The Community Center – a Social Enterprise
On September 27, 2019, we purchased a property in downtown Sofia which will be the venue of our multifunctional community hub, run as a social enterprise. This is the culmination of several years of working tirelessly to finance such a major endeavor. We received bank financing in the form of a social impact loan from a big Bulgarian bank (the very first such financial instrument in the country). We will be setting up a separate fundraising project on GlobalGiving to help raise the remaining capital needed to renovate and furnish the center.
We partnered up with Colibri Publishers to publish the acclaimed “Boy Erased” in Bulgarian and with the Cinelibri Film Festival to screen the movie (featuring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Lucas Hedges, directed by Joel Edgerton) in Bulgaria. We invited the author of the book, Garrard Conley, to visit Bulgaria for the movie premiere in four cities. All partners agreed that the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to support the only comprehensive services for LGBTI youth in Bulgaria, provided by Single Step.
In May 2019 we launched a career center for young LGBTI people who are just starting their career. To date, our VentureOUT Manager has had 29 unique clients (60+ consultations), which have resulted in 18 job placements and 6 people continuing their education. In our efforts to scale the initiative, we have partnered up with Capital, the most prominent Bulgarian business publication and the Bulgarian Venture Capital Association.
The CampOUT week-long workshop provided an opportunity for young LGBTI artists, who have already begun their development in one of five genres (music, dance, visual arts, fashion and photography), to gain knowledge and inspiration from successful Bulgarian and international mentors, to feel free and express themselves and to create a joint project within the workshop. Over 40 works, created during CampOUT – the first summer workshop for LGBTI artists, will be showcased at an exhibition in Sofia between October 17th and 25th in Sofia.