Sofia Municipal Council voted the establishment of a new stabilization and recovery financial scheme entitled “The Crisis as an Opportunity”. It is designed to support microenterprises and social enterprises in the post the COVID-19 crisis. These enterprises, affected badly by the lockdown and the economic recession, can apply for non-repayable grants of up to 20,000 BGN (10,000 EUR). The total amount of the scheme is 500,000 BGN (250,000 EUR), provided by the municipal budget of Sofia. The scheme is part of the portfolio of Sofia Public-Private Fund for Innovations and is managed by Sofia Development Associations.

The scheme combines financial support, training and ongoing mentoring/guidance to help the microenterprises and social enterprises mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and strengthen their ability to return to growth through improved digital services and processes. Their digital transformation efforts will be supported for a period of 6 months – December 2020 to May 2021.

The scheme stirred significant interest. To help potential applicants develop quality applications, two information days were held and several mentoring sessions with experts in the areas of digital markets and services, organizational development, impact and outreach, communications. In result 455 eligible candidates have already applied.

“This is not only a scheme to provide some relief and financial injection to the vulnerable social and microenterprises. This is also an investment in our city because it will lead to a stabilized and digitalized economic and social environment and the wellbeing of our community”, said Ms. Malina Edreva, Sofia Municipal Council members.