SOFIA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION was founded as non-profit organization with the decision 348
of the Sofia Municipal Council to work for the sustainable development of the capital.

New Generation Skills

 Young generations have the potential to be pro-active engines of innovation and become change-makers in their local communities. However, 62% of young people in Central and Eastern Europe are not interested in starting their own business, whereas one in five would like to, but consider it too difficult. That's the reason why Sofia Development Association and Sofia Municipality becames partner of the project New Generation Skills, funded by the Danube Transnational Program.

Between June 27 and 29, 2017, partners from Liberec (Czech Republic), Budapest (Hungary), Maribor (Slovenia), Cluj (Romania), Graz (Austria), Belgrade (Serbia) and Sofia met in Liberec to compare and discuss their local environments to support youth. The primary target of the joint efforts are young people (15-29). Cities and regions aim to engage SME's, NGO's, administrations, educational organisations and also mentors, lectors and coaches to build and test common initiatives supporting the young. The interregional workshop identified shared challenges, selected established good practices and outlined the next steps: developing local innovation agendas and transnational innovation lab.
More information on the project is available at



Sofia Innovation Advisory Group

Sofia Municipality established a Local Innovation Advisory Group to assist the city in developing more efficient policies for youth entrepreneurship and innovation. The Advisory Group was founded in the framework of the New Generation Skills project, INTERREG Danube Transnational Program, co-funded by the EU funds.

Sofia Municipality and Sofia Development Association are project partners, together with 10 other partners from 6 other countries. The Advisory Group includes diverse experts from the areas of social entrepreneurship (Yuriy Valkovski, Reach for Change Director), incubators and investment funds (Milen Hristov, Founder Institute), education, science and technology (Vasil Karaivanov, Sofia Tech Park Board of Directors Chairperson; Mariana Hamanova, Cleantech; Ivo Ivanov, 134 Secondacy School), Sofia municipal councilors Mihaela Ivanova and Botyo Botev, co-authors of Sofia Youth Strategy. The Advisory Group will stregthen the ability of Sofia to upgrade cooperation between administration, companies, educations, the youth and business support organizations and NGOs to nurture and retain young talent. The first meeting of the group took place on June 1st, 2017.

Further project activities include creating a dynamic learning program for entrepreneurial skills, coaching and mentoring provided through an Innovation Lab, youth policy development through peer learning.

More about the project here:

NewGenerationSkills Kick-off meeting and Launching event

Municipality of Újbuda as Lead Partner of the NewGenerationSkills Interreg Danube transnational project welcomed the projects to Kick-off Meeting and launching conference on 28 February – 1 March 2017 in Budapest.

The Sofia Development Association team, as knowledge partner and WP Innovation Capacities Coordinator took part in the meeting and launching event.

On March, 1 the project Launching event gathered 80 experts and citizens in the Bartok.32 Gallery to discuss the innovation potential of the youth, their entrepreneurial skills and preparedness to become entrepreneurs.

We presented the innovation potential of Sofia and what we will bring to the project.

As the March, 1 is also a Bulgarian traditional holiday called Baba Marta we surprised the partners and guests sharing our tradition by offering all of them the traditional Bulgarian martenitza.

More details about the programme are included in the Agenda

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