The Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center supported the first Teenovator program – entrepreneurship training for high school students

The Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center Foundation supported a new program designed to develop entrepreneurship at a high school level. It is called Teenovator and took place between October 2018 and May 2019. It was developed by the ProZnanie Foundation, Bulgaria, in collaboration with the Ustvarjalnik program in Slovenia.

Teenovator started in four elite Bulgarian high schools: Mathematics High School, High School No. 19, No. 105 and No. 32. The teaching began in October 2018. Eighty people in total started the education, fifty of whom continued and graduated. Teaching was held after school hours at 7h in the evening, once a week. The mentors were young people who had started their own businesses. Teenovator has all the licenses and permissions from the Ministry of Education and the Regional Inspectorate.

In January 2019, Teenovator organized a mid-term event called Startup Weekend. It took place at Sofia Tech Park and was opened by EU Commissioner Maria Gabrielle. Kids from all 4 schools had to form teams and present their ideas in front of judges.

The graduation day was on 10 May. Students had to form teams and present their ideas in front of judges. It was a competition between Bulgarian and Slovenian teams. A train of young Slovenians arrived the day before and the presentation was given in a hall near the central station under the patronage of the Slovenian Ambassador. The team which won was called Headstarter and it comprised students of the Mathematics High School. They had created a training and practice platform to connect students and business. On 24 June, the Mathematics High School team (8 kids) will travel to Slovenia. In September, they will attend an international competition under the patronage of the president of Slovenia.

The Teenovator program teaches how to develop soft skills. Students get different tasks which they have to master. For example, to take a photo with the mayor or do other jobs which are challenging and require creative skills. They have to overcome their fears, learn how to work in a team, create and develop a business idea, design a business model and plan for execution, learn how to pitch in front of investors.

Future of Teenovator: the goal is to expand the program into 25 more schools in the second year in Sofia as well as 5 schools in Varna. Teenovator is currently looking for funding and is hiring mentors. Please visit their website for more information: https://teenovator.bg/

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