In 2016, Kainos introduced Charity Volunteer days. Kainos will provide up to two days off per year, fully paid, for any of our employees who would like to take time off to volunteer for a charity of their choice. Plamena Solakova works as an HCM Consultant in our WorkSmart division, and is based in London. She was the first Kainos employee to undertake a Charity Volunteer day. Here’s just a little about what she did with one of her charity volunteering days.

“Social entrepreneurship is the use of the techniques by companies and other entrepreneurs to develop, fund and implement solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues.”

Bank Qubator” is a project created by Plamena Solakova. It involves the training of 20 young people from Plamena’s hometown Silistra, on the topic of social entrepreneurship. Previously, Plamena was trained on entrepreneurial concepts in 2016 as part of the StartQube programme, funded by the US State Department through American Councils for International Education.

In December, Plamena passed on that knowledge to youth from the local charity ”Youth Bank” during a day-long training session. The group discussed everything to do with social entrepreneurship: how do you develop a business idea, how do you find funding, what’s a customer base, and setting budgets. Partners of the training were the Regional Informational Office of the EU in Silistra, who hosted the group of young people on their premises, and local NGO ”Civil Unity” who work with the Youth Bank volunteers in the city.

The training was conducted through highly interactive methods, group work and games. This aimed to encourage the teens from 15 to 18 years of age to develop their own thinking of problems in the city and innovative ways to solve them. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with 100% of the students declaring the training day was ‘superb’, that they were ‘extremely satisfied’ with the content and structure of the workshop, as well as with the trainer, and that they felt ‘inspired to make a positive change’. Multiple students indicated they had loved working in groups which is not always present in the educational system in Bulgaria, and that their expectations were met and even exceeded.

As entrepreneurship is not a subject taught widely in schools, the topic, as well as the activities, proved highly motivational for the teens to get further economic knowledge and to start developing their own solutions to common social problems in the city. They left feeling invigorated and inspired to put ideas into action!

While Plamena was handing out certificates for the students, she was surprised and delighted to receive one herself from the students on the day. She was praised as being ‘unstoppable’. Despite living and working full time in London, she still finds the time to give back to the local community. Now officially their ‘most enthusiastic volunteer’, she looks forward to new events and projects planned for the new year and beyond.

If you’d like to work somewhere where you’re able to donate your time to a good cause, check out our careers information, and find out where you could fit in!