Sofia Business School – Bulgaria’s Knowledge Laboratory for Leaders

Speaking about “New Business Opportunities, Out of the Financial Collapse” during SBS 2013 ed.

In 2012, the Reform & Union Club and New Bulgarian University signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at increasing the quality of the knowledge and qualification exchange networks and at ensuring the closer interaction between the civil society organisations, on the one hand, and the corporate and the academic sector, on the other.

The main goal on their agenda was to organise and put into practice the SOFIA BUSINESS SCHOOL, which would hold master classes on practical aspects of economics, finance, risk management, geopolitical analysis, management, effective civic leadership, etc.

A few years later, the 4th edition of the master classes is on its way, scheduled to take place between June 27th and July 3rd 2015.

I can strongly recommend it to every young professional – either from the academic, business, or public sector, for the reasons mentioned in this article.

I am proud to have been awarded a scholarship and to have particilated in the first ever edition of the master classes, back in 2012.

I will only mention some of the key foreign partners, behind the project, in order to emphasise on the exclusiveness of this unique opportunity: Cobden Partners (a London-based public finance consultancy), the Bruno Leoni Institute (a leading free market think tank, based in Turin) and Le Studium (an interdisciplinary research centre for innovative theories and ideas based in Orleans, France).

Thanks to the school, I had the chance to work closely with names such as Prof. Kevin Dowd, Emeritus professor at the Universities of Sheffield and Nottingham; Prof. Nikolay Nenovsky, Professor at the University of Amiens; Gordon Kerr, Investment markets expert and founder at Cobden Partners; Piritta Sorsa, Head of Division at OECD; Steven Hayward, Senior fellow at the distinguished American Enterprise Institute.

Among the other lecturers were Elena Lebedinskaya, Deputy Director of the Longterm Strategic Planning Department at Ministry of Finance of Russia; Kenli Schoolland from the London School of Economics; Alex Alexiev, Chairman of the Center for the Balkan and Black Sea Studies; Also the former heads of the Ministry of Finance and the Bulgarian Development Bank.

Not to forget Ass. Prof. Emil Kalchev, professor of Public Finance at New Bulgarian University, Sofia; and Ambassador Ilian Vassilev, Vice-Chair of the Reform Union Club, both coordinators of the School on behalf of the organizing partners.

The best part of my Sofia Business School experience was that the atmosphere – created by the academic and corporate lecturers, the participants, and the academic setting itself, motivated me to fully unfold my capabilities and graduate with honors as one of the top two participants, therefore to represent the School at the annual Mises Seminar in Italy.

During the second, 2013 edition, I took part as an assistant in the organization and the execution of the masterclasses, and even had the exclusive opportunity to facilitate a discussion with Prof. Leszek Balcerowicz.

In addition to that, I myself had the chance to speak as part of the programme, on the topic of “New Business Opportunities, Emerging Out of the Financial Collapse”, touching some burning issues such as how to think, act & improve on OREO Management.

Having skipped the 2014 edition, due to professional obligations, I am looking forward to 4th edition in 2015 and use the opportunity to invite all interested participants to learn more about the programme and join in.