PROMYANATA (The Change) is in the active and alert youth!
The Proznanie Foundation encourages entrepreneurship among youth in Bulgaria, stimulating their creative thinking and confidence in their own skills and abilities. The foundation's team has launched the Teenovator project, which connects Bulgarian students with successful entrepreneurs and business mentors with the aim to help them develop skills that are not part of the traditional education, but are critical for their successful careers.
Veronika Racheva is the programme director of Teenovator, while Zornitsa Mitkova is in charge of communication, partnerships and community development.
The idea behind Teennovator was born in early 2018 between the Proznanie Foundation and Larry Beihl, founder of the Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center. The team was motivated by the low percentage of entrepreneurial activity among Bulgarian youth at that time - only 4.4%, and the absence of any practical entrepreneurship programmes for students. Realizing the key role of entrepreneurship in creating innovations and economic development, the team decided to launch a project on practical entrepreneurship in schools with the goal to promote the change in Bulgaria, alternate attitudes and motivation among youth, and encourage their creativity.
Teenovator gives Bulgarian youth a chance to find their passion and develop it into a business idea. The programme has become the active link between Bulgarian students and successful entrepreneurs in the country.
PROMYANATA (The Change) they seek to achieve:
Teenovator builds an active and alert young generation in Bulgaria by promoting entrepreneurship. The programme helps Bulgarian youth learn practical skills for building successful business models, using business tools. It connects students from the 10th and 11th grade (aged 16-19) all over Bulgaria with successful Bulgarian entrepreneurs. They work together throughout the school year in the form of free out-of-class activities, organized in dozens of startup clubs online or in-person. Students discover their passion, unfold their potential, learn to work in a team, and many more. At the end of the school year, participating teams present their own startup idea to a jury of investors.
Startup clubs that are part of Teenovator hold weekly meetings and maintain active online communication between mentors and students. At the beginning of the school year, Teenovator's mentors go through a two-day training course based on the school curriculum and some real cases and solutions from the programme's previous years.
The first half of the year is dedicated to developing soft skills and practices of successful startup businesses.
In the middle of the year, a Weekend of Ideas takes place, where, for the first time ever, all participants in the programme get together. Students present and develop their first business ideas. They have time until the Final Competition at the end of the school year to develop their startup projects and present them to investors.
Students learn various knowledge and skills, including design thinking, lean development, rapid prototyping, business canvas, etc. in combination with personal development and soft skills.
As part of the programme, they visit offices of successful companies.
So far, Teenovator has been joined by nearly 1,000 students from all over Bulgaria and 80 mentors. The big goal of Teenovator is to secure sufficient resources to be able to offer the programme for free for Bulgarian students and reach every point of Bulgaria, attracting a growing number of young people, wherever they may live.
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