Council of the Women in the Business in Bulgaria is an organization, working in public benefit, which main goals are recognition and popularization of best practices and programs for encouraging the professional development of women in the small and middle-sized business and their professional growth to managerial positions, support of young specialists to realize their potential in Bulgaria and developing projects that aim at endorsing the talent in business activities.
With its over 150 corporate, individual and associated members, the organization unites leading managers with rich experience in management and corporate culture, technology and education, supporting the initiatives of the Council with their name and expertise. Since its establishment in December 2013, during all the years of its development, Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria has been building policies, developing activities and projects with the main goal – supporting national equality of women and men.
Council of the Women in the Business in Bulgaria is governed by a Management Board that consists of 11 ladies on top management positions in companies in sectors that are important for the economy. Chairperson of the Management Board is Dr. Eng. Boriana Manolova, CEO of Siemens for Bulgaria and North Macedonia. Executive director is Eng. Vanya Kaneva-Minkova.
The organizational activities of Council of the Women in the Business in Bulgaria are helped by three working groups – Communications, Human Resources and Networking. In 2020 an Alumni Club was created by the initiative of graduates of the Leadership Academy “Succeeding in Bulgaria”. Their members are also associated members of Council of the Women in the Business in Bulgaria.
Council of the Women in the Business in Bulgaria is a member of the Economic and Social Council, where the board member of CWBB Eng. Lidiya Shouleva is deputy-chairperson of the Economic and Social Council from the group of non-governmental organizations.
Council of the Women in the Business in Bulgaria organizes since 2014 the free of charge program Leadership Academy “We succeed in Bulgaria”, which each year prepares 40 ladies in mid-management positions or owners of small and middle-sized businesses for their next professional steps. The modules’ purpose is to develop leadership skills, which encourage the participants’ initiative and entrepreneurship spirit. In the trainings, members of the Council join to share their valuable professional experience. Leading partner of the program is UniCredit Bulbank.
In 2021 Council of the Women in the Business in Bulgaria started the project INCREDIBLE US – SUCCESSFUL TOGETHER in partnership with HP Enterprise. During the project, 11 women-leaders in business will work with 11 members of the Alumni Club of Leadership Academy of Council of the Women in the Business in Bulgaria, who will work over the course of one year for personal and professional development, for advancement of their leadership skills and for an increase of motivation and idea generation. The project will end at the end of 2021, with the ambition to become an annual mentoring program and develop the mentoring system as a key approach to stimulate and motivate young women on their path to career and professional development.
Since 2015, Council of the Women in the Business in Bulgaria organizes the National Internship Initiative “We remain in Bulgaria”, with a leading partner A1. The program is dedicated to the youngest future professionals, who could prove their abilities and skills, to enter the world of business and to receive the opportunity to develop in an environment which stimulates their realization in Bulgaria. The Initiative includes various trainings and company visits, organized by the members of the Council. Interns from all over the country participate in the program, and every year between 20% and 25% of them remain in permanent employment in the member companies of the Council.
Council of the Women in the Business in Bulgaria organizes the Global Women Leaders Forum, which unites female leaders from business, politics, as well as the social and cultural world. The Forum gives the participants a platform where the current trends in women empowerment and equality could be discussed. Additionally, it looks for new ways to support and improve the role of women in business and society. The Forum had two editions in 2016 with UNESCO’s partnership, and in 2018 in partnership with the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The main goal is to introduce inspiring role models for the future generations of women leaders. Lecturers at the Global Forum are representatives of business, government and non-governmental sector, culture, media, which focus on equality and empowerment of women.
Council of the Women in the Business in Bulgaria organizes Discussions Forums dedicated to current topics such as “Security and Sustainability” in 2018, “Women, business and Legislation”, in partnership with The Word Bank in 2019, “Smart Work. The future is here “in 2020“, “Challenges that Businesses Face. How will the business evolve and what are the predictions for sustainable growth” in 2020 and 2021 and “The constructive power of women in business and society” with prominent ladies from Veliko Tarnovo in 2021.
In 2020, Council of the Women in the Business in Bulgaria, in partnership with America for Bulgaria Foundation started to realize the project BASE – Business Academy for Starting Entrepreneurs who are learning to start and develop their own business. In the 13-week long training, managers and entrepreneurs from Council of the Women in the Business in Bulgaria share their knowledge and skills as speakers and mentors. The business plans of the starting entrepreneurs compete for an amount of money to be used for realizing their idea. The program has three editions – in Lovech in 2020, in Troyan in 2021 and in Veliko Tarnovo in 2021, with the support of local municipalities, business and cultural community. There are more editions to come in different settlements in the country.
In 2021 Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria in partnership with Konrad Adenauer Foundation is implementing the project NEW NORMAL FOR WOMEN @ LIFE AND WORK, which will research and evaluate the COVID-19 influence over the life and the work of women. It will present the POST COVID dimensions and it will prepare the participants in the project with the necessary methods and tools for change management, as well as teamwork, motivation and leadership in the new conditions.
In November 2021, Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation will organize the conference NEW NORMAL FOR WOMEN @ LIFE AND WORK, which will present the results of the project, as well as good business practices and models to cope with the crisis.