According to “Entrepreneurship Education and Training Programs Around the World—Dimensions for Success,” a 2014 study of entrepreneurship education programs around the globe by the World Bank, entrepreneurship is “the largest single source of new job growth in both developed and developing economies.” Therefore, a few weeks ago I was thrilled to see this idea in action when I attended the Eastern European regional finals of “Get in the Ring” (GITR), which took place in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Bulgaria has the lowest levels of public spending on education in the EU. Many of the school facilities are old and crumbling. There are barely any public funds available for building 21st century classrooms equipped with multi-media facilities and language labs. Moreover, there are no public funds for modernizing the Bulgarian school curriculum or for teacher professional development.
Recently, I facilitated a five-day enrichment seminar in Washington, DC for the participants in the U.S. Academic Immersion Program (USAIP). Sponsored by the America for Bulgaria Foundation (ABF), USAIP is a non-degree scholarship program, which places 20 Bulgarian students in select U.S. colleges and universities and provides them with the opportunity to study in the United States for one academic year.