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Sustainable Entrepreneurship along the Danube - Educational Program in Bulgaria

On 21st December 2021, as part of the DANUrB+ school programs, National Tourism Cluster “Bulgarian Guide” organized an online workshop “Sustainable Entrepreneurship along the Danube”. Attended by representatives of six vocational schools and gymnasiums from three different Bulgarian Danube towns – Vidin, Svishtov and Ruse, the event focused on the school programs in shrinking settlements and the planned for the Spring of 2022 Competition for young entrepreneurs based on the DANUrB+ Quality label criteria.
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DANUrB+ project was presented, emphasizing on the role of the local communities and educational institutions in shrinking towns along the Danube. The DANUrB+ Quality Label criteria were presented and their connection to the planned school initiatives was explained in detail. The latest trends for tourism and creative industries were pointed as a factor in the development and revitalization of shrinking cities. There are a lot of challenges in the current situation worldwide, not only in the Danube Region, and adaptation is necessary, so to meet the new challenges and the expectations of tourists and visitors. The Danube is not using its full potential, there are a lot of disproportions (e.g., the big and rich capitals against the small shrinking and poor towns), but the connective power of the River must be capitalized, e.g., as a waterway, as tangible or intangible heritage (Roman heritage, traditions, festivals, and so on), as a common International Tourist Route, etc.

 

The “Learning by doing” approach was presented as a part of the planned for the Spring of 2022 Competition. Students will be able to team up and develop a business idea associated with their local values and resources, so to enhance their creativity and entrepreneurial thinking, using an educational platform and experts in the field as mentors. The initiatives apply an innovative approach and are capitalizing the achievements of the international TRANS-EDU-NET project, led by the organizer National Tourism Cluster “Bulgarian Guide”.

 

All attendees took actively part in the discussions about development of the entrepreneurial mindset of the young people in the shrinking towns along the Danube. All teachers expressed their mutual concerns about the difficult times of the Tourism industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the depopulation of the Danube towns, the lack of investments in most of the regions, the desire of all young people to leave and to go to big cities looking for better job opportunities, the shortage of entrepreneurial thinking and possibilities for professional development in the field, etc. Nevertheless, there is still a huge interest in the education of Tourism, Trades and Economics. The participants shared their gratitude to the organizers of the event, as well as their anticipation for the next stages of the DANUrB+ Entrepreneurial Initiatives in Bulgaria, which will add significant value to the knowledge of their students.

 

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DANUrB+ project was launched in July 2020 to activate underused cultural heritage and resources on the peripheral and border regions along the Danube River. It is co-financed by the Interreg Danube Transnational Program 2014-2020. The expected result is to increase local development and international tourist attractiveness.

 

 

Project co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF and IPA).

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