Youth Entrepreneurship Marketplace

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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.