Competence center for social innovation – National Action Plan – Bulgaria

The establishment of national competence centers for social innovation has become a significant endeavor supported by the European Commission, aimed at fostering social innovation across the European Union. Among the six projects backed by the Commission, SI PLUS stands out as a pioneering initiative. Over a period of two years, from May 2021 to July 2023, SI PLUS brings together social innovation organizations, research centers, ESF managing authorities, and other partners to design and develop competence centers. These centers play a vital role in assisting their respective countries in promoting social innovation, including accessing funding from ESF+ and other EU programs. The Social Innovation Plus – Center for Competences project focuses on preparing the groundwork for national social innovation competence centers. These centers are strategically positioned to support Managing Authorities in planning and implementing subsidy programs aimed at boosting social  innovation.

Additionally, they provide valuable support to social innovators, enabling them to maximize the benefits
derived from these programs. Moreover, through networking and knowledge exchange activities, the
competence centers assist other centers in becoming more effective in their respective fields. The implementation of a National Competence Center in Bulgaria is a significant milestone in the country’s
pursuit of fostering social innovations that support the social economy and social entrepreneurship.

While recent years have witnessed positive advancements in social economy engagement, improved regulations, and better access to financing, there remains a pressing need for focused policy measures. The National Competence Center endeavors to address this need by facilitating the development of social innovations and increasing the visibility of social enterprises within the country. By providing targeted support and  guidance, the center aims to further enhance the social economy’s growth and impact in Bulgaria.