Yes, it was a fun training
Some of you may have organized events - conferences, seminars, trainings.. And you may have sent out or given surveys at the end of the event to the participants so you could hear their feedback. We do the same. And we hear the feedback and we are constantly trying to improve our Social Entrepreneurship seminars. We are flexible in terms of time and duration, we include role play games and brainstorming sessions, we encourage discussions...
In June 2018 we organized a Business Start Up training in the town of Ruse, North Bulgaria. The training was fully financed by the Municipality, as they heard good feedbacks about us. We had a group of 13 people, the majority of them from surrounding villages and somehow related to agriculture. They were all middle-aged and the first day they "welcomed" us with "Oh, what can you teach us, we have so many years of business experience.". Thanks God, we as trainers did not get discouraged, but instead thought the training content with the same passion and enthusiasm as usual. A day after the training completed we were eager to read the survey forms. To our pleasant surprise the most important question: "What could we change in our training in order to improve it?" was left blank on almost all forms. Well, some had written: "Nothing, you are perfect" or "Keep it the way it is, it is great!", but the most common response was just a blank line. Tied with the other answers on the forms we realized that our optimistic attitude and motivation to teach even after the initial wall built from the participants, has changed the atmosphere and affected positively to the whole class. We were also glad to read the ranking of our modules. We have never doubted that businesses in Bulgaria lack integrity, but it was inspiring to see that the most liked session was on Ethics and Moral in Business. This was an affirming guiding light that we are moving in the right direction.
Now as year 2018 finished here are some statistics.. With your help 63 people were trained how to start and run small business. 7 Businesses were launched as a result of the Business Start Up seminars. With the help the loan fund (thank you for giving!) we were able to finance 5 of these businesses. Our Loan repayment rate was 66% which was mainly affected by the death of one of our entrepreneurs and the fact that we had to write off his debt. With these numbers we consider this a successful year and we are so thankful that you supported us! We are expecting more exciting changes to happen in 2019 and we will continue trusting God that our cause is worth investing in. Our yearly budget is only 40000$ and we believe that with your help we will continue changing not only individual lives but the local business environment in Bulgaria.
Thank you once again for keeping Bulgaria in your hearts in 2018!
One of our trainers was a University lecturer