3.9 Start-up Funding for Young Entrepreneurs
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In April 2021, the Council of Ministers adopted a National Strategy for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises 2021-2027 (Национална стратегия за малките и средните предприятия (2021-2027)).
The main objective of the strategy is to support the Bulgarian small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in their efforts to be competitive, digital, sustainable and export-oriented enterprises, which manufacture goods and services of high added value.
Measures aimed to young people are foreseen in two impact areas of the strategy, and namely: Entrepreneurship and Digitalisation and Skills.
The specific objectives in these two impact areas in terms of young people are as follows:
Increase of the share of youth entrepreneurship activity;
Maintaining information database of employers that employ and train school students, young people and persons under 29 years of age in dual training form (on the job training).
The specific actions to be undertaken for the achievement of these objectives are:
Support for young people who want to start up a business as self-employed persons and in SME in key types of entrepreneurship through trainings, consultancy and mentorship services.
Distinguishing SME employers active in the field of dual training of school students, young people and persons under 29 years of age; establishment and awarding of annual prizes for SME employers with achievements in dual training.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP) manages the Operational Program for Human Resources Development in Bulgaria and, as an executive agency, assigns projects on the topic „Encouragement of Entrepreneurship“ (Насърчаване на предприемачеството).This project is funding new enterprises. The whole amount of the grant is 67 227 768.06 BGN. The minimum amount of funding is 50 000 BGN. The maximum amount for funding is 200 000 BGN. The maximum amount of the money dedicated only from this grant to the new projects is 80% of the whole investment.
Annually, the Ministry of Economy implements the project „Техностарт 3- Насърчаване на иновационната активност на младите хора в България" (“Technostart 3 – Promotion of Innovation Activism of Young People in Bulgaria”). This project is implemented in line with the National Strategy for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises 2014-2020. The project aims to encourage young entrepreneurs – students, phD and graduates in the earliest stage of the entrepreneurial cycle as the establishment of students’ companies is funded under the project. In order to obtain the funding each applicant, after approval of his business plan, must register a company at the Registry Agency and provide his own contribution of 10% of the grant amount in the form of funds and/or assets or up to 2 200 lv for every successful business plan separately. Currently, this project is the single initiative in Bulgaria that is financed entirely with public funds and provides grants for start-ups with business ideas in the field of industry and research and development. Although the initiative refers to entrepreneurship, innovative ideas and start-ups are also supported.