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Bulgaria’s Q4 unemployment rate drops to 10.6%

Bulgaria’s unemployment rate fell to 10.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014, down by 2.4 percentage points from a year earlier, data from the National Statistical Institute (NSI) showed on February 16.

The statistics office said the number of people  out of work dropped to 345,000 in the three months through December 2014 from 439,800 in the same period of 2013.

NSI figures for the last three months of 2014 showed that unemployment had declined  both among women and men. The unemployment rate among men went down by 2.4 percentage points to 11.4% on an annual basis, while rate among women decreased by 2.5 percentage points to 9.7%.

In the October-December period, the unemployment rate among young people aged 15-29 dropped to 17.6% from 22.2% in the fourth quarter of the previous year.

The number of people in work in the fourth quarter of 2014 was about 3m, the statistics office said.

At the same time, according to the latest NSI’s figures, Bulgaria’s economy slowed in the fourth quarter of last year. Gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 1.2% year-on-year in the three months ended December, down from 1.5% in the previous quarter. Annual deflation rate in January stood at 1.00%. In 2014, Bulgaria registered the highest annual deflation in the EU, with the rate dropping to -1.6% in September.

European Commission’s winter forecast, released on February 5, projected a drop in Bulgaria’s GDP from 1.4% in 2014 to 0.8% in 2015, held back by weak domestic demand. Inflation is expected to turn positive at the end of the year and labour market is anticipated to slightly improve.

by Petya Barzilska

I changed my life. I am now an entrepreneur

I want to share an article of mine when reporting from the European Youth Event in Strasbourg.  As I see it it won’t be published anywhere so I decided to post the story in my blog. It’s a little bit self centric but I think it has to be shared.

May 10, 2014, Strasbourg, France – Being entrepreneur isn’t easy but when you have an idea just focus on it. That was the main point expressed during the panel „I changed my life. I am now an entrepreneur“, part of the European Youth Event held in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Around 80 people were in the audience listening to three successful entrepreneurs – Dimitra Didangelou, Stefan Köppl and Ismail Haznedar who shared their experience telling more about what is like to be an entrepreneur and how and why they started their own business.

„I just did it. I didn’t even have clients at first and it was a bumpy road but that was one of the best decisions in my life“, explained Stefan Köppl, founder of Indiecampers, a camper rental company based in Portugal. The Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme helped Stefan to develop his idea in a successful business model. The business exchange programme offers new entrepreneurs the possibility to work up to 6 months alongside an experienced entrepreneurs in another European country.

„If you want to have an impact you should open your own company“, argued Stefan Köppl. Yet, he admits that is could be difficult to move from a nice income to no income for a while. Before moving to Portugal the founder of Indiecampers had a well paid job in Austria.

„Failure is part of the programme“, is the opinion of Dimitra Didangelou, the founder of PSY-CHE, a company offering psychology services trough web magazines, online workshops and events based in Greece. „You don’t become an entrepreneur to have a success. Yes, of course, you don’t want to fail but you just wake up one morning and want to try“, emphasized Dimitra, who also benefited from the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme.

„It is decision that really changes your life. The previous professional experience helps you a lot but it also good to have some savings“, explained Ismail Haznedar, founder Stratejik Isler, a consultancy company focused on strategy development and Executive Vice President of Junior Chamber International (JCI). „When you have an idea just focus on it and go with the decision you made“, advised Ismail.

„The ideal thing is to find what makes is unique, what is your niche“, explained further Ismail Haznedar, answering the question how to compete with big companies. In his opinion if your business is unique the big firms won’t disturb you and after a while they could become your partners and outsource so of their services to you.

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Naughty Boy’s song „La La La“ – I just realised

It would be strange not to have heard Naughty Boy’s song „La La La“, which was released last year. It’s a good song and I really love it – the song, as well as the music video. But as shameful as it may seem I just realised that the video features Wizard of Oz’s elements. We have the boy as Dorothy, the dog as the Cowardly Lion (or may be Toto),  the Mexican guy as Tin Woodman  and the strangely dressed traffic cop as the Scarecrow.

Enjoy the deeper meaning. :)