Bulgaria Delves into Entrepreneurial Data to Strengthen Ecosystem
15 Dec 2014

On December 5, Junior Achievement Bulgaria, the GEW host organization for Bulgaria, organized an event where the results of the Global Entrepreneurship Index were officially presented for Bulgaria, and later – analyzed. The event aimed to discuss and determine the results’ significance for the development of entrepreneurship in the country. Partners for the event were the U.S. Embassy to Bulgaria, Industry Watch Bulgaria and America for Bulgaria Foundation.

Milena Stoycheva, JAB CEO, Georgi Stoev, managing partner of Industry Watch Bulgaria, Prof.Petko Ruskov, JAB, members of the Bulgarian entrepreneurship ecosystem and media outlets shared valuable insights on the current state of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country and their vision for the main areas that need improvement.

Prof. Laszlo Szerb, GEDI's global data specialist, was a special guest of the event and took part in the discussion via video call. He is one of the three co-authors of the Index and, for more than 20 years, has conducted research on the factors that result in economic growth and high-impact entrepreneurship the world over. Prof. Szerb provided the audience with strategic details about Bulgaria's GEI profile, the reliability of Bulgaria's overall results, the limitations of using estimated individual-level data, and the strategic importance of Bulgaria becoming a Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) member. Also, he offered advice on how the Bulgarian government, private sector and educational institutions can work in collaboration to improve the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Bulgaria. The overall discussions gave a summary on what limits productive entrepreneurship in the Bulgarian economy, and clarification of specific factors (bottlenecks), hindering its development, as well as outlined the strong ground Bulgaria hold in certain areas.

The overall mood in the hall was that Bulgaria should definitely participate in the GEM as this would allow the country to have a better understanding of the state of its own entrepreneurship ecosystem. The participation in GEM also proved to be more than a suggestion, but rather a necessity as the European Commission has chosen the survey as a main tool it uses to base their policies on. A pleasant surprise came when Iskren Krusteff, Start it Smart, shared that Bulgaria has already started negotiations in taking part in GEM.

High-profile guests in the role of opinion leaders in the society and policy makers were invited and had the chance to give their contribution actively during the event. These included Vanya Kastreva, deputy minister of education and science, Boni Bonev, chairperson of the JAB Board of Directors,Milena Damyanova, chairman of the Standing Committee on Education in the National Assembly and Ivaylo Grancharov, head of SME Policy Dept., SME & Innovations Directorate, Ministry of Economy.