The competition for the Empower Award for Young Entrepreneurial Excellence starts in January 2010. This is an initiative of the Empower United Foundation supported by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism.
The Empower Award is the largest national competition for young entrepreneurs focused on innovation. People can participate either with an idea or with an existing business that is registered less than one year ago. The CEO of the applying company should be no more than 35 years old.
The first prize will be a 100,000 leva grant. This significant amount of money is a solid base for developing an idea into a sustainable business. In addition to the monetary prize, the winners will benefit from practical advice and mentoring from experienced professionals.
"Our overall objective is to promote more entrepreneurship and business thinking and to help develop the economy. The focus of this competition is specifically on innovation. Therefore, we are trying to encourage the establishment of businesses that will have a transformational impact on Bulgaria or even the world. Every great accomplishment in the world started out initially as an idea. We are trying to encourage people to think big but start small. This is one of the keys for big success." said Thomas Higgins, Chairman of Empower United.
"As the institution responsible for the development of the business environment and supporting the professional development of young people, the ministry I lead is very much interested in the establishment of a sustainable program, which can become the global model for financing innovative ideas", wrote the Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism Traicho Traykov, in an official letter of support for the Empower Award.
The application procedure for the Award will start in the end of January 2010, when all entrepreneurs willing to take part in the competition can download the application form from the Empower United website (www.empower.bg) and start working on their business plans.
The deadline for applications is in June 2010. There will be three rounds of evaluation by a jury of experienced entrepreneurs and professionals. There will also be second and third prize awards as well as a special green award.
From January till May everyone interested in learning more about entrepreneurship can take part in the monthly meetings, where renowned business leaders and experts will discuss topics related to starting up a business, such as financing, team formation, effective marketing and sales, etc., intended to help participants with their business plans.
The Empower Award is a legacy of the Award for Young Entrepreneurial Excellence, organized by the Bulgarian-American Enterprise Fund (BAEF) for thirteen years. The organizational partners of the Empower Award are JobTiger, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development (CEED), and the Association for Support of the Academic Society (ASAS). Dnevnik Daily, Dnevnik.bg, Dir.bg, and EBF Business TV, are official media partners of the initiative.
Empower United is a not-for-profit organization with the mission to help empower Bulgarian citizens and companies to realize their full potential. It is working in close partnership with all stakeholders to provide attractive opportunities and implement international best practices in order to improve education, leadership skills, entrepreneurial skills, and professional qualifications of young Bulgarians.
For additional information:
Empower United Foundation
Tel: 02/819 4571