In the city of roses, the air is filled with a lovely fragrance..of something different than rose oil. A scent of vanilla, cacao, and hope drift through the streets of Kazanlack city, and the reason for it is the “Cookies Workshop”. With the special ingredients of devotion, diligence, cause, love, and a lot of preparation, a magical recipe is created inside. When you stir it well and add a lot of hard work, an incredible result emerges from it - a baked good that we like to call “more than just a business” or more precisely social entrepreneurship.
In Bulgaria, thousands of young people with disabilities are left isolated from society, without the opportunity to give something themselves, like everyone else. Therefore, from Association“Future for the children” decide to support grown-up children with disabilities, encouraging them to develop their capabilities and find decent work. Thanks to social entrepreneurship, they have found another way to do it - with a small workshop for cookies. There, together with a professional confectioner, they prepare and bake cookies for every day, for every holiday and occasion. Today, this small social enterprise gives prospects
to 11 employees - 7 of whom are young people with disabilities. And their cookies tell this story of success in the offices of large international companies, in stores, in markets all over the country, and in our store with a cause - DarPazar. In 2018, the association enrolled in the "Entrepreneurship for NGOs" Program and received support in the amount of BGN 8,000 to develop its idea from the "Best NGO Business Plan" competition.
With this story, we welcome you in 2023 and hope this year in the 13th edition of “Let’s Go: Entrepreneurship for NGOs Program we will find new inspirations to help, learn and succeed together.
Application submission for the 13th edition of LET’s GO: Entrepreneurship for NGOs Program is now open!
We are excited, as we are with every start of the program because once again we are looking for active and motivated teams from civil organizations who want to develop (or further develop) a business concept related to the cause of the organization.
LET’s GO: Entrepreneurship for NGOs Program is…
An intensive 3-month program held both online and live, during the period from March till May 2023. This year, once again, we have prepared a series of trainings and mentorship meetings (online) to support civil organizations to start a business related to their mission. The participants who complete it have the unique opportunity to present their business ideas to a jury in the annual "Best NGO Business Plan" competition. This year, they will distribute a total prize fund of BGN 30,000 in the form of investments to the business plans, that have the best potential for development.
Participation in LET’s GO 2023 gives active civil organizations a chance to develop their specific commercial business idea related to the mission of their organization. Participants will acquire valuable knowledge and skills in business and financial planning, and receive mentoring support and guidance from experts in these fields, including business planning, marketing, advertising, and financial forecasting.
The past 12 years, and the work of BCNP beyond The Program, have repeatedly proven that business development not only enables organizations to find new ways to tell their story and their missions but also provides something very important to their existence and development - financial sustainability.
The Program is suitable for…
Organizations that want to start a business, need knowledge, skills, and support in this process. The program is also open to organizations that have a specific business idea they want to develop and launch, but have not yet done so.
The requirements for participation are..
In order to participate in LET’s GO 2023 you must be a civil organization that meets the following criteria:
- Is registered for public benefit (associations, foundations, and community centers)
- Is registered/re-registered with the Registration Agency
- Is strongly motivated to develop their idea and transform it to a business plan, as well as having a starting capacity / potential to launch it (taking in account the available resources)
12 organizations will be selected from all applicants.
During the selection process, we will pay special attention to the willingness and motivation of the candidates to start and develop a business. We will be looking for the teams that are most driven to learn, create, and adapt ideas.
Applications are made by completing an online form HERE by 23:59 on 19 February 2023.
By the 27th of February 2023, each candidate will be informed of the selection result via the email they provided. The chosen applicants will receive an invitation to join The Program and further information.
*Make sure to check your Spam folder in your email, as correspondence with candidates often ends up there.
Questions about the application form. Get to know them beforehand from here.
LET'S GO 2023 schedule* - What's next?
19.01 - 19.02 Application period
27.02 - Selection results
09.03 - Initial meeting with the participants (online)
09.03 - 06.04 - Trainings (online)
10 - 13.04 - Initial mentorship meetings (online)
25 - 28.04 - Second mentorship meetings (online)
09.05 - Communication and Presentation training - meeting between the participants (live)
18.05 - Presentation in front of a jury
19.05 - Final event (live)
*the specified dates are indicative, and some changes are possible to occur, due to various circumstances, which will be promptly communicated to the participants
*the schedule of the trainings and meetings will be sent out to the selected candidates before the initial meeting in the program
Save the date: the initial meeting of the selected candidates and the training will be held on 09.03.2023 from 09:30 AM till 13:00 PM online
Amount / Level of occupation within the program
LET’s GO is a highly practically-oriented program. In order to get the most out of it, you need to anticipate your full involvement. The amount of occupation is one training/mentoring meeting per week on average, with each training session lasting approximately 3 hours and each mentorship meeting lasting up to 1 hour, during the period of March to April. Keep in mind that throughout the program you will be assigned various tasks by the trainers and mentors in order to prepare and develop your business idea. Set aside some additional time to think and work on developing a business and financial plan for your idea. This way, at the end of the program you will have a developed launch plan and a clear idea of what resources you will need. You will also be able to compete in the contest "Best NGO Business Plan" with a prize fund of BGN 30,000. In May, we will invite you to a training on how to communicate and successfully present your ideas live, as well as to do the final presentation in front of the jury in the "Best NGO Business Plan" competition. The costs of transport and accommodation during the live meetings for organizations outside Sofia are covered by the program.
Each of the organizations approved for participation should select two of its representatives who will participate as a team in the training and mentoring meetings.
Once accepted into the program, each applicant will receive:
- In-depth knowledge about mission-related business development
Last but not least - all organizations that complete the program become part of a community. They can upgrade to the "next level" by offering their products in the DarPazar store with a cause, they can address challenges they face, interact, and create new products together.
The participation fee for LET's GO: Entrepreneurship Program for NGOs is BGN 200.
*The fee is paid after receiving an acceptance confirmation from the Bulgarian Center for Non-Profit Law and covers the participation of one organization with two representatives entering The Program.
*The participation fee is equal to 15% of the tuition fee for one person. The remaining part, which covers coordination, training, and mentoring meetings, events, materials, and support within the program, is provided by BCNL project, supported by America For Bulgaria Foundation, and by responsible business companies partners of BCNL.
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