Youth Entrepreneurship Marketplace

Youth Entrepreneurship Marketplace: Opportunity for self-employment for youths and youths with disabilities

Sofia , BulgariaSofia
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Consultancy Company Strategies and Causes foundation support youths and youths with disabilities in business plans development and applying for funding. Causes as NGO knows the problems of the youths. Strategies on the other hand, is company specialized in in corporative social responsibility and EU funding consultancy, business development, legal and finance advice and accountancy. The consultants of Strategies consult for free youths.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In BG every 4 of 10 young people under 29 are unemployed and 10% of them are with university degree. In Bulgaria as it is in the whole EU the main problems are: 1/high level of unemployment; 2/lack of entrepreneurship-friendly environment especially for young people and start-ups; 3/there is a huge gap between education and business needs. Causes foundation identified the following needs for young people: 1/working places and self-employment opportunities; 2/improvement of the education according to the needs of the business; 3/creation of entrepreneurship opportunities and environment. This problems are bigger when we talk about youths with disabilities - 90% of them are unemployed.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

In 2009 Kauzi Foundation got an approval of Bureau for Social Services as a social and business incubator for motivation, psychological work, group work for young people with and without disabilities in entrepreneurship by improving their practical knowledge and skills to present their business and social ideas, build on their experience of self-presentation and validation of their self-esteem as equal participants in a multicultural environment. With the pro bono support of the Strategies’ consultants 80 youths and youths with disabilities got an education in basic entrepreneurship skills and knowledge, 8 of them now use this skills for development of their own business. The participants were chosen in close cooperation with Causes.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

One of the best examples is deaf entrepreneur who got the consultations, developed business plan and was funded by Bulgarian State agency for disabled people with 10 000 euro for developing his business with molds for hearing devices. Now he is the biggest producer and trader of these devices in Bulgaria, as he has long-time contracts with TV stations (as they also have this devices to be in contract with the staff behind the camera). After 3 years the entrepreneur opened 1 new working place for other men with disabilities.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Till now Causes has spread this practice among its partners in Serbia and Macedonia. The main strategic goal of the organization is to create network on the Balkans with the participation of consultancy organizations and youth organizations. Together they have the potential to work for improving the economic environment and opportunities for self-employment of young people on the Balkans.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

In Bulgaria, youth unemployment is principally engaged in public institutions such as the labor offices, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Agency for Disabled People. However, they still do not recognize youth entrepreneurship as a solution to the problem and are focused mainly to the inactive measures - supported employment, internships, scholarships, etc. This makes them inefficient to create long-term employment and self-employment opportunities (and then to find new jobs and working places), and provide short-term solutions. After more than one year young people again are in the labor market and still they are not prepared and not have the necessary skills. The Marketplace gives them the opportunity to do whatever they like and what makes them happy.


The project needs from the NGO: 1/ manager of the project; 2/coordinator; 3/ social worker (especially for the people with disabilities. From the business partner: 1/ manager; 2/ consultants. The main role of the top management of the two organisations is to ensure the synergy between the organisations. During the preparation of the event (Marketplace) where the participants present their ideas, the business partner has the obligation to ensure the presence of business angels, banks and other companies. NGO is mainly focused on the public organisations engagement. Also the business partner has the obligation to ensure enough time for the consultants to work with the youths. The NGO is busy with the attraction and selection of the target group.
About the Lead Co-Creation Partners
Visit website
Type of organization (e.g. NGO, association, not-for-profit, foundation, social enterprise)


Total Number of Full-Time Employees


Lead Contact First Name


Lead Contact Last Name






Twitter URL
Organization Name


Total Number of Full-Time Employees


Lead Contact First Name


Lead Contact Last Name






Twitter URL
Facebook URL
Organization Website
Basic Info
Project Starting Year


Primary European Country where this Project is creating social impact

, 12, Sofia

Additional European countries where this Project is creating social impact
Select the category that best fits the type of your project:

Job Creation: Entries in this category create new jobs for people away from the labor market.

What awards or honors has the project received?

Included in Best practices catalogue under VERSO project, financed by INTERREG IVC

Project Summary
Co-Creation Model: Tell us about your main strategic partners and how the partnership truly create value. For each Partner please include its type (business/social/public), its name, a short description, its key motivation to participate in the co-creation project, and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project. Please follow the format displayed below:

-Consultancy Agency Strategies Ltd.
-Type of partner:Business
-micro enterprise specialized in corporative social responsibility and EU funding consultancy, business development, legal and finance advice and accountancy.
-The company has recognized CSR as a key principle in all its activites and pro bono consultations for youths are its contribution for the society.
-With the pro bono support of the Strategies’ consultants 80 youths and youths with disabilities got basic entrepreneurship skills and knowledge, 20 of them now use this skills for development of their own business.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact. Please specify using qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. # of indirect and direct beneficiaries); help us understand how this solution truly makes a difference.

The project affects the quality of life of the target group and the consultants involved. First, youths get the opportunity to start new business, to be independent to understand that the market doesn’t care wether you are with or without disability. The best ideas of the most ambitious participants succeeded to get a grant ot other form of financing and now this entrepreneurs are independent young people with own opportunities and responsibilities.
Second, consultants involved in the case, feel like they are a part of important social project that affects other people’s life and creates generation of better educated and motivated people which are their future clients. Pro bono consultations give them opportunity to share long time built know-how.

Funding: How is your project financial supported? [select all that apply]

Foundations, Businesses, National government.

Sustainability Plan: Has your project already reached financial sustainability? If not, what is this solutio’s plan to ensure financial sustainability? Do the main partners have enough stake to sustain the solution? If this project requires limited budget, how will other resources be secured to maintain or grow this work?

To some extent the project has reached financial stability, which is mainly due to the opportunities for project financing. The organization has proven to be a reliable partner for NGOs and donor organizations. In the latest edition of the Marketplace joined business organizations who donated cash prize for the best business idea.
Additionally the main partner Strategies ensures the consultancy support no matter the availability of financial resource because its consultants made it pro bono. This ensures the sustainability of the project and its results.

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the Partners to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

The decision to launch this practice was made from the manager of the company after consultations with all the other stakeholders – partners, consultants and young entrepreneurs. In this practice there is no need to make any special efforts for mobilization of the volunteers. All the consultants-volunteers have experience in pro bono consultations and they take this as a core activity in their day-to-day work. They need only technical support with the organization and scheduling the consultations. They also have time reduction for their pro bono activities and don’t have commitment to communicate with the potential beneficiaries. Consultants involved in the case, feel like they are a part of important social project that affects other people’s life and creates generation of better educated and motivated people which are their future clients.

About the Co-Creation
Barriers: What main barriers may you have encountered to co-create during the creation and implementation of the project and how did you try to overcome them?

The only barrier is the lack of enough time to develop new ideas in cooperation with the whole team. Business people are usually busy and they need good time scheduling to plan theit engagements. This is the main role of the coordinator of the NGO who has the obligation to manage this.

Governance: What is the type of the relationship between the partners? (e.g. joint venture, contractual relationship, joint project...)

Joint project with no formal contract.

Interaction model: How is the project a transformative partnership? How is the interaction transforming the partnering organizations and their employees/ leadership in terms of creating a new vision, new management practices, new skills and new organizational structures? Please provide for concrete examples

The project suppoted better planning of resources in the both organisations and created opportunities for cooperation with other organisations too.

How did you find out about this competition?

By mail from partner organisation.