If there is one thing that we’ve learned from sharing the stories of numerous entrepreneurs, it is that you can’t succeed on your own. Having the right support pillars to push you forward in your business venture is one of, if not the most important factor for success.
There are more and more emerging organizations that support the ongoing growth of entrepreneurs and businesses in Bulgaria. From educating children from a young age and creating meaningful connections between startups and investors, to empowering less-represented communities to participate in the tech and innovation ecosystem, these organizations often strongly rely on donations to keep operating independently.
If you’ve ever thought about giving back and supporting the development of future entrepreneurs and businesses, rest assured that this is exactly what the ecosystem needs. Here are 12 organizations that empower entrepreneurs in Bulgaria and are open for donations.
The Bulgarian Startup Association (BESCO) acts as the voice of Bulgarian startups and aims to build connections between startups, investors, the government and other stakeholders in the innovation industry. Their initiatives include networking events and meet-ups, crowdfunding legislation and E-government initiatives, to name a few.
2. Bulgaria Innovation Hub (BIH)
Bridging the gap between Bulgaria and Silicon Valley, Bulgaria Innovation Hub’s main goal is to provide the grounds for knowledge exchange and collaboration between the startup communities in Bulgaria and the US. Through its 3-week Growth Acceleration Program, BIH supports high-potential Bulgarian startups expanding into the US market.
The Recursive is an independent community-born online media focused on the emerging tech and startup ecosystems in Southeast Europe (SEE). The vision of The Recursive is that by providing coverage for what’s happening in the entrepreneurial landscape in SEE, we can expand the space of possibilities for the region.
Teenovator is a program that helps high school students to discover their passion and turn it into a profitable startup project by connecting them with mentoring entrepreneurs. The project is focused on stimulating students’ creative thinking and developing their entrepreneurial skills.
5. Entrepreneurs in class
Entrepreneurs in class provides an easy and effective educational format to schools in Bulgaria with the goal of bringing inspiration and entrepreneurial spirit to students through true success stories.
6. Telerik School Academy
Telerik School Academy is a national educational program of the Telerik Academy Foundation and the largest free IT educational initiative for children in the country. Its mission is to prepare students in Bulgaria from 1st to 12th grade for the professions of the digital future.
The Association of the Bulgarian Leaders and Entrepreneurs (ABLE) is a community of young entrepreneurs, who contribute to the development of the environment around them, wherever they are.
Among their initiatives you can find the ABLE Activator – an experiential training in entrepreneurship for students and young professionals under 35 years of age, ABLE Mentor – a mentorship program for students, “B.O.S.S. – Business Owner Success Stories”, aimed at stimulating entrepreneurship among unemployed and inactive people from the South-West Region of Bulgaria, to name a few.
Move.bg is a platform for innovative programs and events, focusing on the topics of civil society, digital economy, green life and creative industries. Their goal is to seek innovative solutions for social change, work for sustainable development and establish a culture of constructive dialogue, active leadership and shared values.
9. Reach for change
Reach for change is an international non-profit organization, working towards empowering social entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions that help children live a better life. They organize development programs for social entrepreneurs, modified to their specific developmental stage.
The mission of the Bulgarian Center of Women in Technology (BCWT) is to support women to participate in the digital industry and start their own businesses. Among their main activities are networking events and conferences, trainings and different formats that create and nurture connections between women professionals and leaders in the digital world.
11. Coding Girls
Coding Girls is an international platform devoted to closing the gender gap in technology and promoting an increased presence of girls and women in tech, leadership and entrepreneurship. The communities in Bulgaria are located in numerous cities, including Sofia, Blagoevgrad, Bansko and Burgas. Coding Girls aims to deliver events, workshops and courses to empower girls to get started in coding.
12. Junior Achievement Bulgaria
JA Bulgaria is an organization that deals with entrepreneurial education in Bulgaria for kids and students of all ages – from kindergarten to university. Among many other initiatives and events, JA Bulgaria conducts a pre-accelerator program, called Beyond, where young entrepreneurs get to grow their ideas by having access to mentors, contacts, investments and the EU startup ecosystem overall.
13. Zero Waste Bulgaria
To help the Bulgarian society to apply the philosophy of living with zero waste – this is the mission of Zero Waste Bulgaria. The association was founded in 2018 and has been organizing various events, seminars and workshops since then, reaching people of all ages – from schools and universities to companies of various sizes.