Application procedures

Rinker's Challenge
The programme that you both knowledge and cash

Application procedures


1. Introduction

Rinker Centre for entrepreneurship and training was set up to encourage education and life-long learning as well as to support entrepreneurship and business development in Bulgaria.
Developing rural areas and encouraging social entrepreneurship are among the Centre's priorities.

The Centre is run by Bulgarian Charities Aid Foundation (BCAF). It was established in 2014.

The programmes are oriented towards creating opportunities for sustainable employment, improving competitive power, adding value and innovation aiming to improve the quality of life in Bulgaria, primarily rural areas of the country. The Centre's main programmes work towards training and spreading the spirit of entrepreneurship among children and adults. It also provides further training and qualification of the Bulgarian teachers by encouraging the use of innovative technologies, interactive methods of teaching and understanding students with special needs, learning difficulties, and ethnic minorities. Furthermore, the Centre will support active young people through specific training.


2. About Rinker's Challenge Programme

Rinker's Challenge is a training programme for entrepreneurs run by Rinker Centre at Bulgarian Charities Aids Foundation.
Rinker's Challenge provides an opportunity for start-up Bulgarian entrepreneurs to attend a comprehensive structured training, teambuilding and coaching sessions, as well as individual work with leading professionals and entrepreneurs in all fields of the business sector.

Rinker's Challenge is a programme that will allow you to:
• Shape up your idea
• Assess its feasibility
• Become aware of the weight of running a business
• Develop a business plan which will be clear and understandable even to an investment banker
• Be able to present your concept in a way that grabs the attention of investors.


3. Who is this programme for?

The Rinker's Challenge programme targets entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs who:
• Have a good business idea even if they don't have a registered company
• Have a good business idea and a newly developed company

4. Who can apply?

The programme is eligible to:
а/ individual physical entities or teams who do not constitute one legal entity. The programme is open to freelancer, agricultural farmers, etc.
b/ legal entities that are:
• companies
• non-for-profit organisations
• community centres
• cooperatives
• agricultural farmers

a/ The following groups are not eligible:
• municipal social enterprises
• enterprises with the state and/or municipality as a majority stakeholder
• trade unions
• enterprises for producing special purpose goods (military industry)
• security companies
• gambling organisations
b/ The following applicants are not eligible:
• new branches of functioning companies
• Companies that have until now acquired external funding greater than 100 000 BGN.
• Companies that have generated income greater than 100 000 BGN a year can only participate after additional consideration by the jury.
• Projects which are extensions of existing companies owned by investment bodies.


5. Fields of business

We invite entrepreneurs from all fields of business: education, IT, culture, agriculture, organic farming, social services, healthcare, light industry, etc.
We strongly encourage projects from Popovo municipality, region of Turgovishte to participate but we will support projects from all over Bulgaria.

6. Social entrepreneurship

When applying to Rinker's Challenge programme you will have to define yourself either as an entrepreneur or social entrepreneur.
Rinker Centre applies the working definition of the Social enterprises in Bulgaria Forum, which is: „A social enterprise is an organization which develops a sustainable trade activity in the name of a social cause."

The most significant differentiation between social enterprises and non-for-profit organizations on the one hand, and social enterprises and a mainstream company is the following:
• A social enterprise generates income from trade mainly rather than grants and donations.
• The main aim of a social enterprise is achieving social change.
• A social enterprise reinvests its profit in its social cause.
Moreover, social enterprises are:
• Independent of state
• Accountability and transparency are run with view to its social mission.


7. Eligibility criteria

• Motivation – strong motivation to make an achievement
• Educational background, qualification and experience of the applying person or team which is relevant to the business idea
• Complementing competences in the team
• Resources and access to resources for the applicants
• Quality and applicability of the business ideas

8. Selection of candidates

Applicants will be assessed against the above mentioned criteria by the documents submitted and interviews.
30 participants will be selected. A team may be represented by 3 participants maximum.


9. What does the programme include?

9.1. Training
9.1.1. " Modelling perfection"
The participants will be introduced to the leading "learning-by-doing" approach in the world of start-up entrepreneurs as well as the main techniques of developing a vital business model (Business Model Canvas, Value Proposition Canvas, Lean Canvas). After the practical training the participants will be able to assess the feasibility of their ideas as well as the possibilities of developing a business model based on their ideas.
9.1.2. " Lubricating the mechanisms"
The training will cover topics related to the daily functioning of a business: finance and accounting, human resource management, strategic planning, marketing and selling.
This stage will be followed by individual work on the business model using a specially designed form. They will also be able to apply for funding of their preliminary research.
9.1.3. "The business plan through the eyes of an investor" and "THE GRAND FINALE"
The training will enable participants to develop their ideas into a business model and to practice presenting their projects to investors.
After the training the participants will have one month to develop a written business plan before moving on to the next stages of the programme.

9.2. Funding
The participants will be able to get funding in two stages. This funding is not guaranteed and will be granted only after successful development of the business idea in line with the aims of the programme. There are certain application procedures and success criteria developed for each programme stage and these will be presented in details to all participants.
9.2.1. Funding the preliminary project research
The participants will fill in a Preliminary Project Research Funding Request after the second training along with developing their business models. The available funding will cover a more detailed development of a business plan. These may include marketing research, developing prototypes, etc.
Preliminary Project Research Funding will be made available to up to 6 individuals or teams and will total up to 5000 BGN.
9.2.2. Funding the business plans
The participants will present their business plans to Rinker's Challenge jury, which includes representatives of Rinker Centre, Bulgarian Charities Aid Foundation and popular Bulgarian and foreign entrepreneurs, bankers and university fellows.
Three (3) of the business plans will be excelled and granted a funding of up to 20 000 BGN. It is expected that this funding will be part of the total start-up capital of the project.

9.3. Individual support
9.3.1. Accelerator
After presenting the business models and submitting the Preliminary Project Research Funding Requests, the Rinker's Challenge jury will select 12 individual participants and teams to move on to the last training and the Programme Accelerator to enable them to develop vital business plans. Experts from all fields of business and of diverse competence will provide individual support to each participant in developing the plans. Consultations will be face-to-face, by telephone or skype. Their frequency will be preliminary identified and mandatory for each programme participant.
9.3.2. Incubator
After presenting the business plans to Rinker's Challenge jury will select 3 to receive funding for putting them into practice. Additionally, the top three participants will also continue to receive personalised support by the interdisciplinary teams of mentors throughout the first year of their business initiative. Consultations will be face-to-face, by telephone or skype. Their frequency will be preliminary identified and mandatory for each programme participant.

10. Timeline and significant dates

Stage Timeline
Application by 31 December 2014
Application assessment and interviews 5 – 16.01.2015
STAGE 1 / Training
"Modelling perfection" 22 – 23.01.2015
"Lubricating the mechanisms". 24.01.2015
–Developing a business model based on the knowledge received in training.
Completing a form and a Preliminary Project Research Funding Request. 25 – 29.01.2015
Presenting the business models to the jury. 30.01.2015
STAGE 2 / Selling the concept
"The business plan through the eyes of an investor" along with "THE GRAND FINALE" 6 – 7.02.2015
STAGE 3 / Accelerator
Accelerator – Work on the preliminary project research (with or without approved funding). Developing the business plans. 8.02 – 8.03.2015
Presenting the business plans to Rinker's Challenge jury. 11.03.2015
STAGE 4 / Incubator
Incubator 01.04.2015 - 31.03.2016


11. Participants general commitments

The commitments of the participants and the framework of the support available will be agreed on with each participant. The main time commitments that participants are expected to make are related to:
• Attending the three training modules
• Developing a business model, preliminary project research request, business plan
• Participate in the minimum number of meetings and other forms of individual consultations.


12. Application documentation and applying procedures

Application is online and in Bulgarian only.
You need to fill in an Application form and attach signed and scanned the following documents:
1. CV/s (for each of the team member applying)
2. Appendices / Declarations:
1. Appendix 1 / Formal declaration (for each of the team member applying)
2. Appendix 2 / Organisational structure
3. Appendix 3 / Confidentiality form (for each of the team member applying)
4. Appendix 4 / Personal data form (for each of the team member applying)

IMPORTANT NOTE – confidentiality statement:
Bulgarian Charities Aid Foundation will not share any information about the applicants received during the process of applying and assessment. We commit to keeping all projects and any relations to them confidential.
BCAF may use information related to this competition for future analyses and training in the form of a summary. Disclosing specific data and names may only occur with the consent of the applicant.

For questions please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
tel.: 02/987 1574, 981 1901, 988 0080; 0886 760730
Pavel Panayotov, Director of Entrepreneurship Programmes

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