Young Entrepreneurs Guild training: How do you start a business?

From 31/10 to 04/11 we hosted the first Learning and Training activity for the project Young Entrepreneurs Guild, where a group of 18 young people interested in improving their entrepreneurial skills took part. 

We started the week off with making sure we are on the same page – establishing who an entrepreneur is, where we all stand with entrepreneurship, what is the situation in our respective countries, and most importantly breaking the ice. 

On Tuesday we were happy to host the Infinite Opportunities Association, a local NGO, who were kind enough to introduce us to their board game BARABAR. During the gameplay, participants activated skills like creativity, problem-solving, strategic thinking, and collaborative teamwork. We also had the chance to listen to the story of Barabar, what it took for it to exist, and why it became a success. 

After making sure we have a strong group dynamic, we moved onto the second part of the week – designing your own business. The groups got familiar with the process of design thinking and tools that helped them develop their ideas. 

The process wasn’t easy, but after a while the participants were coming up with great ideas that they could try out later. During the prototyping phase, the groups imagined what the implementation process could have looked like, and from that point their final idea gained some clarity. 

The last step of these workshops was contextualising their idea and trying to place it in reality. To do that, participants were introduced to the Business Model Canvas, and having filled it out, they were ready to present their ideas. 

To take some small breaks in between working on their business ideas, we invited two guests to speak about their entrepreneurial experience. One – Alicia Moran – created a space for Spanish-speaking poets to express their art. This later turned into another creative project, which aims to help people find their passion and inspire them to make their dreams a reality. Alicia conducted a short exercise to show us what her project was all about. As a result, many participants found their passion and made it a goal to live according to their dreams

The other guest we had the chance to host was Anastasiia Dehtiarova, the co-founder of OpenBulgaria. Ana walked us through the whole story of going from idea to making this project a reality, with one thing in mind: to help the international community of Sofia. Soon enough, the community expanded, and with that, so did the project. Now OpenBulgaria consists of many volunteers offering their expertise to sustain the community during events, making informational content for the website, and creating a space where you can easily find friends. 

As the week came to a close, we finished with evaluating the whole experience. Participants were invited to one last dinner together, where we said our last goodbyes. 

All in all, the participants gained valuable insight into what it takes to start a business. We can confidently say that they left Sofia with a head full of ideas, and we wish them all success in their future endeavours!


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