One out of five IT specialists in Bulgaria plans to change their job within a year, according to data from the study of technology startup for recruitment of IT staff Code Agents, conducted in September among 500 specialists in the sector.
In addition to those 21% planning to change their jobs, another 10% are actively looking for a new opportunity. A further 26% will accept a new proposal, but only if they receive a salary increase in the range of BGN 400 – 700. According to Ivaylo Vatovski, co-founder of the company, these results are quite surprising, because, contrary to the common opinion of the sector that there is a serious shortage of staff, it turns out that there are specialists, but companies fail to attract them with the right incentives. Employees who are not interested in new job offers are only 11.7%.
Company’s management is the most common reason behind the desire to change their employer, the programmers point out. Specialists also prefer executives to be in the IT sector to be able to report directly to them the job performed and get an adequate job evaluation by a manager who is aware of all the details relevant to the performance.
If they are not in a process of searching but receive a job offer from another company, IT specialists will say yes mainly on the back of a significant remuneration increase. A total of 26% want a minimum increase of between BGN 400 and BGN 700, 22% – between BGN 700 and BGN 1 000 and 25% – of up to BGN 1 500. High expectations are explained by the high levels of pay in the sector as it is. Only 7% of the employees in the sector receive up to BGN 1 000, 25% receive remuneration in the range
BGN 1 000 – 2 000, 20% – in the range BGN 3 000 – 4 000. The remaining 25% receive a net monthly remuneration of more than BGN 4 000. The survey shows that nearly 59% of the respondents are fully or largely satisfied with their remuneration.
Other important factors for good working conditions for programmers include the ability to work remotely, as well as challenging long-term projects. The survey suggests that 27% of the developers would like to work remotely, but only 11% have this opportunity. Employers show tendency to be adaptable to this demand and
Phase 4 of the construction of the Expo 2000 office park is now completed. This was the last planned extension and the most ambitious investment in the office park located on Nikola Vaptsarov blvd in Sofia. The seven-storey building has a total gross leasable area of 13,400 sq.m, of which 12,002 sq.m are first class office areas. The building has 260 underground parking lots in order to keep ground space for greenery and recreation. The LEEDS Gold Certification procedure is under way – a certificate, which the Phase 3 building received in 2015, because of the significant optimization of overhead costs planned in the construction through underground water technology and high efficiency of building systems. Investor Expo 2000 Real Estate Ltd. is part of Raiffeisen Property International GmbH.
The new Phase 4 building is also built as a “green initiative” and claims to be an environment that will pay off in terms of operating costs savings. The building will use heating and cooling pumps to maintain an optimal temperature of the building in a move to reduce electricity consumption. Presence detectors in rooms that are used less such as meeting rooms will provide electricity power consumption only on demand. Automated window contacts will disable heating or cooling in the building when windows are open. The sound and thermal insulation of the building is provided by a modern 3-layer glass facade, which also ensures maximum daylight. All working places have natural light, reducing electricity consumption. The building has LED lighting and the lights in the garages, corridors, toilets and other common areas are activated by presence detectors.
The infrastructure around the Expo 2000 office park has been significantly improved in recent years. The time to travel to the city center, the airport and the ring road has been shortened and the road to Paradise Mall has been repaired. Furthermore, there is also a bicycle path. At the start of Phase 4 in 2015, investors said they already had customers for 25% of the building’s capacity. They expect tenants mainly from international companies and the outsourcing industry.
The 2016/2017 GEM National Report on Entrepreneurship was announced on October 20, as part of the Annual Conference of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). This is the second annual GEM National Report for Bulgaria. The Conference Path To Positive Change was organized in partnership with Capital newspaper and supported by the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria and Ernst&Young.
For a second year in a row, the experts believe that Bulgaria‘s low levels of entrepreneurial activity are heavily influenced by a dominant culture of very low propensity to entrepreneurial risk-taking. The experts believe that currently, the dominant belief in Bulgaria is that little can be achieved through personal efforts and personal initiative. While individual‘s intentions showed an increase and give early signs for optimism especially in the case of youth entrepreneurs, the overall attitude to entrepreneurship does not show significant improvements.
Listed below are some of the most important conclusions from 2016/17 GEM Bulgaria report.
Only 52.9% of Bulgarian adults population consider entrepreneurship as a good career choice, compared to 57.5% a year earlier. 66.9% (71.5% in 2015) agreed that successful entrepreneurs enjoy high status in Bulgaria.
In 2016 21.0% (15.8% in 2015) of the adult population in Bulgaria perceived good opportunities to start a business in the area where they lived. 39.7% (35% in 2015) of the population reports having capabilities to embark on this endeavor. In 2016 in Bulgaria, both the perception of opportunities and capabilities increased by the same degree.
The number of potential entrepreneurs is extremely low – at 7.1% (5.3% in 2015). Respondents see few profitable business opportunities.
In 2016, the total Early-stage Entrepreneurial activity (TEA) rate for Bulgaria was 4.8% (3.5% in 2015), comprised of 2.6% of the adult population engaged in nascent entrepreneurial endeavors and 2.2% who were new business owners. By all standards, these numbers are among the lowest in the world. Interestingly, despite the very low rate of early-stage entrepreneurship in Bulgaria, a relatively high percentage of these manage to survive long enough and become established businesses.
The most entrepreneurially active individuals are the 25-44-year-olds.The group of 18-24-year-olds shows a participation rate almost as high as the subgroup of 35-44-year-olds.
In Bulgaria, there is no evidence for a gender gap regarding entrepreneurship. The share of necessity-motivated female entrepreneurship is very similar to the male equivalent.
Those with secondary education are among the most active early-stage entrepreneurs, accounting for more than
Bulgaria ranks 50th among 190 economies globally in the fifteenth Ease of Doing Business report of the World Bank. In the previous two editions, the country ranked higher – 38th in 2015 and 37th in 2016. The drop is not due to deterioration in Bulgaria’s performance but rather due to the fact that other countries have reformed better than last year and have improved their own indicators. Bulgaria lowered its rating in just one out of all 10 key indicators, namely Getting Electricity. The other indicators remain unchanged or mark a slight increase in score.
In another report, issued in October – Europe and Central Asia Economic Update, the World Bank published its country analysis for Bulgaria. The article reviews the current state of the main economic indicators, and gives a forecast for the next two years.
According to the analyses in the ranking, prospects for 2017 are better than initially expected, with GDP projected to grow at 3.8 percent as robust domestic demand outweighs the diminishing contribution of net exports. Household consumption is likely to continue expanding on the back of further improvements in labor market and credit conditions. Investment is likely to remain strong in the second half of the year. GDP is projected to pick up to 4 percent in 2019. Strong consumption and, increasingly, investment are likely to be the key driver in the medium term. Poverty reduction is expected to continue at a modest pace in the near term. Continued improvements in employment and wages, as well as scheduled increases in pensions, should support real incomes and therefore further reductions in poverty. Poverty is
Eight Bulgarian companies took part in the largest technology exhibition in the Middle East – GITEX in Dubai. The exhibition took place from October 8 to 12 at the World Trade Center in Dubai. The participants were personally selected by the GITEX organizers after the InvestBulgaria Agency (IBA) sent all the applications submitted to the organization during the application period. The eight participating companies from Bulgaria showed their products at the Bulgarian stand, located in the shopping center with the financial support of the Ministry of Economy and IBA.
The Bulgarian companies that participated at the exhibition are active in the IT, education, medicine, VR Games, mobile applications, smart cities technologies, cloud services sectors. Here is a profile of each of the companies.
Spy my music – http://spymymusic.com/ introduced a mobile app that gives you the chance to find out what songs the people in your circle are listening. So instead of constantly wondering what music to listen, you can instantly source ideas from Crowd people. The app also has a chat feature. Spy my Music won a place at the Art & Creativity Corner of the Department of Arts and Creative Industries and Culture in Dubai and was interviewed by local media.
Embrioo.com – http://embrioo.com/ presented a new generation open innovation platform in the IoT sector, where spontaneous ideas have the chance to turn into profitable business concepts. The platform enables you to present and sell your idea or join an existing concept and participate in its further development. In 2015, Enbrioo received the Forbes Award for Best startup.
In the healthcare and medicine sector, Printivo http://www.printivo.eu introduced a new model of 3D bio printer and bio ink. The company’s developments are applicable in regenerative medicine, tissue and organ formation, stem cell application, etc.
Out2Bound – https://out2bound.com/, presented Cloud Service innovation. Their product helps IT companies to make repetitive sales and generate higher turnover.
Proznanie https://www.proznanie.bg/ introduced their online learning platform from pre-school to 12th grade, which has gained popularity over the past two years. The platform enables training video conferences for live learning as well as self-study. 91% of the students complete the training started in the platform. For two years the project won two awards – the Social Innovation Award 2016 of the Applied Research and Communications Fund and Best Innovation in Education at Webit.Festival in April this year.
Vantage School, also in the
The international entrepreneurial network Endeavor selected three new entrepreneurs from Bulgaria at its 75th International Selection Panel (ISP). Part of the Global network now are Zornitsa Chugreeva, executive director of HelloHungry – the largest platform for food delivery in Bulgaria (BG Menu) and Romania (Oliviera) together with Vladimir Davchev, founder and majority owner of HelloHungry. The third winner is Raycho Raychev, founder and executive director of EnduroSat, which designs, builds and deploys nano-satellites for orbital missions and exploring the Solar System.
The international entrepreneurial network selected a total of 25 entrepreneurs from 16 companies in 11 countries around the world. They will all gain access to the expertise of 3,000 experts and leaders around the world and will have access to a number of services to help create a growth strategy and business process improvement. In addition to mentors, the selected entrepreneurs will also have access to specially designed consulting programs from EY, Stanford Graduate School, Harvard Business School, etc.
For the first time Endeavor’s selection panel took place in Central and Eastern Europe and Sofia has been chosen to be the first host-country in the region. According to Linda Rottenberg, Co-founder and Director of Endeavor Global, over the past few years, Bulgaria has demonstrated a significant progress in entrepreneurship and fully displays the potential of the region. The New York-based non-governmental international organization opened its office in Sofia in September, 2015, with the technology company Chaos Group being the first Bulgarian company selected to join the international network. The main focus of the organization is to support scale-ups – promising and fast-growing businesses that already need access to new markets, talents, mentors, contacts and investments that will help them achieve further growth.
The three new entrepreneurs selected at this year’s selection panel will join 1,563 businessmen from 978 companies in 30 countries that Endeavor supports. Selection panels by region are the final result of a long entrepreneur selection process. The selection includes a series of interviews aimed at assessing the leadership skills, vision and motivation of participants to participate actively in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The potential of their companies for further growth is also assessed. The Bulgarian office of the network has 11 other previous applications of leaders from 8 Bulgarian companies – Chaos Group, Titan Gate, MClimate, MyMall, Browswave, Biodit, Electrosphere and SoftGroup.
For the last several months the team of Invest Sofia has been busy mapping the industrial and manufacturing footprint in Sofia.
We are very glad to announce that a website displaying the beta version of the new industrial and office maps of Sofia is ready and has gone live. Please view on desktop for full capabilities.
The website, which actually includes a set of four maps, contains:
An interactive detailed map containing over 100 office, logistic and manufacturing sites. The map offers full Google maps navigation capabilities and includes street views that allow virtual visits to the individual sites and their surrounding infrastructure. The map will be updated regularly as new industrial and office spaces are added and built in Sofia.
Please use the Add button on the map if you would like to include your office, logistics or manufacturing site.
An interactive overview map that displays the spatial distribution of the major office, industrial and logistics spaces in Sofia
An interactive map of offices and manufacturing facilities separated by region.
A heat map of workforce distribution.
Our goal is to provide an overview of the office and manufacturing spaces in the city. The objective is to support incoming investors, consultants performing destination due diligence, as well as established local businesses looking to expand.
Real estate service providers are welcome to use the map in presentations and promotions of the city.
Sofia Investment Agency would like to thank Forton / Cushman & Wakefield, Colliers Bulgaria and the Association of Commercial Building Owners in Bulgaria (ACBO) for the support.
For a second year in a row, five Bulgarian companies have been included in London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSE Group) “1000 Companies to Inspire Europe” report. Walltopia, El Stamana Ltd.q Fert Bul Ltd., Most Energy JSC and Furniture Videnov have made it to the prestigious list.
“1000 Companies to Inspire Europe” ranks some of the fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe. As well as identifying the top 1,000 companies, the annual report examines in detail the opportunities and challenges facing SMEs and looks at the sectors and trends that will shape the future of the European economies. To build the list, the report combines key financial performance indicators. Each company’s compounded annual growth rate of the turnover is calculated over a three-year period (based on three sets of accounts for years 2013, 2014 and 2015). The report demonstrates the critical importance of high-growth private small and medium sized companies (SMEs) to the future European economic growth, innovation and job creation and is part of LSE Group policies to support SMEs.
The Bulgarian five among Europe’s 1000
The five Bulgarian companies in the reports operate in five different sectors. They have a combined 76% increase in jobs over a two-year period and each has an average annual revenue of 25 million euros. Three of the companies are headquartered in Sofia – Walltopia, world-leading manufacturer of artificial climbing structures, MOST ENERGY JSC – a licensed electricity trader on the free market, and El Stomana OOD – a leading steel manufacturer for the mining and metallurgical industries. The other companies are Fert Bul EOOD – a major fertilizer manufacturer from Stara Zagora and Furniture Videnov from Yambol. Walltopia is also presented with a company profile article in the Consumer Services section of the report.
Key findings in “1000 Companies to Inspire Europe” 2017
Here are some the key insights from the report:
In September Standard & Poor’s affirmed its long-term issuer credit rating on Bulgaria’s capital Sofia at BB+ with a positive outlook. The rating agency notes that the capital’s economy remains stronger than the national average.
In the rationale, the rating agency stated that Sofia enjoys high flexibility in adjusting its local revenues within certain brackets set by the central government. S&P expect the city’s liquidity coverage ratio to remain sound over the next 12 months. Adjusted for the expected deficit, free cash reserves and liquid assets will continue to cover the debt falling due over the next 12 months by almost 3x. A solid liquidity position and strong operating performance will help limit new debt, despite an ambitious capital program.
Economic activity is concentrated in the services sector (85% of Sofia’sGDP), and the city has a clear strategy based on promoting itself as an investment destination and a digital capital, S&P GlobalRatings said. The forecast is for continued solid operating results over 2017-2019, with surpluses now averaging 8.8% of operating revenues, backed by ongoing measures to improve collections, alongside better economic conditions and adequate control over expenses.
Sofia Green & Tech City Movie is available for download and may be used in connection with the promotion of Sofia. If you are a private or public organization, please feel free to download and embed the video as part of a presentation content or to show it during your meetings with foreign business partners when you need to promote your business in the capital of Bulgaria.
Sofia Green & Tech City Movie was first released at Webit.Festival Europe 25-26 April , 2017. Initiated by Sofia Municipality and produced by B2Y Productions especially for the opening of the Festival. The video is portraying the city as a place where dynamics and tranquillity, the traditional and the new, the different people and styles combine into a common shape of a lively and attractive place to live and do business.
The video footage was filmed in early April at some of the key locations in the city – Vitosha Metro Station, the National Theatre, Sofia City Gallery, Sofia City Library, Moskovska Street, Sofia Tech Park and others. The video was broadcast for the first time as part of the welcome speech of the Mayor of Sofia, Mrs Yordanka Fandakova, when opening the two-day Webit festival.
Download the video – https://goo.gl/5EKbLP
Bosch Software Innovations recently announced its plans to significantly increase its capacity to develop IoT software in Bulgaria. The company is in search for both graduates and experienced engineers. The open positions are for Open Source Software (OSS) experts as well as Java developers for software solutions in the connected mobility, connected energy, Industry 4.0 and smart home areas.
— Software Innovations (@BoschSI) October 16, 2017
Bosch Software Innovations in Bulgaria
In 2015, the company acquired ProSyst Software GmbH, including its team in Bulgaria – ProSyst Labs EOOD, a leading international software provider for the Internet of Things (IoT). Its software facilitates interaction between connected devices and appliances in the smart home, connected industry, and mobility segments. The acquisition was part of the expansion of Bosch in the field of IoT. The company sees Bulgaria as the Silicon Valley of Europe and in 2016 it finally completed the merger of ProSyst with Bosch Software Innovations. Currently, the company employs more than 130 specialists in Sofia. Many of them have been working in IoT-related areas for almost 20 years. The company hosts documentation and technical training team, customer support specialists and a software test center. With the expansion of its activities and staff, Bosch plans to relocate its office to Polygraphia Office Center.
The leading investor in the Bulgarian energy sector, AES Bulgaria, opened its expanded Regional Shared Service Center in Sofia. The company has invested a total of BGN 2 million in the center so far, as part of its move to gradually expand its portfolio activities in Bulgaria. The center serves the company’s business in the areas of Finance, IT, Supply, Human resources and Communications for Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
At the opening, the President of AES Bulgaria Olivier Marquette said our country had proved to be a regional center that would be increasingly important for the company’s development and that highly qualified specialists and Bulgaria’s strategic position would have a decisive role in attracting investments in the future.
The company serves businesses in many different time zones from Ireland to Vietnam, and Sofia is located in the middle, making the operation easier. The decision to open a Shared Service Center in Bulgaria was also made based on the favorable investment environment as well as the political and macroeconomic stability of Bulgaria.
Currently, the Shared Service Center in Sofia employs more than 100 highly qualified employees and their number is expected to grow. The company launched its regional center in 2013 with 15 employees. It initially served the company’s business in the fields of Finance, IT, Supply and Delivery for Europe and the Middle East. In 2016 and 2017, the center was expanded significantly, by adding the Human resources and Communications functions. In 2017, the center is already working for the company’s businesses in 7 countries – Bulgaria, Jordan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Ireland, India, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Another major company, Coca-Cola, announced its intention to close its factory in Weimar, Germany, and move its Finance and Human resources departments to Bulgaria. The work will be transferred to Coca-Cola European Partner Services in Sofia. The decision to close the factory in Germany was based on declining sales of refillable PET bottles. That is why the production and administrative operations there will also be discontinued.