Your Next Meal Can Help Change a Life. Find Out How Here


Some of the early ideas to come out of the ABF-supported entrepreneurship program for nonprofits of the Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law (BCNL) were timid. The first participants ten years ago made safe bets that didn’t require much investment or have significant returns: they made and sold gifts cards, souvenirs, small toys, special-occasion decoration. The proceeds covered miscellaneous administrative expenses or the occasional celebration for all involved.

“Gradually, over time, their ideas grew bolder, their skills got stronger, and their dreams became bigger. Our social entrepreneurs gained courage from those first successes and decided to take things to the next level,” says Nadia Shabani, BCNL’s executive director.

The “next level” meant more involved business plans, and food and beverage making has been a popular choice of industry. And while setting up shop, training employees, and providing catering and event planning services demand more effort, time, and money than making souvenirs, the gains are also greater. Not only have these ventures stayed in business over the years, but they also are some of best culinary establishments in town. They certainly top the Business with a Personality charts!

Most importantly, social food startups have been islands of normalcy for people society treats as special needs and prefers to ignore, giving them a chance for a productive life.

These businesses are run by social cause–driven organizations, but their approach is “entrepreneurial through and through — if something doesn’t work out, you don’t stop, but keep on going. We cannot but be proud of their successes,” Ms. Shabani says.

The four businesses we present here are truly inspiring. Their customers will tell you the same things we found out for ourselves: their product quality is excellent, and you won’t get that kind of service anywhere else.

So, how would like to help change a life with your next meal?

Read the story of the Social Teahouse here

Read the story of the Cookies Workshop here

Read the story of Bistro Caristo here

Read the story of Jamba catering and café here

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