Sofia, Bulgaria – June 1, 2015 – With the launch of an office in Bulgaria, Endeavor now has a presence in three European countries. With the support of some of Bulgaria’s top businesses leaders, Endeavor will focus on fostering the entrepreneurs with the most potential to create jobs and transform the regional economy. Endeavor first expanded in Europe in 2012 with Endeavor Greece followed by the launch of Endeavor Spain in 2014.
Bulgaria has come a long way from its turbulent political and economic transition in the 1990s to becoming a member of the European Union in 2007. With average annual economic growth reaching 4% over the past decade, Bulgaria needs to build on the its achievements and continue to stimulate employment, business and investment growth. According to conclusions from the Global Entrepreneurship Index, Bulgaria is in need of institutional progress in the ecosystem that will result in more high-quality and innovative ventures that can continue to propel its development. Slowing recovery from the 2008 economic crisis demonstrates that there are still many challenges to the quality of entrepreneurship in the country, but the general population has a better than average attitude towards entrepreneurial activity when compared to the rest of the EU.
High-impact entrepreneurs have the potential to transform Bulgaria into a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship, which will create role models and inspirational stories for future generations to follow. Given access to the right mix of mentors, business networks, capital and strategic advice, Endeavor Entrepreneurs around the world have successfully attracted top talent and investment to the regions that need it the most. With a favorable environment for entrepreneurial growth, Bulgaria has the necessary infrastructure to build a support network for businesses that can move the needle of the economy.
“We are thrilled to continue our growth in Europe with this expansion in Bulgaria, which will continue the amazing work that Endeavor has already done in Greece and Spain,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “Great talent and ideas exist in every region of the world and Endeavor will help showcase Bulgaria’s top entrepreneurs on a global stage.”
Founded in 1997, Endeavor selects and supports high-impact entrepreneurs who have the potential to scale from promising SMEs into companies that create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs and generate significant revenues. Once selected, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are given world-class strategic mentoring advice, access to key networks and other tools and talent programs that can catapult them to success. In the past 17 years Endeavor has selected over a thousand entrepreneurs from 22 countries around the world in North America, Latin America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. In 2013, these entrepreneurs generated $6.8BN in revenue and created 400,000 jobs.
All of Endeavor’s global affiliates are spearheaded by a local board of business leaders and entrepreneurs. The Endeavor Bulgaria founding board include: Nedelcho Spasov, Co-Founder of Easy Asset Management; Christo Iliev, Founder & Executive Chairman of AG Capital; Lyubomir Minchev, Founder & CEO of Telelink; Atanas Simeonov, CEO of S Group; Vassil Terziev, Chief Innovation Officer of Progress Software; and Ivo Evgeniev, Co-Founder of Rosslyn Capital Partners.
“The Board of Endeavor Bulgaria looks forward to mentoring and supporting the best entrepreneurs across the country,” said Board Chairman Ivo Evgeniev. “We are at the start of making a significant and lasting impact on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bulgaria.”
Angel Kelchev will serve as Managing Director to oversee the successful launch of Endeavor Bulgaria. Angel has over eight years of M&A experience both in the U.S. and in Bulgaria. He has previously advised U.S. companies from a variety of sectors in the technology space, as well as various Bulgarian companies across sectors (e.g., telecom, FMCG, retail, agriculture, etc.). As MD, he will lead the day-to-day operations of the office in Sofia and will be involved in screening local entrepreneurs for selection into the network.