Rinker Center provides training, financial and mentoring support to social and traditional startups and SMEs. Single startup support 3m before &12m after setup
Rinker’s Challenge is an accelerator program that combines modular training, mentorship and financial support. The top-performing entrepreneurs receive a grant of up to BGN 20,000 and one-year support from mentors. The challenge is on a yearly basis and so far we have 5 seasons + a few additional specific accelerator programs. We aim to stimulate the development of an ecosystem of sustainable start-ups.
The support program is constantly improved to respond to the practical needs of the participants, aiming to help them gain the necessary knowledge and know-how related to the successful setup and management of their business ventures.
The practice so far has proved that mentoring support is of crucial importance for the successful launch and growth of an SME. For 5 years we have developed a broad network of highly qualified mentors – successful entrepreneurs and leaders in their field of expertise. They are very motivated and dedicated to sharing their knowledge and contacts with future entrepreneurs. The main areas of mentoring include – general management, organizational development, financial management, marketing, PR strategies, sales, new clients, new markets, collaborators, access to additional funding, investment opportunities and etc.
Individual mentoring support usually starts with the process of business plan development and continues during the first year of the establishment of the enterprise.
RC supports entrepreneurship & business development in Bulgaria
The program set up and running costs can vary between BGN 80,000 to BGN 200,000 for 1 year (at least a team of 2 people from the organization and a network of 10-15 experts).
Evidence of success
Out of the 24 winners of the competition, who have received financial support 80% are still operating and growing their businesses. Out of the 120 that received training and mentoring the success rate 30% have developed their own business.The beneficiaries are both SMEs and NGOs, with a focus on social impact enterprises. Over 120 teams, who participated in the training program, were mentored in business plan development and 24 new enterprises received financial support of more than BGN 350,000
One of the main challenges is to be able to provide the needed funding for the program. During the past couple of years, a lot of programs have come to life and the competition of providers of similar services is growing, the quality measurement and evaluation is a difficult task.
Potential for learning or transfer
One of the main learning outcomes that we can share is how to develop a program that can reach people living outside the capital or the main cities. Usually, such people are very entrepreneurial, but they do not possess the needed knowledge or access to people, funding and etc. At the same time, they are very skeptical in terms of joining similar programs. Development of the ecosystem for providing services for startups in specific groups and geographic locations( periphery of regions) is the experience that our organization gained and can share.