Bulgaria - Business with a Mission

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In February of last year, the award ceremony was held at the Vivacom Art Hall in Sofia for the sixth edition of the Annual Competition for the Best NGO Business Plan as part of the Social Entrepreneurship Program for NGOs, promoted by the Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law (BCNL) in cooperation with UniCredit Foundation and America for Bulgaria Foundation.


Based on BCNL's ability to sound out the local community, serving as a catalyst for the development of innovative and sustainable startups, and thanks to the involvement of UniCredit Bulbank employees in providing mentoring for beneficiary organisations, UniCredit Foundation chose to continue its cooperative relationship with BCNL, which began in 2013. Through the call for tender, starting with a short-list of 17 organisations who had developed a business plan with the help of BCNL, five initiatives with significant social impact and good business potential were selected, which benefited from a grant based on the determinations of an expert commission, including representatives of UniCredit Foundation and UniCredit Bulbank.

  • Maria’s World Foundation. The prize will be used to implement a catering service and start a café that will employ young people with disabilities.
  • Eyes on Four Paws Foundation. The business plan has the goal of creating a kennel for dogs. The revenues generated will be used to train guide dogs for blind people.
  • Animus Association Foundation. The grant will be used to open a snack bar called "Blaga Baba Blaga", which will offer snacks prepared by elderly women or victims of violence.
  • Sea Club Friends of the sea. The objective is to develop the activities of the social enterprise "Together on Board", which offers scuba diving and sailing guide courses. 20% of revenues will be invested in similar courses, but dedicated to young people coming from poor families or to unemployed young people.
  • IDEA Association. A catering service will be started as well as management of a tearoom, with the aim of offering employment to unemployed young people, at risk for social exclusion. A specific mentoring process has been created to support these organisations, which will be able to count on specific training relative to management and marketing aspects.

Luben Panov, Director, Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law

"BCNL thanks the UniCredit Foundation for the continuous support it has offered over the years. We are both working towards a shared goal: resolving social problems in a sustainable manner. We hope we will continue to work together to obtain positive results."