He is only 20 years old and is one of the first participants in the entrepreneurship trainings organized by the Regional Youth RAISE Center. He develops software applications, dances folk dances and dreams of turning his hometown Pernik into a hub for young and ambitious people with whom to develop not only themselves but also their region.

One night, he accidentally sees an ad for an entrepreneurship course on Facebook and says, "Why not?" He took part in the first two online lectures and was impressed by the mentors and their teaching methods. Thus, his participation continues during the attendance meetings at the Regional Youth RAISE Center - Breznik.

"It was very nice to see people in person, to make contact. "Live contact is very important," he said.

He added: “The most valuable in the entrepreneurship course was knowledge, but not only that. I learned to communicate with people I don't know and who I need to meet in 5 days so that we can be in help of one another. I also learned to think more creatively, not only in my comfort zone, but also out of it. Maybe that was the most important lesson I learned.”

Today, thanks to his ambition and perseverance, as well as his contacts during his studies, Alex is on the final step of starting his own software company. The name of the company is Graosoft

At the beginning of the training there was an idea to create a tourist mobile application in Pernik. Alex imagined how by scanning a QR code, 3D models of various landmarks will be displayed and it will be possible to play a recording that will tell about each of them as a guide. He decided to invite two of his friends with different expertise so that they can combine their knowledge and skills.

Together they wander between whether to direct the idea to the local government or directly to clients, but after a meeting with representatives of Pernik municipality they never receive support, although they worked tirelessly on a business plan, which they changed more than 20 times.

However, Alex does not stand idly by and decides to attend the second entrepreneurship training to meet the new group and exchange ideas. He then receives an invitation to a meeting from one of the people in the hall. They soon met and Alex received an offer from this man to invest in setting up an IT company in Pernik. To date, capital has already been invested and clients have been worked with even before the official establishment of the company.

Two new programmers are to be recruited, one of whom has just reached the age of 18. Alex believes that lack of experience is not a problem at all, because young people need to learn. He even dreams of eventually creating a partnership with different schools in Pernik.

"We will guide young people" hand to hand "through each project to get used to the work environment and be ready for the labor market," he added. Together they will develop and maintain systems for different clients and develop the region. The young man says that in time they would open offices in other places, but not in Sofia, as their dream is to change the look of the so-called province of Bulgaria. "There are a lot of talented people outside of Sofia and they need to be addressed," said Alex.

He is still in touch with his mentors, even recently visiting the third cohort of the Entrepreneurship course, and would be happy to join future initiatives at the youth center in Breznik , especially after seeing how many "cool" lecturers have been involved in the process.

The RAISE Youth project, implemented by the Center for Development of Sustainable Communities, covers over 500 young people aged between 18 and 29, living in the municipalities of Pernik, Breznik, Trun, Radomir, Zemen and Kovachevtsi, who are not currently involved. Within its framework, various trainings for career and personal development are passed, and the most active 20 participants will be provided with additional training and mentoring assistance to start their own business.

The RAISE Youth project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.


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