„Shop for a cause, donate #Sense!“
We all know that theory is a necessary foundation for good knowledge and skills, but that practice is the real teacher. Such was the Bazaar of Social Enterprises 2018 for the participants in it and for us - the organizers. Taking place for the third consecutive year, the Bazaar becomes more and more important for both social entrepreneurs and those seeking the meaning of every action. Even of shopping.
This year, the Bazaar found its place among the professional traders - amongst one of the most visited shopping centers in the capital - the Serdika Center. A challenge and an opportunity - to overcome ourselves and to learn a lot. Eventually, to expand our own prism and that of everyone who were part of the social entrepreneurship.
Indeed, the Bazaar actually gave a chance to everyone to learn something:
• We, the BCNL team, learned that when something makes sense, no matter how large and labor-intensive it is, we manage to overcome our own expectations with a clear goal and entrepreneurship. We have learned that such events create the necessary space for a meeting between social enterprises and new clients, and why not like-minded people and, in general, between people and civic organizations and their activities behind the products they sold at the Bazaar. We have understood that it makes sense to continue to develop and we have received many practical lessons from the Bazaar about how to be better next time.
• Social enterprises – the participants in the Bazaar, have learned that they can reach new territories, that they have a place in a highly competitive and, at the same time, stimulating environment as a big shopping center. They realized that it is not easy, but it is an important step and a possible one. They also learned that being a good storyteller of what you are doing is an essential part of the impact you have.
• The people who took part in the Bazaar - they bought something from the stands or just talked to the people behind them - they learned more about social entrepreneurship, about the meaning of civic organizations and their activities, about how they can also contribute to the ideal goals that NGOs follow and only support through its business activity (part of which are their sales at the bazaar). We admit that we managed the educational section through three questions (we called it Civil Test), through which we provoked everyone who bought something from the Bazaar to think about the essence of social enterprises.
• And, last but not least, we all learned that when something comes from our hearts, it finds its way in spite of everything. That sometimes, despite and because of everything, we manage to deal with unexpected difficulties. Because it makes #Sense!
After all, social entrepreneurship is a way of thinking - looking for opportunities beyond the problems and finding solutions beyond standards. And certainly - learning from every step.
And the Bazaar was a step that we could call a school.
Have a look at the photo album that captured the two-day emotions at the Bazaar.
The Bazaar of Social Enterprises 2018 is part of the Program of BCNL "Entrepreneurship for non-profit organizations" 2017/2018, which is being organized for the seventh consecutive year in order to support civic organizations in the development of business activity related with their mission – in order to be more sustainable and more independent and to achieve better impact through their work. The program is co - financed by America for Bulgaria Foundation and UniCredit Foundation with the support of UniCredit Bulbank and TELUS International.
With the assistance of Serdika Center - hosts of the bazaar.