On 3 March 2010 The European Commission presented Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth (COM (2010) 2020), whose key initiative “Youth on the move” is aimed at improving the performance of education systems and facilitating the entry of young people into the labor market.
Two key priorities for future policy and action of the Bulgarian Youth strategy 2010-2020 emerged: promoting entrepreneurship and innovation with regards to young people.
Despite the successful models and best practices in project “JOBS – Job Opportunities through Business Support”, project “Promotion of innovation activity among young people in Bulgaria – Technostart” and project “Creating Competitive Start-ups -Project 100″, the access to information, advisory services and financing for setting-up , education and development of entrepreneurial initiatives of young people is still limited.
Preparing ICT students to start a business
The projects “Education of young people in entrepreneurial skills to create a competitive small and medium businesses” and “Establishment and Development of Centers to promote entrepreneurship in higher education in Bulgaria” were implemented by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism.
The project aims are to prepare students from the technological universities to start a business; assist in assessing the realization of technological ideas; study the market demand for their product and provide financial resources and support to companies of the newly graduated students.
In their work centers on entrepreneurship well aware that isolation from the problems of the real business and closing only in the academic environment and training will not lead to the achievement of their goals. Therefore, each center on the basis of their experience and vision of development has its own system for connection with a real life.
Business centers to increase employment
Project “JOBS Job Opportunities through Business Support” is implemented as a joint initiative of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the JOBS business centers. Its main objective is to surmount the high and increasing level of structural unemployment in Bulgaria and to increase the level of employment throughout the country by developing business centers, registered as non-governmental organisations (NGOs), which will provide technical and financial assistance to the emerging private sector. The Project aims at demonstrating a replicable model for employment generation through stimulation and creation of micro and small enterprises.
Students submit business idea to win a grant
The Project “Promotion of innovation activity among young people in Bulgaria – Technostart” is implemented by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism in cooperation with the United Nations development and JOBS Business Centers. The project aims to encourage young entrepreneurs – students, phD and graduates in the earliest stage of the entrepreneurial cycle – they have the chance to submit a business idea and win a grant of up to 20 000 BGN. In order to obtain the funding for the project, each applicant, after approval of his business plan, must register a company at the Registry Agency.
In addition, non-formal education in Bulgaria is in the process of development.
Other actions to increase students motivation to start a business
At the end of 2014 in Bulgaria will start system for the recognition of formal and informal knowledge, skills and competencies developed and tested within the project “New opportunities for my future”, implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science (Ministry of Education) and funded by the Operational Programme “Human Resources Development”.
For the successful implementation of the activities in the process of preparation are attracted representatives of key stakeholders – the social partners, the National Agency for Vocational Education and Training, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.
The system allows to issue a document to prove the acquired outside formal education professional knowledge and skills. This will:
- Increase the motivation of the workforce to maintain and enhance skills, and hence – to increase its competitiveness in the labor market;
- Facilitating labor mobility – both within the country and abroad;
- Improving the process of recruitment;
- Achieving a high degree of objectivity in the evaluation of staff and career development;
- More effective implementation of systems of differential wages;
- Reduce the time and cost of organizing further training.