GEM Bulgaria: Younger Generations Need the Right Environment to Match Their Entrepreneurial Spirit

Stefan Bumov, Deputy CEO of HeleCloud, was on the Expert Board that drafted this year’s Entrepreneurship Report

November 29, 2019, Sofia. GEM Bulgaria presented its annual report on entrepreneurship in Bulgaria highlighting that Bulgaria ranks first out of the countries monitored in terms of the number of businesses that are over 3.5 years old, showing that there is an opportunity for success but that more still needs to be done to support younger businesses in the region. This is supported by the findings that the younger generation in Bulgaria are also showing a desire for entrepreneurship.

“The advantage of entrepreneurship is that people who have made the journey in difficult economic conditions can succeed in an inhospitable environment,” said Stefan Bumov, deputy CEO of HeleCloud, who participated in the Expert Board responsible for drafting this year’s report. He added that “entrepreneurship is influenced by many factors that contribute to a healthy ecosystem that will stimulate and enable innovative people to start new companies in different sectors. Access to finance, supported by state policies to stimulate new business is important, as this allows Bulgarians to take initiative and boldly implement their ideas.”

According to Mr Bumov, however, investing in entrepreneurship is difficult in Bulgaria. Most investment funds are focused on already started, high value-added businesses that have gone through the riskiest initial stages of development, with a product or service already developed and a good business plan. Foreign funds, on the other hand, focus on export-oriented companies. The survey shows that over 50% of businesses in the country are in low value-added sectors targeted at the internal market that are not attractive to investment funds.

The entrepreneurial landscape in the Balkans is determined by the fact that it has succeeded in creating centres for digital and technology start-ups, some of which are globally recognized. At the same time, many international IT companies are opening and expanding their centres in Bulgaria, recognizing the knowledge and skills of talent in the country. In practice, this is a certificate for the good ecosystem in the country and the potential of the talent, who, however, are rarely determined to take the step towards developing their own product and developing their business.[AB1]

For Stefan Bumov, an important focus of the report is that education is inextricably linked to the entrepreneurial intentions and vibrancy of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, as it gives entrepreneurs the confidence that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to start a business. For HeleCloud, investment in education is a very important element of its business DNA, which is why the company partnered with the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at Sofia University for a second consecutive year to offer the program “Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud Architecture Fundamentals” to students.

In conclusion, GEM Bulgaria highlights that the Bulgarian entrepreneurial ecosystem is one of the main drivers of the development of the regional community, but the entrepreneurial landscape in Bulgaria needs to be supported and nurtured before the country becomes prominent in the international rankings of entrepreneurial activity.

About HeleCloud

HeleCloud is a technology consultant on the Amazon Web Services platform with offices in London, The Hague and Sofia. The company assists medium and large organizations in building their cloud vision for the development and implementation of their cloud strategies through its leading Cloud Roadmap methodology. HeleCloud provides cloud services that help the digital transformation of its customers and help them focus on their core business and their customers for added value.

The HeleCloud team is made up of highly qualified consultants and engineers specializing in information security and international regulation, Big Data, information analysis, AI and the Internet of Things. 

Background of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor

The independent study on entrepreneurship by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor has welcomed Bulgaria 4 years ago in its annual tracking of entrepreneurship rates and analysing national environments and global dynamics. Bulgaria launched reports 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 and is now presenting two years-worth of data and analysis in the current combined 2017/2018 & 2018/2019 report. GEM provides unique information on individuals – attributes, values, activities, and their interaction with the environment in practising entrepreneurial behaviour – proactiveness, innovativeness, and responsible choices.