London)

Natalia Efremova, Deputy Director of DG "European Funds, International Projects and Programs" at MLSP

Since 2003 she has been working in the field of Bulgaria's accession to the European Union, project management and the Human Resources Development Program. She works consistently in the healthcare system, as well as in labor and social policy. Main interests - investments in people's knowledge and skills, management of innovative approaches for the development of the social inclusion sector. She has a master's degree in law and finance.

Kremena Grigorova, "Fund Manager of Financial Instruments in Bulgaria" EAD

Kremena Grigorova has been an expert of "Operational Programs" in "Fund Manager of Financial Instruments in Bulgaria" EAD since June 2016. Prior to that, she worked in the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Managing Authority of OPHRD, has 15 years of experience in the field of financial management, monitoring and control of international programs and projects mainly related to employment and social policy. She graduated from the University of National and World Economy, majoring in Marketing and Management.


Petar Nachev, Directorate „Living standards, demographic policy and social investment“, Ministry of Labor and Social Policy

Petar Nachev is Director of the Living Standards, Demographic Policy and Social Investments Directorate at the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.

He has entrepreneurial experience in the private sector as a manager of a pharmaceutical company. In the public sector he works consecutively in structures of the Ministry of Health, the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria.

He completed his secondary education at the French Language High School in Sofia. He graduated from the University of Montpellier 1 (France) with a master's degree in Banking and Finance. He specialized twice at the National School of Administration in Paris. PhD student at SWU "Neofit Rilski" - topic "Theory of money and types of regulations."

The initiative is organized by the Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law, Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation, Single Step Foundation and the Wonderful Garden social enterprises with the support of America for Bulgaria Foundation, UniCredit Bulbank, Reach for Change Foundation and the Balkan Institute for Labour and Social Policy.