The Scholarship Fund gives an opportunity to people from smaller universities' towns to continue their education abroad and nurture their talents when they return to their community. Even though numerous important historical figures have graduated in Gabrovo and Svishtov, the fund never had applicants who've studied there. Through our platform we would engage those Bulgarians who want to support these young people, because they care about their hometown's and Bulgaria's future.
Gabrovo and Svishtov - Bulgaria
In Bulgaria's Revival period the whole community from Gabrovo and Svishtov used to select and support talented young people to continue their education abroad and later on became active parts of the development of their hometowns. We want to rebuild this tradition. In the 5 years of its existence, the Fund never had applicants from these towns and universities. This fact shows us that students there either don't want to study abroad or don't want to come back, if they do, which means they aren't striving for growth and don't have the "giveback culture". We believe they need driven and talented alumni who would be more involved in their hometown's future and our Fund and the community wants to support that.
Our experience shows that Bulgarians who have had the chance to study abroad, develop the "giveback culture". Some of us had been granted a scholarship and appreciate this opportunity and all its outcomes. Others feel guilty that they have left Bulgaria in a search of a better future, but appreciate all that it has given to us and want to feel engaged from apart. Before going abroad we never had the different point of view and some of us never knew what volunteering is. We believe and we have our scholars to prove this - everyone who is given the chance to broaden his/her horizons, is also keen on doing the same. And since we know more people who have left Gabrovo and Svishtov than people who have returned there, we need more good examples of people who inspire their communities.
We have different target groups:
People from our global community who live far from their hometown's communities - first, we'll need to reach them, then to introduce them to our platform and last to motivate them to be engaged and support our cause by becoming paying or giving time members;
Students from Gabrovo and Svishtov in their last year or alumni from the last 5 years who would be the beneficiaries- first, we'll need to reach them, then to motivate them to apply to a foreign university, then they'll go through our selection process and the top three/four would be supported during and after their studies in implementing the ideas they have developed abroad in order to activate their communities.
Technical University,Gabrovo; The D. A. Academy of Economics, Svishtov
First, we will need to focus on the integration of the Scholarship Fund in the new Tuk-Tam’s member platform. Having this integration, we will not only involve members and donors in a more sustainable way, but also improve the application process for candidates. Secondly, maximum reachability and publicity with a creative recruitment campaign, designed and focused on people from Gabrovo and Svishtov. Then we will once again go through our rigorous selection process for the Masters degrees in three rounds. The final selection is just the first milestone. We think of the Fund as a holistic program for developing the future leaders of Bulgaria, and for that reason, we also provide mentorship to our scholars - both during their education abroad and after their return to Bulgaria.
Here are our KPIs for 2021:
Number of all applicants in the sixth year: 80
Number of applicants from Gabrovo - 20
Number of applicants from Svishtov - 20
Number of shortlisted candidates in the first round: top 20%, but no more than 30 people
Number of shortlisted candidates in the second round: top 5%, but no more than 10 people
Number of successful applicants in the sixth year: 4
Number of paying members in 2020: 250
Number of corporate donors /co-branded scholarships in 2021: 4
Amount of scholarships in 2021: 5 x 10,000 BGN
As a society, we’ve already seen numerous examples of skilled Bulgarians who build their career successfully back home after gaining educational and professional experience abroad. We may proudly say that some of our scholars are already doing this back home. What our Scholarship Fund aims to do is give an opportunity to even more driven people to be enriched by the time spent learning outside of Bulgaria and then nurture their talents when they return. Because we strongly believe that it is precisely through a mass of educated, critical thinking, proactive, and engaged people that things can start changing for the better.
We believe that studying abroad is a positive factor both for the individual and for the national economy. By conducting a competition and selecting the best and most motivated candidates who will continue their education at a foreign university we will:
- discover new talents – skilled, ambitious, and motivated;
- give them the chance to show their best, improve their skills, and help them use the new knowledge upon returning home;
- improve the image of Bulgaria as a place to live and work (both locally and internationally) by promoting their success stories;
- show positive examples of Bulgarians who have not “given up”, but rather are doing whatever they could to be a part of the change that is needed in our society.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Platform development and design - 30 000 EUR
Personnel costs - 12 000 EUR
Marketing campaigns - 4 000 EUR
Office expenses - 8 000 EUR
Scholarships - 20 000 EUR
Any feedback will be welcome. Thank you!