Is entrepreneurship still alive in Bulgaria? The EMPOWER Award gives a positive answer

Tuesday, 02 November 2010
Empower Award WinnersLast evening, in the presence of the Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism Mr. Traycho Traykov and other special guests, the Empower United Foundation awarded with first prize and 100 000 BGN Borislav Miloev and his project “OCOZY.COM” in the Empower Award for Young Entrepreneurial Excellence.

Second place and 60 000 BGN received Kiril Mitov for his project “School of Robotics “Robopartans”.

The project “Integrated In-Home Care Service” by Nina Dimitrova was awarded 3rd place and received 40 000 BGN.

The special Green Award for special care, protection and preservation of the environment went to Daniel Yordanov, whose project “Processing of waste glass for the manufacture of abrasive” received most points in the category.


More than 190 files competed in the Empower Award Competition with projects for starting a new business. After 3 stages of evaluation, the 7 finalists presented their business plans in the day of the award ceremony to the final grand jury, consisting of:

  • Mr. Thomas Higgins - Chairperson, Empower United Foundation
  • Mr. Scott Pozil - US Embassy/ U.S. Commercial Service
  • Mr. Evgeny Angelov - Deputy Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism
  • Mr. Philippe Lhotte - Chairman and CEO, SGEB
  • Mrs. Maria Rousseva - Board Member, Head of Corporate and Investment Banking
  • Mr. Nikolay Yarmov - CEO of CEED Bulgaria
  • Mr. David Butts - Managing Partner, CMS (leading international Legal and Tax Company)
  • Mr. Peter Lithgow - Executive Director, AES (leading international energy company)
  • Mr. Borislav Stefanov - Executive Director, InvestBulgaria Agency
  • Mr. Sasho Chakalski –CEO, Bulgarian Development Bank
  • Mr. Vassil Terziev - CEO, Telerik

For this first issue of this competition, the organizers were really satisfied by the results:

"At the beginning of our partnership, we headed into the public domain a question-challenge and it was "Is entrepreneurship alive in Bulgaria?". I think that after the huge interest and great projects, we can respond positively", said Mr Philippe Lhotte. "We traditionally support the development of young talents and we are happy that we are a partner in an initiative that supports young Bulgarian entrepreneurs. In turn we contributed to the competition and the evaluation of the received proposals with our expertise and I think the results will show it", added the director of Societe Generale Expressbank.

"What can Bulgaria do for itself to make the country more prosperous? How can you stimulate growth? The way it was done in America, the way I believe it will be done here is through entrepreneurship. I believe if the economy is to grow, if Bulgaria is really going to be the prosperous nation that it deserves to be in the future, it’s going to be through the entrepreneurs of this country. The way the United States grew was through people who were willing to take risks. That’s what I see in all of you, people who are willing to come up with new ideas, to take the risks necessary and to demonstrate that entrepreneurship can be as successful in Bulgaria as anywhere else", said H.E. James Warlick, U.S. Ambassador in Bulgaria.

"One of the main goals of the EMPOWER Award is to support the development of successful companies by capable young people. Of course, this will take some time", said Mr. Thomas Higgins.
"But we believe in success because we work with many partners, including the Bulgarian government. We plan each year to expand and develop the program and in January we launch the contest for 2011", he added.

Empower Award for Young Entrepreneurial Excellence
The Empower Award for Young Entrepreneurial Excellence is an initiative of the Empower United Foundation. Their partners are one of the largest companies, leaders in their business sectors. The program is supported by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism and one of the leading banks in Bulgaria – Societe Generale Expressbank.
The competition is also organized in partnership with Motorola Foundation – nonprofit organization specifically created to carry out charity and philanthropy initiatives, CMS – one of the leading law and accounting firms in Europe, AES – one of the largest energy companies in the world, Adecco and EcoBulpack. The Empower Award for Young Entrepreneurial Excellence is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Organizational partners of the completion are JobTiger - a leading Bulgarian enterprise focused on providing human resources solutions, The Center for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development (CEED) and The Association for Support of the Academic Society (ASAS).
The programme is organized with the media partnership of Nova television, the newspapers Capital and Dnevnik, the online edition, the on-line portal, Radio1 and The Economic TV “EBF”.

For more information:
Radoslav Tsonov, Empower United -, +359 2/ 819 45 74
Veronika Ninova, Marketor –, +359 2/ 421 97 87
Anka Kostova, Societe Generale -, +359 2/ 937 06 33

ITCD 2024 Employers
Zaplatomer Banner