The non-governmental organizations Reach for Change and Teach For Bulgaria started a joint social entrepreneurship summer training program. The training is especially designed for Teach For Bulgaria alumni who are interested in social entrepreneurship. The goal is to help trainees further develop their knowledge, skills, and capacity in order to start successful businesses dedicated to various social causes.
The opening training sessions took place on Saturday, June 23, and were attended by 15 Teach For Bulgaria alumni. They learned more about the definition and essence of social entrepreneurship. The lectors – Yuriy Valkovski, CEO of Reach for Change Bulgaria, and Hristina Popova, Program Manager of the foundation – gave various social entrepreneurship examples and shared some of their own experience.
The training is going to continue for five more weeks and it consists of different modules which cover the essentials of how to start and develop successful social entrepreneurship projects. The topics include concept development, business modelling, and fundraising.
The training is designed based on Reach for Change Bulgaria’s experience. The organization supports some of the most successful Bulgarian social entrepreneurship projects every year by organizing “The Change” competition in collaboration with NOVA Broadcasting Group AD. In the past years some of the projects in the final stages of the competition had been started by Teach For Bulgaria alumni. The winner of the first edition of “The Change” in 2014 was Vratsa Software Community, started by Emiliyan Kadiyski and some of the other initiatives supported by “The Change”. Accelerator throughout the years were Stanimira Hristova’s Igrici.bg, Aleksandra Ivanova and Yoana Slavova’s School Miracles, and Milena Dimitrova, Elitsa Geneva, and Desislava Stoyanova’s Summer Start Academy.
The social entrepreneurship summer training program is based on the long-term partnership between Teach For Bulgaria and Reach for Change.
Teach For Bulgaria’s main goal is to support highly motivated and capable professionals to work for the success of every child in Bulgaria – first, by teaching students from vulnerable communities where they are most needed for two years and then by pursuing a career path which would enable them to keep working towards providing access to quality education to every child. This includes social entrepreneurship and there already are plenty of examples of successful startups initiated by Teach For Bulgaria alumni.
“The experience they gain at school helps our participants get to know the challenges their students face and generate solutions,” shared Ekaterina Yankova, Head of Training and Alumni at Teach For Bulgaria. She also added that the goal of the joint training with Reach for Change is to support Teach For Bulgaria participants by providing them with practical skills and know-how in order to enable them to turn their ideas into successful and sustainable projects with a positive impact on the student from the communities where they live.
“Designing a joint training program with Teach For Bulgaria is a wonderful opportunity to share our experience and methodology with a larger audience of beginner social entrepreneurs in the field of education. We believe that our work with Teach For Bulgaria participants is going to lead to a positive change for Bulgarian children,” stated Hristina Popova, Program Manager of Reach for Change Bulgaria.