After the successful launch of the pilot project in 2019, the Bulgarian office of the global entrepreneur network Endeavor launched the second edition of the growth programme Dare to Scale. The programme is designed for entrepreneurs and businesses that have already gone through the early stages of their development and are beginning to expand their activities. This year's edition will be focused on building a sustainable business that could handle crisis, and on identifying growth opportunities in difficult market conditions. From today, 1 June, until 21 June, the application form will be open for all who wish to fill it in at this link.
The programme is open to entrepreneurs in all economic areas regardless of the Bulgarian region they are located in. The condition is to have already released a product or a service on the market, to have generated a turnover of at least BGN 200,000 for 2019, to have no more than 150 employees and most importantly, their business to have the potential to grow on a global level. The programme is open for both established companies who have been operating for years, and for businesses that have been launched relatively recently.
Mentors and business leaders from Endeavor's network will hold interviews and the companies that will be admitted to this year's edition will be selected on the basis of pre-set criteria. The programme will take place in Sofia and will have four-month duration – from September to December 2020. The companies' founders will be able to participate in four specialized trainings in four main areas: Organization Management, Marketing, Sales, and Business Planning and Capital Raising. Each company will be assigned a mentor from Endeavor's network who will hold regular meetings with the founders and will assist them by providing expertise. Endeavor's team will organize also additional events where the companies will be able to meet the main players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Similar to the previous year, the programme will end in December with Demo Day at which the participants will present their businesses in front of a jury consisting of established business leaders. You can find more about the programme and the application process here.
The Dare to Scale pilot edition in 2019 was joined by the founders of ten Bulgarian companies. In the course of four months, the participants underwent specialized training lead by business leaders from Endeavor Bulgaria's network, including the founders of Telerik – Vasil Terziev and Svetozar Georgiev, the co-founder of BGmenu – Vladimir Davchev, the website manager of Uber – Alexander Popov, and others. More than 20 business leaders were engaged with the entrepreneurs form the ten companies who had a total of 75 hours of mentor sessions. You can see the most important from Dare to Scale's pilot edition and selected moments from the special events to it here.
Momchil Vassilev, Executive Director of Endeavor Bulgaria:
"With the Dare to Scale programme we want to expand our support to the entrepreneurs on their path to success. The strong support and high assessment that we received from the entrepreneurial community for its first edition encouraged us to launch it this year again. Thus we want to contribute to the development of a generation of entrepreneurs that have the potential to achieve global success."
Petia Dimitrova, Chief Executive Officer of Postbank:
"We consider the first edition of Dare to Scale as an outstanding success because we now believe that the business environment in Bulgaria has a huge development potential. We realized it thanks to the ambitious young people with innovative projects, who showed us that they were not afraid to think big. After the impressive start we expect the next group of participants to show even more interesting business models that demonstrate quick adaptation to the changing environment in which we are all connected and create together a sustainable development. For Postbank the partnership with Endeavor is the most natural and logical continuation of our efforts to improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bulgaria. We initiated the project second edition and after the huge success of the pilot project, we believe that we are making an investment in the future – because Dare to Scale is our confidence that we create meaning together and thus we give sign to many more young people that the opportunities are more than the hurdles. We, at Postbank, know success and the path that leads to it, and we believe that we will be useful to the young entrepreneurs not only as their mentor but also as a trusted financial partner."
Boyko Takov, Executive Director of the Bulgarian Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Promotion Agency:
"I am happy that we join the second edition of the Dare to Scale programme, which proved to be useful to the companies and has achieved very good results. That type of programmes are made even more valuable by the pandemic and the economic crisis that the global economy is going into. I believe that the knowledge and guidance that the entrepreneurs will receive will be priceless and will help them on their way forward. The programme fits in perfectly in the Agency's concept to offer even more added value."
Endeavor is an international non-governmental organization that has offices in over 40 markets that helps entrepreneurs that have big ideas and a business to grow quickly internationally. Endeavor's focus is on companies which are already successful in what they do but need more expertise, contacts and resources to take the next step in their development. Once selected in Endeavor's network, they have access to markets, capital and talent in a network of over 4,000 mentors and investors on a global level. Endeavor's entrepreneurs have created over three million jobs and have generated revenue of over USD 20 billion in 2019 alone.
Endeavor Bulgaria launched its activities in July 2015 in order to expand the organization's presence in Europe. The organization is supported by Board of Directors consisting of 13 proven entrepreneurs and business leaders who believe in Edeavor's mission to strengthen the local entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing the Bulgarian entrepreneurs with access to international markets, know-how and capital through the organization's global network. Thus far, 26 entrepreneurs from 16 companies, who have created over 500 jobs, and have generated revenue of over BGN 75 million for the past year. www.endeavor.bg