One of the partners of the Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center is Sofia Residence Hotel in Sofia. Larry Biehl, the founder of the foundation, and the lecturers he brings from the United States often stay there.
The small boutique hotel offers comfort and coziness, emphasizing a personal touch when it comes to its clients. Recently the hotel manager, Svetla Ivanova, together with the Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center, launched a social project aimed at supporting the lives of elderly people and people with disabilities. Recently, guests have become more and more demanding and they care about what the management of the place where they stay is. Only comfort and good services are not enough and the competition is great.
A new trend is for hotel staff to engage in social causes, such as in their spare time to help elderly people, people with disabilities, children in need, and others. The task of a good manager is to motivate her employees to participate in such projects. They donate part of their spare time free of charge, in the evening or on the weekend by working as volunteers, contributing to society.
In turn, more and more people prefer to stay in hotels whose management is dealing with such initiatives. Thus, staying there, they help them. Their money goes to this hotel, which, in addition to providing good services, also performs good deeds.
This is precisely the essence of the pilot project, which started at the beginning of 2019 at Sofia Residence Hotel. The campaign was opened in mid-January with a concert by Lilly Drumeva, attended by hotel owners, staff and many guests. Since then, Sofia Residence employees have spent many hours of useful work helping their elderly neighbors, people with disabilities, disadvantaged children and others.
Yuliana Milanova, for example, regularly reads books to a blind neighbor. Victoria Dukova buys groceries for a 92-year-old neighbor twice a week. Boris Barkev donates clothes and food to homeless people in the neighborhood where he lives. Vasya Asenova regularly cooks and cleans the house of an elderly man. Mimi Tseneva takes care of a 30-year-old boy suffering from schizophrenia. There are many examples.
The hotel director, Svetla Ivanova, regularly holds meetings with the staff, who share their experience and offer new ideas for useful work. Customers, for their part, understand these initiatives through a brochure in each room. There they can read in detail about all hotel social activities and make a donation.
In the United States, more and more hotels are following this trend. The Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center supports it and hopes that in Bulgaria, too, the hoteliers will go along this road.