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Project Experience

Improving skills of producers towards stronger links

Ref. No 2007CB16IPO008-2009-1-086


Within the project 40 people were selected for
training, most of them disadvantaged - Gypsies, or extremely poor, long-term
unemployed etc. from rural areas in the municipality. A special educational
program was made for their professional training in the cultivation of forage
and dairy cattle and they were trained for 6 months. In addition counselling
and advice in business start-up, business planning and strategy development,
technology transfer, legal affairs, finance and marketing were provided. The scientific
transfer and best practices exchange aimed to create a knowledge based economy
at the end was organised including 5 days Cross border Milk festival aimed to
promote best Business and cross-border cooperation practices and strengthening
the transfer of expertise.

Many of the trainees found work at home or abroad shortly after
completion of the course. One student shortly thereafter became an independent
agricultural producer and employer for his entire family of 42 people (including
grandchildren). Another managed to prepare a project and to expand his farm of
40 to 400 heads of cattle.

Improved Agriculture Improved Social Links

Ref. No 2007CB16IPO008-2009-1-081


The scope of the project was through development of joint training
products and manuals to make scientific transfer and best practices exchange
aimed to the creation of a knowledge based economy. In traditional wine growing
municipality Stambolovo, 40 trainees were selected, half of them disadvantaged
ethnic minorities, discouraged by long-term unemployment but with potential for
development and the others, owners of land and property in the region. The top
expert in cultivation of vines and production of wine trained and prepared them
to adapt to new European trends and requirements for quality grape and wine production.
During the project different cross border initiatives between relevant
professional associations for the promotion of entrepreneurial collaborations
were developed and implemented. At the end a Cross border Vine festival with 50
guest from Bulgaria was organised. The project developed warm friendships
between participants on both sides of the border. Now, several years after the
project ended, experts from Bulgaria continue to help the vine business in
Turkey. Even while the training took place one of the participating trainees won
second prize for best wine at the Winery Plovdiv, the first prize was given to
a famous Italian wine cellar. The Special Commission designated wine cellar
“Tukmakli”, as the best of 2012 in Bulgaria. Six months later, another trainee
became the personal supplier to the Dutch princess Laurentien van Oranje for
organic grapes and wine.

Cover history without boundary

Ref. No 2007CB16IPO008-2009-1-049


In recent years many projects and new exhibitions of cultural heritage were
made in the region, but staff training is lagging behind. Therefore, in the
current project three consecutive trainings for over 120 young or disadvantaged
people were organized. Joint training products and manuals were developed. Besides
the trainings during the projects, capacity building initiatives and schemes aimed to reinforce
social and cultural links were organized. This was achieved through counselling
and advice learnt from business start-up, business planning and strategy
development, technology transfer, legal affairs, finance and marketing. At the
end an information networks for culture and tourism messengers on both sides -
Database was established which will allow people, who want to travel, to have
access to a random trainee who will help them during their visit in terms of
finding a way to access the defined tangible and intangible heritage and
provide information on structures/places/folklore. The cultural cooperation was
achieved through two joint simultaneous cultural forums in CBR Bulgaria-Turkey
and cultural tourism days in Turkey, with the main aim to encourage
intercultural dialogue.

Cultural heritage –
asset for cross-border cohesion and prosperity

Ref. No 2007CB16IPO008-2011-2-022


Our organization helped the development of cross-border
collaboration of cultural institutions and organizations by the creation of new
common cross-border cultural products and services for the development of
cultural tourism. Several experts and volunteers collected joint information
about the cross-border area’s natural resources protection, exchange of best
practices and know-how in the sphere of revival and preservation of the
cultural heritage, promotion of natural and cultural sites and their
transformation into tourist sites. The results were:

Elaboration of a study for cultural and historical heritage
Assessment of the researched cultural and historical resources
Elaboration of a Concept for cultural
heritage development in the Haskovo – Kirklareli region

Savoring Unique Nature - Bicycle tourism in support of Nature (SUN)

Ref. No 2007CB16IPO007-2011-2-086


After Research and analysis of opportunities for cycling, as a
prerequisite for environmental protection in CBR three cross-border networks -
a Cross-border network for research, analysis and creating solutions for overcoming
environmental problems, a cross-border network between youth, sport and tourist
organizations and a cross-border network were created between environmental
tourist organizations in the region. Over 8 awareness activities were
implemented in order for the four partners to promote cycle tourism among CBR
citizens in Bulgaria-Macedonia as an opportunity for environmental protection
and sustainable development – seminars, trainings, competitions, workshops and
at the end a 9 day CBR Velotour. The project ended with the development of
joint cross-border cycling tourism products and 3 CB veloroutes.

Social agri-entrepreneurship for people with disabilities in the crossborder area

Ref. No 2014-2020 IVA Greece-Bulgaria CP:22 MIS: 5017158

2018- Present

Aim of the project is to promote the successful and competitive social entrepreneurship of disabled people in rural areas.
The specific objectives of the project are the:
• Development of operational tools and guidelines for successful social entrepreneurship of disabled people in rural areas.
• Improvement of practical knowledge and skills of disabled people for entrepreneurship related to agriculture, agro-tourism and outdoor sporting activities in rural areas
• Promote the establishment and operation of social enterprises for disabled people related to: (a) agriculture, and (b) agro-tourism and outdoor sporting activities in rural areas
• Acceleration and support of social entrepreneurship for disabled people in the cross border area.

Expected Outputs
The main outputs are the:
(a) toolbox that may support a broad range of social entrepreneurship attempts of disabled people,
(b) field labs of training to improve the skills of 150 participants,
(c) ready to use business templates, and
(d) on-line incubator of social entrepreneurship as one-stop-shop of support.

The outputs of the project, in relation to the specific objectives of the project, are:
-Entrepreneurship tools for disabled people:
• Legal framework of establishment and operation manual,
• Building confidence and aspirations guide,
• Promoting social inclusion through entrepreneurship guidelines,
• Funding opportunities manual,
• Business plans development guide,
• Marketing, promotion and management manual

- Improvement of practical knowledge and skills, through:
• Field Labs of capacity building in agriculture/gardening,
• Field Labs in agro-tourism and outdoor sporting activities in coastal and inland areas (e.g fishing, biking, cross-country),
• e-learning platform

- Promote social enterprises related to ''Agriculture'', through:
• Legal/social/cultural challenges for agricultural related enterprises,
• Market analysis and opportunities/niches identification,
• Farming guides and technical solutions for disable people,
• Business model templates

- Promote social enterprises related to ''Agrotourism & outdoor sporting activities in rural areas'' through:
• Legal/social/cultural challenges for enterprises related to agro tourism and outdoor sporting activities,
• Market analysis and opportunities,
• Guidelines for accessibility and safety in the organization of rural sporting and touristic activities,
• Business model templates.

- Social entrepreneurship acceleration and support, through:
• On-line incubator of social entrepreneurship (e-platform for networking-cooperation, e-learning),
• Networking database of rural social enterprises and cross visits of knowhow exchange,
• Roadmap for successful social rural entrepreneurship in the CB area


Social Sector


Economic Sector


Political Sector


Contact Info
European Integration Agency (EIA)
+359 38 620054
eia.bulgaria (at  sign)


EIA has competences in both working with people in the disadvantage situation as well as disabled persons. EIA has a wide network of professionals and experts in the field of interpreting your ship and help of disadvantaged and disabled people. Through this network EIA can attract and include relevant experts in order to help establish many of the activities for agricultural social entrepreneurship of disabled people.

Structure, Personnel and Resources:

EIA has a standard organizational structure in which the chairwoman delegates the strategic responsibilities to the managing director who in turn delegates individual tasks to internal staff of experts / consultants (7), Volunteers (120) and external experts in the network (25). The resources which EIA has is primarily the above-mentioned network of experts.

Durability of the projects’ results:

EIA has a number of projects implemented all of which continue in some way to have a durable effect in their fields of intervention, often through the monitoring and efforts of it’s volunteer base. The organization also has an extended IT infrastructure and technical resources through which it continues to support and sustain previously implemented projects and endeavors. Furthermore, a majority of trainees in previous projects remain in good communications with our organization. They share achieved after completion of training their new successes, help as volunteers in ongoing initiatives, and some of them are returning as mentors for future projects.