The number of people in Bulgaria who study for free through the digital initiative of Microsoft, LinkedIn, and GitHub is growing. More than 12,000 people have decided to improve their skills or improve the competencies they already have in the disciplines proposed by the programme.
Bulgaria holds one of the leading positions in the number of engaged students in the region. The most desired course remains the course for software developers. Besides programmers, most Bulgarians want to become specialists in the field of trade and project managers.
After completing the training, students receive a certificate to verify their skills. According to a Global Knowledge survey, 93% of employers believe that certified employees bring more benefits to the company. In late June, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and GitHub launched a campaign to help 25 million people worldwide acquire the digital skills needed for the new economic reality.
Here are the disciplines from the free initiative and details about the courses themselves, selected based on the most sought-after positions by employers.
This course helps learners gain insight into basic web development methods, software development, and CSS and HTML databases.
Helps people who want to develop the so-called soft skills” and become a trusted partner of customers.
From small projects to the implementation of large-scale initiatives, this course provides the necessary knowledge for the efficient organization of such activities.
The course helps to prepare for industry-recognized certifications and to understand basic network concepts.
Once customer service is transferred to the digital environment, it is crucial to understand how to create a personalized user experience.
This is practical training for understanding and effective use of digital marketing.
The course aims to help IT teams move to new and flexible ways of working with virtualization, creating desktop copies, and software and device maintenance.
Students can learn how to create better business strategies by researching information using data analysis tools.
Assists in making the right financial decisions using skills that allow the analysis of current and past economic and
For another year in a row, the most deserving startups and people in Bulgaria’s entrepreneurial ecosystem were awarded in the national round of the Central European Ѕtartur Award 2020 (СЕЅАwаrdѕ). The startup of the year award went to the information security company LоgЅеntіnеl.
This year СЕЅАwаrdѕ Bulgaria was held in an entirely online format, organized by the Bulgarian Startup Association – ВЕЅСО. The European Investment Bank (EIB) was a general partner of the awards, and The Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMEPA), the Fund of Funds, Ѕіtеgrоund, ВrіghtСар Vеnturеѕ, РubGаlаху, РhоnеАrеnа, ЅМЅ Вumр (а Yоtро соmраnу) and Соhоnеѕ Вrеwеrу were partner organizations. A recording of the live broadcast is available here – https://www.facebook.com/besco.startups/videos/389794782465633
The winners in the national round were decided by a comprehensive assessment of the jury’s votes in the competition and the votes of the audience after an open vote on the competition website.
Not only the winners in the ten categories of CESAwards 2020, but all 42 Bulgarian finalists will take part in the СЕЅАwаrdѕ regional competition on 10 December. The international ceremony will honor the most successful startups and people in Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
Startup of the Year is LоgЅеntіnеl – a company for information security on large data sets, using technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence.
Best Newcomer (for companies with up to two-year history) – the starting Meteo.Rockѕ, which develops a network of autonomous and solar-powered meteorological stations for data in real-time.
Best FinTech Startup – Рhуrе – a mobile application for orders from traders worldwide, money transfer services, etc.
Founder of the Year – Sabina Gyosheva – co-founder of ВY FАR – a brand for high-quality ladies’ shoes.
Investor of the Year for the third consecutive year is the Bulgarian venture capital fund LАUNСНub Vеnturеѕ.
Best Co-working Space – Саmрuѕ Х.
Best Social Impact Startup – Рrоѕfіt Тесhnоlоgіеѕ. The company manufactures prostheses using new technology and supports the integration of people who have undergone amputation.
Best Accelerator/Incubator Program for the second consecutive year is Endeavor’s Dаrе То Ѕсаlе.
This year, in the two new categories – Best Virtual Teamwork Solution and Ecosystem Hero of the Year – were awarded: DіgіtаlКіdz, who improve the digital competences of teachers, students, and parents, and Vassil Terziev – investor, co-founder of Саmрuѕ Х and the Telerik Academy, and managing
In November, the beamUp lab was launched – the Bulgarian Stock Exchange program to stimulate and encourage the growth of Bulgarian start-ups and small- and medium enterprises. The first 20 companies are about to begin their participation in a 12-month cycle of meetings and development trainings – from their launch to readiness for initial public offering (IPO).
The initiative is on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange, under the Ministry of Finance auspices, and is implemented in partnership with the Fund of Funds, the Bulgarian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Bulgarian Association of Licensed Investment Intermediaries, and the Bulgarian Startup Association.
beamUp lab is a unique program for Bulgaria and covers the whole spectrum of investors and financial intermediaries, and the first class of companies in the program are fast-growing companies with average revenue growth for the group of over 40% for the last three years.
The program aims to distinguish promising and innovative Bulgarian companies with sustainable business models, give them visibility to potential investors, and increase their knowledge about financing opportunities.
Read more about the program and the first 20 approved companies here.
Submission for applications is already open for companies that want to join the second group of beamUp lab in 2021. You can apply for participation here.
You can watch a recording of the official start of the program with information from the participants about the benefits of the program on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange Youtube Channel here.
ECOMMERCE AND RETAIL SUMMIT
5 November, online
The year 2020 turns out to be challenging for the whole world and the retail sector is not an exception. What will be the “new normal”? Can we expect a long-term e-commerce shift? Capital is organizing the Ecommerce and Retail Summit, carrying the tradition of the previous successful formats of the Retail in Detail and the Strategies for Ecommerce Success conferences.
– How to thrive – not just survive – in a post-pandemic world
– Ecommerce and physical stores – long-term shifts in market shares
– Consumers’ preferences and habits – is there a space for new brand loyalty and ethical retailing
– Reinventing the supply chain
– New marketing strategies
– The importance of Big data in the new realities
– Retail technologies emerged from the crisis
– Online payments and security issues
When and where
5th November 2020
11 November, hybrid event
Established in 2006, BalREc is a leading real estate investment conference in Bulgaria and the region, providing the opportunity to all stakeholders on the market to meet, network and discuss the latest industry trends. Leading investors, financial institutions, consultants, project managers, law firms and other parties involved in the major projects in the sector will take part in panel sessions, emphasizing the current perspectives and investment environment in the key market segments: office, retail, residential, industrial & logistics, hotels & hospitality and the growing alternative asset classes.
Hyatt Regency Sofia and online streaming
Learn more about the event here.
h.i SUMMIT 2020
11 November, Inter Expo Center and online streaming
Human Business Studio in partnership with Investor Media Group organizes the first international annual forum h. i summit.
You will hear the most important details about key global trends in:
– Change management
– Organizational design and culture
– Forecasting and strategic planning
– Systematic thinking for solving problems by putting the person in the center and exploiting his potential.
The event will be held both online with live streaming and on-site at Inter Expo Center with a limited number of participants. There will be keynote presentations both in Bulgarian and in English
Sofia Municipality and the GATE Center of Excellence signed a cooperation agreement as part of the implementation of the Sofia Digital Transformation Strategy. Work will be carried out on the creation of the first City Digital Twin. It will be located on the territory of Lozenets district.
City Digital Twin is a large interdisciplinary project of the GATE Institute in the field of big data and artificial intelligence and is the first of its kind in Bulgaria. The project aims to develop a digital platform – a twin of Sofia’s real urban environment to design, test, implement, and service solutions from the entire life cycle of urban life through a 3D simulation of the city before implementing them in the real environment.
The agreement was signed by the Mayor of Sofia Yordanka Fandakova and the Rector of Sofia University, Prof. Anastas Gerdjikov. Watch a recording from the online signing event with more information about the project “City Digital Twin” and what lies ahead here.
At the initiative of the Mayor of Sofia Yordanka Fandakova, Sofia Municipality in partnership with the Regional Department of Education and the Center for Creative Training launched a pilot project – “School in the Cloud” – for the development of digital skills and work in an online environment. It includes 16 schools in Sofia.
Information about the project was presented during the online streaming of an event by the Second English Language High School “Thomas Jefferson” in Sofia on the high school’s approval for Google Reference School – the first in Sofia and the second in Southeast Europe. The school is also part of the pilot project “School in the cloud” and implements the “One to One” model for carrying out the learning process by a device for each teacher and student to complete the school’s digital transformation.
“School in the Cloud” aims to make the capital a leader in using digital technologies in education, following the example of projects that have already been implemented in the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, Belgium, USA, and others. The goal is to develop it successfully and implement it in more schools in Sofia to make way for their digital transformation.
Watch a recording of the event here.
The voting for the practical proposals submitted in Sofia’s “Sofia chooses” campaign for ideas from citizens, civil- and professional organizations for projects to improve the city is
Soft loans with guarantees from the Fund of Funds will also be offered by First Investment Bank, BACB, and Tokuda Bank. The portfolio guarantee agreement supports small and medium-sized enterprises’ liquidity in response to the economic crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fund directs to Bulgaria’s small- and medium-sized business, an additional anti-crisis resource of BGN 42 million. The funds are for liquid support of SМЕs affected by the COVID crisis and will reach the companies through the equity investment managers Innovation Capital, Morningside Hill, and Vitosha Venture Partners. After the upcoming signing of the agreement with the fourth financial intermediary – New Vision 3, the total amount of the anti-crisis resource will reach BGN 56.3 million.
Тhe enterprises can contact the banks mentioned above and four financial intermediaries directly for more information and discussions on potential cooperation.
Young (with up to 3 years of experience) or future entrepreneurs (with a business idea) can apply for the Erasmus program for young entrepreneurs. The program offers on-the-job training in a small or medium-sized enterprise abroad with a funded stay of 1 to 6 months. Among the advantages for the participants are improving the business plan, acquiring know-how, accessing new markets and partners abroad, looking at different cultural and organizational attitudes, and doing business in another EU country.
The application is made entirely electronically on the Erasmus website for young entrepreneurs here.
Bloomberg TV Bulgaria accepts applications for its “Inspirational 5” campaign. The initiative is aimed at start-up companies and strives to support innovative business solutions and promote successful business practices in Bulgaria.
Every start-up based in Bulgaria, having a developed innovative project and activity on the Bulgarian market of no more than three years, can apply for the “Inspirational 5” on the initiative’s website until 15 November .
The five start-ups that receive the most votes among consumers will be announced in the first week of December and will receive advice and know-how from a special mentoring team of specialists invited in the initiative by Bloomberg TV Bulgaria.
In connection with the preliminary evaluation of financial instruments for the next programming period 2021-2027, the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry conducted an anonymous survey among potential final recipients (companies) that would apply for future financial instruments under the “Human Resources Development” Operational Program. The aim is to study the attitude among potential beneficiaries who would
The Professional Association of Robotics and Automation (PARA) presented its latest report on the role of automation in Bulgaria during the “Robotics Strategy Forum 2020”, which took place on 22 October.
PARA has prepared the report for the third consecutive year through a survey among Bulgarian companies. This year, the report also includes an analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and how it has affected the industry’s plans to invest in automation.
The results are based on 32 companies’ answers with nearly 15,000 employees from the sectors of automotive components, furniture, electronics, mechanical engineering, and others. The Association emphasizes that the survey does not claim the representativeness of the sample. Some of the main highlights include:
– 50% of the companies claim a delay or complete postponement of automation investments due to the pandemic. Half of these companies are in the automotive sector.
– Still, there are companies – 19% of all, in which the pandemic has accelerated the process. Among them are representatives of the chemical-, smart home sensors companies, manufacturers of microelectronics.
– 44% consider implementing software and discrete automation.
– Companies want to automate mostly the production process, data collection and processing, administration, and quality control.
– The automotive industry remains the main user of industrial robots in Bulgaria – an average of one robot per 45.85 employees help in 4 factories for automotive components; in mechanical engineering, the food industry, automation, and household appliances, one robot assists 70.66 employees in the company.
– The primary incentive for investment in robotic systems is quality, cost optimization, and workforce lack.
DIGITAL FINANCE FORUM
6 October, online
In its 22nd edition, the Digital Finance Forum will focus on the future of financial technology, open banking, payment innovation, insurance technology, and will showcase good practices and examples of new and improved financial services and solutions.
The main topics of the 2020 event include:
Find more and register here.
OFFICIAL RELEASE OF FINTECH SOFIA MAP 2020
8 October, online
Innovative Sofia, together with Bulgarian Fintech Association is hosting the official release of the very first Fintech Sofia Map 2020.
The event aims at presenting the Sofia Fintech Landscape in 2020, the main specifics of Sofia’s Fintech market and the ecosystem players. The webinar will be the first of a series of English-led events manifesting Bulgaria as the Fintech Hub of Southeastern Europe.
To watch and participate in the event, please sign up in the Zoom form here. After signing up you will receive a confirmation email with the link to the event
You can also follow the Facebook event. Stay tuned to be the first to learn who will be the participants in the virtual event.
FIFTH ANNUAL INDUSTRY 4.0 FORUM
The Fifth Annual Industry 4.0 Forum is one of the major industrial conferences in Southeast Europe and a key event focusing on the digital transformation of manufacturing. It brings together business and policy leaders from Bulgaria and the region to showcase the innovators and the industrial champions which are already shaping the future.
When and Where
October 8, 2020 (15:30 – 17:00) – Live on Capital.bg
The future of the regions: cooperation for investment and development
October 21, 2020 (10:30 – 12:00) – Grand Hotel Plovdiv | Live on Capital.bg
Topics in 2020:
Bulgarian industry already has its own digital map – Bg Industry Map, which provides a comprehensive view in 14 specific sectors. Bg Industry Map is a project of the Ministry of Economy, the Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency, and the Bulgarian Employers’ Association Innovative Technologies (BRAIT).
Bg Industry Map contains a database of Bulgarian companies in the following industries: IT, Оutsourcing, Energy, Mechanical engineering, Mechatronics, Food industry, Cosmetics, Textile, Maritime Industry, Furniture, Biotechnology, Renewable Energy Sources, Education and Science. The map displays data for each company- its location, number of employees, revenue, and net result. The companies list can also be filtered by income from operating activities, the number of employees, and location. Data is available as downloads on a separate section of the website.
Bg Industry Map aims to provide an adequate mapping of the Bulgarian economy by regions, sectors, and companies and is implemented under the National Strategy for Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises 2014-2020 and the Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialization
Companies that are currently not included in the mapping of the respective industry, but want to be part of the list, can send a request directly to the BSMEPA team at the following contacts.
The Association for Innovation, Business Services, and Technologies (AIBEST) presented data from its annual report on the development of the knowledge economy in the country during the annual meeting of the association on October 2nd.
According to the survey, the number of companies in the high value-added business services sector is growing by 5% on an annual basis, with 610 companies operating in the industry by 2019.
More data from the report:
The full AIBEST report on the development of the economy of knowledge will be published soon.
The AIBEST Annual Summit was attended by representatives of the country’s largest technology companies, local authorities, and the government. As part of the Summit, the AIBEST Annual Awards were presented in seven categories:
Bulgarian is the top Digital Riser for Europe and North America in the Digital Riser Report 2020 by the European Center for Digital Competitiveness by ESCP Business School in Berlin. The report analyses and ranks the changes that 140 countries around the globe have seen in their digital competitiveness over the last three years. It measures the two core dimensions of digital competitiveness, i.e. the country’s ecosystem and its mindset, and uses data from the Global Competitiveness Report issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
According to the report, Bulgaria and Montenegro improved the most in the ecosystem and mindset dimensions, respectively. Bulgaria’s outperformance is explained by its “Digital Bulgaria 2025” lighthouse initiative by the Ministry of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications, which was launched in 2018 as a continuation of the national programme “Digital Bulgaria 2015”. Its goal was to modernise and implement intelligent IT solutions in all areas of economic and social life.
Bulgaria ranks 3rd and above expectations for level of development in the upper middle-income group of the Global Innovation Index (GII) by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Our country ranks 37th in the overall ranking.
China, Malaysia, and Bulgaria are still the only middle-income economies in the GII top 40; otherwise, the gap across income groups and regions largely perseveres. In the upper-middle income group, China (14th), Malaysia (33rd, up from 35th), and Bulgaria (37th, up from 40th) had held the top three positions since 2016. Aside from China, Malaysia and Bulgaria remain the only other middle-income economies that are close to the top 25. In addition to these three economies, there are only seven other middle-income economies in the top 50 of the GII 2020.
The Global Innovation Index 2020 provides detailed metrics about the innovation performance of 131 countries and economies around the world. Its 80 indicators explore a broad vision of innovation, including political environment, education, infrastructure and business sophistication.
The 2020 edition sheds light on the state of innovation financing by investigating the evolution of financing mechanisms for entrepreneurs and other innovators, and by pointing to progress and remaining challenges – including in the context of the economic slowdown induced by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.
Europe continues to host a large number of innovative economies. Sixteen of the innovation leaders in the top 25 are European countries, with seven of them ranking in the
According to preliminary data of the BNB, foreign direct investment in Bulgaria for the first half of the year amounted to EUR 1.407 billion, which is an increase of EUR 495 million or 54.2% compared to the same period of the previous year.
The largest net flows of direct investment in the country for the period January – July 2020 are from the Netherlands (EUR 192.8 million), Russia (EUR 121.1 million), and Hungary (EUR 107.2 million).
The Ministry of Economy announced that since the beginning of 2020, class asset investment certificates have been issued under the Investment Promotion Act to 22 projects. Their total value is BGN 709.4 million, and the projects have the potential to create 3,203 new jobs.