We want to organize an 8-week entrepreneurship program in several small municipalities in North-West Bulgaria, which would encourage local people to look for opportunities for developing their region and using its strengths and uniqueness for making their lives better.
People will form teams and each team will work on an idea during the program.
At the end of the program, the teams will pitch their ideas and the best ones will receive a small award for validating their idea.
Hayredin, Miziya, Borovan, Bulgaria
The single most important challenge is that most people do not realize that they can be accountable for what happens to them, that they should be able to express their opinion and participate actively in the development of their region without being afraid of being oppressed or losing their jobs. And if this is not the case, then something is wrong and needs to be changed and they have the power to do it.
Another challenge is having the unexplored potential of the North-West region work for the people living there and making it an attractive destination for tourism and interesting activities.
We are oriented towards young people living in several small municipalities in the North-West of Bulgaria, region Vratsa. We are targeting the following municipalities - Hayredin, Miziya, Borovan aged between 18 and 40. The total number of these people is around 3500, and the total population of these municipalities is around 18000 people.
We believe the younger people are the ones who would benefit from our project the most because they are the ones that would drive positive change.
(The data is from the Natural Statistical Institute of Bulgaria.)
1. We will start creating a community for discussing problems that we all care about and ideas for how we can all help in developing the region.
2. We will talk to local organizations for validating and sparing the idea and making it suitable for the people in the region. We would need help from them to find space for organizing the workshops. Ideally, it would be a place with possibilities to sit outside, in order to make it safer.
3. We will prepare a draft program per week.
4. We will talk with potential speakers for the different lectures in the program and people for evaluating the ideas and selecting the winners.
5. We will announce the program, set dates, and start selecting participants.
6. We will execute the program during the summer months, during the summer of 2022 (depending on the pandemic situation, support from local organizations, and interest from local people)
7. We will promote the region to potentially interested people. This will include building an information website that promotes the places to visit, crafts, workshops, farms, small businesses, and reaching interested media to promote the project and the region.
If the idea develops as we imagine and intend it to:
- We will have trained people from a small part of North-West Bulgaria in how to look for opportunities.
- We will hopefully have encouraged them to think of ways of how they can contribute to developing the region and benefit from that as well.
- The region would create opportunities for tourism and local people would gain from this.
- Hopefully, we would make at least some part of the local people look at this region as a place with opportunities rather than as one where nothing happens. And, most important, they would believe that they can take part in making it better.
We want to work towards empowering people to think of ways to gain from their region and together to provide a way to attract people interested in an alternative form of tourism.
By focusing on what we can all do for making this region an attractive place so that everyone can benefit from it, instead of on differences and conflicts, we hope to make a small step towards people looking at their region and neighbors from a different perspective.
By organizing a program with courses and giving a small prize for the winners for realizing their ideas for improving the region, we hope to make people look at their region from a more optimistic point of view and feel empowered to make decisions and actively participate in the development of the place they live in.
I lived in the village of Hayredin during my childhood until the age of 14. Years later, because of the pandemic, I spent most of the time last year there and looked at the place from a different point of view. I used to dislike my village because of the many problems, caused mainly by politics and injustice. Now I see it as a place with huge unexplored potential. I see many young, intelligent, and honest people who live there and want to have a better life but don’t believe that the system can change and they can have a say about what happens there. I want to work on taking small steps towards changing that pessimism.
I am a software developer. I’ve taken several entrepreneurship courses and I believe I can organize one with the purpose of improving our region.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Hiring a local project coordinator part-time - 3000 EUR
Renting a place (if we find one from a local organization, this will not be necessary) - 1000 EUR
Covering speakers expenses - 2000 EUR
Stipends for the best teams to realize their ideas (first: 500, second: 300, third: 200) - 1000 EUR
Materials and other organizational costs - 1000 EUR
Administrative costs - accounting and legal services - 1000 EUR
Costs for promoting the region as a tourist destination (website and ads) - 1000 EUR
We would benefit from any kind of feedback. We would be interested to discuss with people working on similar problems and targeting similar regions.