SOFIA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION was founded as non-profit organization with the decision 348
of the Sofia Municipal Council to work for the sustainable development of the capital.


After several intensive learning sessions, the first drafts of the business plans of the participants (refugees) in the Business Accelerator program under the PLOUTOS project are finally ready. Ideas for service businesses such as culinary experiences, community hairdressing, and music schools were thoroughly discussed.

One highlight was a session featuring a special guest mentor, Milad, a Syrian refugee who successfully established his own small business. On March 6th, participants had the opportunity to meet Milad face-to-face. He graciously shared his journey and the challenges he overcame to set up a thriving restaurant in downtown Sofia. From licensing to initial investments, access to banking and credit, hiring practices, and even attitudes towards refugees, Milad provided invaluable insights.

Among the key lessons shared were:

          “Investing in your employees pays off: it helps retain trained staff and is also a way to support the refugee community"

          "The location is crucial. I chose a spot in the downtown area, close to schools and offices, which naturally attracted clients."

          "Local clients appreciate it when you speak their language."

          "Consistently delivering high-quality products keeps customers coming back."

          "Regularly analyzing sales data allows for adjustments in recipes, pricing, and promotions."

The participants in the Business Acceleration program greatly valued the opportunity to learn directly from peers. This firsthand knowledge not only enriches their understanding but also equips them to avoid common pitfalls.

Don't miss the chance to watch the video featuring Milad as he shares his inspiring story and valuable insights:


PLOUTOS is implemented with the support of the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.


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