The 6th annual Forbes Business Awards ceremony proved to be full of surprises for the team of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Southeast Europe, which was presented a Special Award for Contribution to the Economic Freedom in Bulgaria. Held on 23th January 2017, the glittering event recognised and rewarded the business excellence of twenty-four companies in eight categories.

“The Foundation is an important ally for us in Bulgaria – not just for the Forbes Magazine itself but also for entrepreneurs and all those who strive for a free market economy,” said Jordan Mateev, Editor in Chief of Forbes Bulgaria, on stage, while announcing the special award. “Because of this reason the Forbes team decided to award the Friedrich Naumann Foundation with a special prize for their work.”

For a 27th year in Bulgaria, the Foundation, together with a high number of partners, has been strongly engaged with the improvement of the economic environment in the country through the promotion of greater freedom, less bureaucracy and corruption. The multitude of public events and consultancies, organised annually in these core fields of work, enjoy ever greater popularity and recognition by business people, policy-makers, and the society at large. Above all the empowerment and networking projects for women and young entrepreneurs are particularly important, as they bring towards a perceivable change.  Last year, in collaboration with Forbes Magazine, the Foundation in Bulgaria organised the “30 under 30” award-giving ceremony for young entrepreneurs with the aim to promote an exchange of best practices and to show that business success is indeed possible.

In 2016 alone, the Foundation approached around 750 young people, who took part in a series of youth seminars on self-employment and entrepreneurship in eleven cities across Bulgaria. The main focus of the events was not only to give practical advice to the young people on how to make the first steps towards economic independence and self-reliance, but also on why these matters are of such a high importance.  In this regard, the personal examples of entrepreneurs, who climbed the ladder of success, despite the often grim overall conditions in the country, are of utmost importance for inspiring young people.

Forbes Business Awards 2017. Photo: Forbes Bulgaria

Forbes Business Awards 2017. Photo: Forbes Bulgaria

At the stage, the Director of the Southeast Europe office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Daniel Kaddik, addressed the audience: “There are a lot of challenges in Bulgaria, which do not make our life easy, but I see so much potential in this hall, so many great people. At a recent  visit to Germany, I was once again reminded of how much potential there is in Bulgaria – namely, when I bought a Roo’bar snack at a DM drugstore. Let us work together, let us work for Bulgaria, because I believe it is worth it.”