Many people in Bulgaria have tremendous motivation and energy to make a positive impact. Proof of this are the participants in this year's edition of the social entrepreneurship program LET'S GO 2023. Those people don't wait, they act. They take initiative and empower themselves to address the most pressing social issues. LET'S GO 2023 provided support to 16 organizations across the country, guiding them on their transformative journey from idea to a successful launch of a social enterprise. This year, we partnered these organizations with expert trainers and mentors from the business world, who shared essential knowledge and practical advice, igniting the participant's confidence and courage. With their invaluable assistance, ideas were transformed into well-crafted business plans and robust financial projections, facilitating the realization of impactful social causes.
This year's participants presented their ideas to an expert jury from the business world - specialists from “America for Bulgaria Foundation”, “UniCredit Bulbank”, “TELUS International Bulgaria”, “Accenture Bulgaria”, and “CMS Sofia.”
Again this year, it was a challenge to decide which three organizations would receive financial support totaling 30,000 BGN. The jury noted that they witnessed increasingly bold ideas, better presentations, and greater motivation from the teams to develop cause-driven businesses. After nearly 6 hours of presentations, discussions, and voting, the jury made their decision. Here are this year's winners of the competition:
Medical Space Association
The young professionals of the Medical Space are fighting for fair access to quality medical education from one generation to another through online chemistry and biology courses for prospective students. Thanks to their resources, more young people can follow their dreams of being future doctors in Bulgaria.
"Decor Ideas Studio" Foundation
The DECOR Ideas Studio provides work to people with disabilities in Troyan, who make tumble dryer balls and a whole range of products made from wool - a natural, ecological material with many uses.
The SEED Foundation will develop their HUB social space in Samokov by offering a team-building product to companies and organizations. With the income, they will be able to maintain the space as a meaningful place where youth from Samokov receive mentoring and career guidance, and will create a scholarship fund to support youth throughout their bachelor education.
Congratulations to the winners and to all 16 organizations who successfully completed LET's GO and became part of our community! Our experience has shown that success extends beyond just the winners, and we eagerly look forward to the realization of all the ideas presented.
The host of the event was Filipa Ognyanova from Bulgarian National Television. We thank BNT for their long-term support and commitment to telling the stories of the good.
For us at BCNL, it is a privilege to be part of the life of Bulgarian civil organizations and to see how more and more of them dare to take the path of social entrepreneurship. They transform sad stories into success stories. Starting is hard, but developing and growing a business with a cause is not easy either. This is why we keep looking for new and effective ways to support both start-ups and scaling social entrepreneurs. And in the meantime - don't forget to buy their products, because this is how you help:
To support the most vulnerable members of our society
To protect nature
To keep the traditions
To develop knowledge
You can see all the ideas that competed here:
Medical Space fights for equitable access to quality medical education from generation to generation through their online chemistry and biology courses for prospective students.
The Svetna Foundation increases the opportunities for the realization of people from vulnerable groups in their workshop for lighting items made entirely of recycled materials.
The Foundation Factory for Analyzes and Solutions will provide jobs to at-risk youth in its "Aroma House" for the production of aroma mixtures, perfumes from essential oils, and other natural products.
The Cultural Perspectives Foundation will create high-quality scented candles in handmade ceramic vessels and thus continue to support the development of young artists.
Legal Assistance Center - Voice in Bulgaria will create a service that connects companies with refugees and migrants, thereby supporting their right to have decent work in Bulgaria.
Center for non-formal education and cultural activity ALOS creates restorations of historical games, which now aim to go beyond the borders of Bulgaria and spread worldwide.
"SFERI" Association will create a garden for social agriculture near Sofia, which will give more people the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge for an environmentally friendly way of life.
Community for helping addicts is launching an art workshop for making wood and leather products to help their residents re-socialize into society and gain valuable work skills.
Caritas Vitania will develop a charity shop with donated items, to which they will give new life, in order to help people with disabilities and people from various vulnerable groups.
SOS Children's Villages Bulgaria will create high-class ceramic and fabric products in its creative base DrenCo, to support children raised in foster care.
"Nikola Yonkov Vaptsarov - 1895" - Dulovo wants to create a mobile Library cafe - a library caravan in which they will offer an attractive and innovative form of access to culture for families with children.
The SEED Foundation will support the development of their HUB social space in Samokov by developing a team-building product to offer to companies and organizations.
“Development and Integration" Association will launch the Art Workshop "OPPORTUNITY" for developing products with a social cause, with the participation and support of youth deprived of parental care.
"Center for social services in the Community "Nasha Kashta" Foundation will support young people with disabilities in learning work habits and skills by making ceramic artifacts.
Karin Dom launched "Coffee Break with a Cause" - a small cafeteria and bookstore with materials for early childhood development in support of parents.
"Atelier for ideas DECOR" Foundation gives work opportunities for disabled people who make dryer balls and a whole range of products created from wool - a natural, ecological material with many applications.
Their task is by no means easy, and we know that very well. That's why we've been walking with them on the road to creating businesses with a cause for 12 years now in the LET'S GO social entrepreneurship program. Now over 200 organizations are part of the social entrepreneur community, and we are proud to say that they are also part of the Let's GO family.