On February 6, 2018, the NAVA Foundation organized a working visit and meeting – a discussion on “Who Wins From The Existence of Social Enterprises?”. The meeting was held at the Social Workshop „ Sewing Workshop” and was attended by Dr. Sultanka Petrova, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Mariana Cholakova – Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Plovdiv, Georgi Tityukov – Deputy Mayor of Sports, Youth Activities and Social Policy, Municipality of Plovdiv, Ivanka Vlaseva – Director of Labor Office Plovdiv, Aneta Katsarska – Chief Inspector of the Education Department of Plovdiv Municipality, Employers, Teachers and Workers in the Enterprise, etc.
The meeting was opened and moderated by Ms Reneta Veneva, Chairperson of the NAVA Board, which outlined the main goal of social enterprises – to enable people from vulnerable groups to get involved in the labor market through the mutual efforts of different stakeholders countries and partners.
At the beginning of the meeting, Maria Shishkova, head of the social enterprise, presented the Organization’s past experience with its management and its model, consisting of three main elements – dual learning, social support for learners and their families and the realization of quality output.
During the discussion, key questions were raised: How to ensure the sustainability of social enterprises that have already started work; How the support they need should be guaranteed by the partners and happen through the Social Economy Act – a major tool and an assistant for their existence.
Mariyana Cholakova – Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Plovdiv congratulated the good functioning of the social enterprise and once again expressed its support for its existence, arguing with the words: “Vocational training of adults needs a specific dynamics. In people with disabilities and early dropouts from the labor market there is potential that can and should be used. These people need to want more of life and to be given opportunities for it – through such forms of dual learning. ”
Georgi Titykov, Deputy Mayor of Sport, Youth Activities and Social Policy, Plovdiv Municipality, which supports the company since its foundation, said that the local authorities are considering facilitating the opening of a shop for the sale of articles made by social enterprises throughout the city, which is located in a suitable location in the central part.
Employers in attendance also expressed their support as a key corrective in how to improve training and meet their real needs as producers.
The dialogue also actively involved Dr. Sultanka Petrova, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy. She said that thanks to the Employment Agency, 200,000 people found work in 2017. – “There is a boom in programs to help businesses. Business and non-governmental organizations have no room for disappointment because there are many opportunities to be supported. It is not by chance that a draft Social Economy Act is currently being discussed – the social enterprise is a new social model for Bulgaria, which should be used and will be the economy of the future. I hope the good model of the Tailoring Workshop is followed, because that’s the right direction. ”
The Social Enterprise was created by the National Volunteer Alliance Foundation as part of the organization’s strategy for supporting and developing social entrepreneurship in Bulgaria. The goal is for people with low social status from vulnerable groups to get a chance to train and realize in the labor market by acquiring labor-social and professional skills in tailoring. The company started its activity with the support of the municipality of Plovdiv and was funded by Benthout, Berlin through donors from the German town of Dortmund, Trust for Social Alternative, Telus International, Global Giving and other private and public donors with the kind cooperation of KSU “St. Georgi “- Plovdiv.
Since the establishment in 2015 to date, their professional dual training has completed more than 40 women who are permanently dropped out of the labor market and for whom training is the only chance and a real opportunity for professional realization. All of them have been offered the opportunity to work in a sewing company in the area.