Bulgarian Young Leaders Summer Entrepreneurship Program 2010

Press Release

Bulgarian College Students Learn about Business and Leadership during the Inaugural Session of the Summer Entrepreneurship Program

NEW YORK, July 2, 2010—For five weeks this summer, thirty outstanding undergraduate students from Bulgaria are learning the fundamentals of entrepreneurship from business leaders and experts in New York, Boston and Chapel Hill, as part of the Bulgarian Young Leaders Program Summer Entrepreneurship Program (SEP), administered by IIE and sponsored by the America for Bulgaria Foundation.

The SEP program aims to help develop a generation of young Bulgarians who are capable of thinking and acting on a global level, and committed to working for the betterment of Bulgaria. From July 1st  through August 5th, the Bulgarian students, all in their second or third year of college, will have the opportunity to study at leading U.S. universities and interact with U.S. executives, entrepreneurs, and American peers. In addition, as part of the entrepreneurship training and leadership development program, participants are developing career plans and business plans. These plans will serve as a blueprint for how the students will apply what they have learned upon their return to Bulgaria.

The design of the New York component of the program establishes the foundation for the participants to develop the knowledge, skills, and attributes to become successful and responsible entrepreneurs and global business leaders, as well as to help them process and reflect on their learning. The program introduces students not to U.S. life and culture in three different cities, but also to aspects of U.S. higher education that are not as common in Bulgaria including collaborative work, oral presentations, and the case study pedagogical method. Students have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of entrepreneurship and leadership during their time at Babson College in Boston and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In a welcome address to the students, Carl H. Pforzheimer III, a member of the Board of Directors of the America for Bulgaria Foundation, announced that the foundation had allocated enough funds for a second SEP cohort in the summer of 2011. Mr. Pforzheimer also offered his advice and insights on the importance of international exchange and developing entrepreneurial and leadership skills in business.

IIE Trustees Tom Russo, Mark A. Angelson, Laurence C. Morse, and Maria Livanos Cattaui also led sessions with the students who are eager to learn about business and finance from leading professionals in the United States. Other presenters for the SEP program include: John Marchant, Co-founder of Business360; Maria Torres, Executive Vice President and the Chief of Staff of the New York City Economic Development Corporation; Monica Levy, Manager of Professional Development at Clifford Chase LLP; and Irina Avtsin, an expert in strategy and business development, conflict resolution and managing complex cross organizational projects.

In addition to the educational and informative modules related to entrepreneurship, the group will also take in the sights and sounds of each city, from a guided tour of Wall Street in New York, to a trip to Newburyport near Boston, and the Bele Chere Festival in North Carolina.

Learn more about the Bulgarian Young Leaders Program