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MEcoS PR3 Frequently Asked Questions 




  1. What is needed to successfully start a business?

The most important thing is your own motivation to become an entrepreneur. Formation of an entrepreneurial type of thinking. A unique idea, a reliable team of like-minded professionals, and an operational resource. Resources are not necessarily money and certainly not only money itself.

  1. How do I come up with a viable business idea that suits our rural area?

Start by studying, researching, and identifying local needs and gaps in the market. Think about what products or services are in demand in your community, but not enough. Think about your own skills and interests; sometimes a hobby can turn into a successful business idea. Conduct surveys and market research to validate your idea and gain input from potential customers.

  1. Are there any special grants or programs to support youth entrepreneurship?

Yes, of course. They are published on information aggregators, and each EU country has its own ones, for example in Ukraine, the most popular are GURT (ГУРТ), Public Space (Громадський простір), DiyaBznes (ДіяБзнеc), etc. Contact local business incubators, government agencies, youth organisations, or business associations for grants and youth-oriented initiatives. Find out about youth entrepreneurship competitions and competitions that may offer financial support or mentoring.

  1. How can I balance the needs of entrepreneurship with my studies or other responsibilities?

Develop a clear schedule and time management strategies, delegate tasks when possible, and seek support from mentors or advisors. Use online platforms such as Prometheus, Coursera, EdEra, etc. for training.

Consider part-time or flexible hours if necessary.

  1. What problems do young rural entrepreneurs face and how to overcome them?

Challenges can include a lack of professional entrepreneurial skills, and limited access to resources, funding, and mentoring, try to overcome these challenges by networking, seeking mentorship and constantly improving your skills.

  1. What are the advantages of starting a business at a later age?

The benefits include rich life experience and a strong network that you may have developed during your professional life. Also, having enough free time for your own business, social connections, and family opportunities. The opportunity to apply for assistance from universities of the third age in the region and social business incubators.

  1. How do I transition from a traditional career to rural entrepreneurship?

Think about how your skills from your previous career can be applied in your new venture, remember that the universal skills that you have acquired and you have through your professional and life experience are important for business. Seek advice from other entrepreneurs who have successfully transitioned.

Use your experience and connections to build trust and authority in your community. Offer services or products that meet specific local needs.

  1. Are there any specific business opportunities that cater to the needs of people 50+ in our area?

“Silver economy” for people 50+ is increasingly in demand in modern territorial communities. Local budgets are allocating more and more resources to the development of the “silver economy”. Contact donor funding programs, local self-government bodies, social business incubators. Look for opportunities in areas such as senior services, consulting, or niche markets that match your interests and experience.

  1. What is most important for successfully starting your own business?

A reliable and professional team of like-minded people, a successfully built business model, UTP (unique sales offer), a realistically selected paying target audience… successfully selected optimal resources, all this works only in a complex…

  1. What is the basis of the business model of entrepreneurship?

Correct and well-described business processes, which are built on business values and principles, are the basis of a unique business model. The business model is not static, it must be supplemented with innovations over time, change depending on the Target Audience (TA) and meet the current needs of the market.

  1. How long does it take to write a successful business plan?

It is impossible to write an ideal business plan, it takes a different amount of time to write a business plan in different situations, but the rule of minimum life product (MLP) always works, that is, a business plan must be written to the level of a possible start of one’s own business, and then constantly, if necessary, to improve.

  1. What organisational and legal form of business is the best?

Everything depends on the field of activity of the future own business, the planned volumes of activity expressed in income, the planned involvement of personnel, the need to obtain licences, permits, etc., but it is most optimal to start with the individual entrepreneur of the 3rd group, and later you can change the form of business registration.

  1. What key steps must be taken to register a micro or small business in our region?

Develop a draft business plan and financial estimate of your future business. Explore the fiscal obligations of future business registration forms. Contact your local government or business development centre for guidance on business registration, licences and permits. Register your company name, obtain necessary licences and comply with tax laws. Consult with legal and financial advisors to ensure proper documentation and compliance.

  1. What is the peculiarity of social entrepreneurship?

A social enterprise is an ordinary business that has voluntarily undertaken to implement some specific social problem or set of problems… a social entrepreneur earns money to solve social issues for other people. The social enterprise has a real and permanent influence on the financing of local social programs of the community.

  1. Is it possible to create social enterprises as part of a non-governmental organisation (NGO)?

Yes, it is possible and even necessary, since social enterprise is the basis of the formation of a mini ecosystem of entrepreneurship in the community, and also provides 25-30% of sustainable income to local and regional NGOs, and this is the basis of organisational activities of NGOs.

  1. What financial planning should I consider when starting a business at this stage of life?

Work with a financial advisor to create a business plan and budget that fits your plans. Make sure you have a solid network and financial security buffer for the first period. Contact specialists from project offices in the regions.

  1. What financing options are available to start-up entrepreneurs in rural areas?

Business development in rural areas is a priority of many programs and projects. Pay attention to grants for local businesses, regional development funds and government programs aimed at supporting rural entrepreneurs. You can also consider crowdfunding as an alternative, as well as loans from community banks or partnerships with local investors. Find out about microfinance institutions or credit unions that serve rural businesses. Regional Development Funds (RDFs) are also operating in some communities, which can be used to start and develop social entrepreneurship.

  1. Should I take bank loans for business development?

Yes, it is worth it, but in the case when the body of the loan and the interest on it are maximally covered by consumers of the entrepreneur’s product… that is, the entrepreneur’s capital structure must be balanced with the use of financial leverage, the rest of the options are unprofitable.

  1. How important is it to apply the elements of the 4th and 5th industrial revolutions in the enterprise?

Without modern systems of organising and managing business processes using CRM (customer relationship management), software, elements of AI (artificial intelligence), production automation, digitization, it is impossible to be a constantly competitive entrepreneur. The complex of these elements reduces the costs of the entrepreneur, optimises the involvement of labour resources, ensures high efficiency and productivity in the enterprise.

  1. Does the entrepreneur’s design thinking influence the success of his own business?

Yes, and significantly. Seeing events and things from a different angle, daily appropriate environment, problem-solving thinking, self-realisation and targeted self-improvement, and other components of an entrepreneurial type of thinking form innovativeness, practicality, self-sufficiency and other skills of an entrepreneur. Get rid of “template thinking” and stereotypes in decision-making.

  1. What strategies can I use to attract and retain local customers?

Offer individual and attentive customer service, create loyalty programs or special promotions for regular customers. Networking is very important, for this, actively participate in local events and collaborate with other businesses to create a sense of belonging to the local business community. Take part in fairs, conferences, exhibitions, festive events on state and religious holidays. Join online forums or social media groups for rural entrepreneurs. Contact local business associations or chambers of commerce that may offer networking opportunities.

  1. How can I create an online presence for my rural business?

Create a professional website, the best way to start your business is to create a landing page (this is the type of site we help our students develop) and use social media platforms to showcase your products or services, or specialised customer platforms like Booking. com for hotel business and the like. Additionally, you can invest in local SEO (search engine optimization) to ensure your business appears in relevant search results online.

Engage your audience with regular quality content and customer engagement.

  1. How can I adapt my business to environmentally friendly practices?

Research sustainable business practices and consider options for environmentally friendly products/services. Collaborate with local organisations or initiatives focused on sustainability. Apply in business plans the possibility of using environmental standards in business processes.

Emphasise and promote your commitment to sustainability to attract environmentally conscious customers.




  1. When starting a new business, for its financing, what is needed in the first place?

Once there is a business idea and the main subject of the company’s activity is clarified in a strategic plan, a business plan should be developed, which should answer the following questions:

  • What products or services will we offer?
  • To which customers and in which markets will we offer them?
  • What investments will be required?
  • What materials will be needed for production and what supplies do we need to have?
  • What fixed assets will be required – buildings, land, machinery, equipment and vehicles?
  • What personnel will be needed to ensure the production?
  • How will we ensure the financing of the activity?
  • What financial result can we expect (efficiency)?
  1. What does the business plan contain?

Its structure is as follows:

  • Investment plan
  • Supply plan
  • Marketing plan
  • Plan for production and sales revenue
  • Plan for the necessary expenses for the activity
  • Net cash flow forecast
  • Financial estimates (Financial plan).
  1. To grant a bank loan to finance our activity, what do we need?

When applying for a loan, when starting a new production, as well as with any new project, the business plan is mandatory.

  1. If we start a new company, which sources of financing can we turn to?

It is very difficult for banks to grant loans to a new company. Funding in the first place can be provided with own funds, with funds from relatives and friends, with funds from business angels and through shared financing.

  1. What is shared financing?

Raising the necessary financial resources through specialised web-based platforms. Each platform has a different model of functioning, but the common one is organising an information campaign.

  1. Do young people who want to engage in agriculture have a horizon for the development of this activity?

The development of agriculture is a priority of the European Union. In each member state there are programs for the development of individual areas. In Bulgaria, there is a State Fund for Agriculture, which supports individual producers.

  1. What programs does the State Fund for Agriculture have?

Farmers are supported through direct subsidies for some vegetable crops and livestock. Apart from this, expenses for the purchase of agricultural machinery, for the construction of orchards and for livestock farms are financed.

  1. How to choose between investing in our own tools, machines and equipment necessary for our activity and renting them for a certain period?

This choice is made on the basis of estimated financial statements for the next 3-5 years. Amortisation plan of the own machines and facilities is chosen, and a financial plan/costs for the activity is drawn up for the two possible options.

  1. For a sole trader carrying out patent activity and meeting the requirements for taxation with patent tax, which form of taxation is more advantageous: patent tax or the general order with registration under the Value Added Tax Act?

It is necessary to specify the subject of activity. If the activity is services to citizens, patent tax is preferable. If the activity is production or provision of services to other legal entities, it is recommended to be taxed according to the general rules and with value added tax.

  1. Does a company that is newly registered or has had a turnover below the required threshold for registration under the Value Added Tax Act have an economic interest in voluntarily registering under the Value Added Tax Act?

It is necessary to specify the subject of activity. If the company produces goods that it sells itself, it will be more profitable not to register until it reaches the mandatory registration threshold.

If it produces goods and/or offers services to other legal entities, registration under the Value Added Tax Act is preferable.


Green Economy


  1. What is Green economy?

Green Economy is a form of economy which is focused on improvement of people’s well-being and increase of social justice. The key point of this form of economy is that it focuses at the same time on decrease of environmental risk and usage of natural resources. It is understood in the narrow sense as the areas directly connected with nature conservation. in a broad sense, it also allows planes that do not affect it directly. A very important concept directly connected with the Green Economy is Green Growth which strives for economic growth and development while preventing environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity and unsustainable use of natural resources. [OECD definitione – )

  1. What is Circular economy?

Circular economy is the concept that envisages the creation of such a production and consumption system in which in the perfect situation all the residues would be used again, recycled, or recovered to be used again as the resources necessary for production. It focuses on modification and design of products in the way to minimise losses and transform unused elements into resources which can be used in the further production processes.

  1. What is Green Innovation?

Green innovations are also called eco-innovations. Those are innovations “which protects human from harmful influence of civilization, those are so called safe products, which doesn’t cause harmful reactions while using it (consumption of product) and also products and technologies which are minimising consumption wastes (not only production wastes) or those which production wastes are possible to be utilise totally. Ecological innovations will be also those during production of which production wastes or consumption wastes are used as materials.: All types of innovations (i.e., innovative technology) which guides the improvement of the state of the natural environment and which are not causing its degradation might be called ecological innovation as well. [dr inż. Leszek Kaźmierczak-Piwko, Urszula Lewandowska, Hanna Prosół, Adrianna Tarnas, innowacje ekologiczne w energetyce jako czynnik konkurencyjności gospodarki, [w:] Systemy wspomagania w inżynierii produkcji. Problemy w zarządzaniu środowiskiem, Volume 6, issue 1, P.A. Nova S.A, Polska, 2017]

  1. What does following the principles of the green economy give me?

Changing your way of thinking and adjusting your behaviour to the assumptions of the Green Economy positively influences not only the natural environment but also people around us. Many times We forget that the people are part of it. Attention to implementation of those assumptions in our everyday life positively influences equal access to the natural environment for the future generations to give them a chance to know it in the way we know it. Lack of actions leads to further degeneration of the environment which results in our children never having access to it because it will simply disappear.




  • What is Digitalisation?

Digitalisation consists in the process of compacting, translating and adapting enterprises to the digital dimension, including or even substituting processes and roles that once were exclusively in-person to their digital counterparts. 

  • What are the main digital competencies?

Digital competencies are divided into 5 main categories:

  • Information and digital alphabetisation
  • Collaboration and communication
  • Creation of digital contents
  • Cybersecurity
  • Problem solving
  • How do I digitise my enterprise?

Digitalisation is a process consisting of several steps that can be taken. First you should create a website for your activity; you can do it yourself or hire an expert, explaining what your website should include and its visual structure. In designing your website remember to value accessibility and simplicity: less is more! Your website should also be inclusive for people with disabilities: you can install several programs to make your website more accessible, including, for example, a colour-blind mode.

  • What digital instruments can I use?

For the various aspects you want to digitise there are several alternatives. For example, you can digitise storage systems, using platforms such as Google Drive. For the creation of documents, sheets, charts, graphs, presentations etc., you can use Microsoft Office. For video calls you can use communication services such as Meet, Zoom or Teams; the latter can be also used for internal management of your organisation or company, through the use of tasks and the synchronisation with your calendar. Other aspects can be specific for your own activity, but there is always a proper digital tool that fits your needs.

  • What about social media?

Social networks are now one of the most used communication systems and can be used to improve interactivity with your clients or even find new ones, by sponsoring your promotions, showing new articles, or simply demonstrating your capabilities as a professional. According to your target audience or the type of activity you are promoting, you can choose which social media platform to prioritise. Among the most popular we can count Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube, Tiktok, but there are of course many others, according to the type of media and the audience. Also in this case you should consider hiring a social media manager if you are not experienced enough, to maximise the results.

  • What is Cybersecurity and why is it important?

The realm of cybersecurity involves all those processes that aim at protecting a digitalised enterprise from any threat. These processes include correct storage of data, a safe management of passwords, prevention and resolution of cyber threats such as viruses or malwares, and on bigger levels cyber attacks or data leaks. Cybersecurity is fundamental to preserve the integrity of your enterprise, both on a smaller scale or larger scale.

  • How can I avoid cyber threats?

On a micro level there are several precautions that can be taken, such as learning how to recognise phishing emails, periodically checking your pc for dangerous files, avoiding sharing personal information and passwords. On a macro level, the precautions that you can take are also depending on the type of the type of products or services you are providing. A possibility could be once again contacting experts in the field, such as consulting services, that often offer different cybersecurity solutions according to the needs of their client.

  • How can I learn to digitise my enterprise?

As a first step you can visit the MEcoS website or attend the digital course! Both platforms are linked to this site, so you can easily reach them. If you want to learn more, you can look for online incubators, to boost and update your knowledge. You can attend specific courses, both online and in presence, according to your availability of time and resources to learn.

  • What type of jobs can be digitised?

All of them! Of course the difference lies in the different degree in which digitisation can happen, but every enterprise can benefit from at least a minimum degree of digitisation. Knowing the potential and every characteristic of your company is a fundamental first step that must be followed by action once you complete your digitalisation plan.

  • Why should I digitise my enterprise?

Digitalisation offers a lot of advantages, including easier interaction with clients, simpler archiving of data and documents, improved communication inside and outside the company, better advertising, the possibility to check for responsiveness and reviews to the proposed services or products, and many others.




1) How to Create a Good Pitch?

  1. A good pitch has a clear structure. A good structure helps you to keep the listener on the edge of his seat right from the beginning, straight to the end.

You open the pitch with a shocking opening, followed by the problem and the solution.

Then it’s time to explain how you generate revenue with the business model, why your team is able to do this and lastly you ask the listener to do something in your call to action.

  1. b) After you created your structure, it’s time to design your slides. The slides must be simple and consist of little text. Pictures, icons and the appropriate funds to complete your speech. Overall, the presentation must come as a complimentary decorative add-on rather than the main pitch tool.

2) What Is A Good Structure For An Elevator Pitch?

Since an elevator pitch usually only lasts between 20-30 seconds, your pitch should be short and sweet.

A good structure for an elevator pitch is this: 


It’s a [TYPE PRODUCT OR SERVICE] which helps the customer to [BENEFIT #1] and [BENEFIT #2].

In contrary to [COMPETITOR’S SOLUTION] our product is [EXPLAIN DIFFERENCE]


The electric skateboard is used by young urban citizens who want to travel from a to b in a crowded city.

It’s a motorised skateboard which helps the customer to travel fast and be eco-friendly at the same time.

In contrast to cars or motorcycles our product is more flexible and doesn’t use expensive gas.

3) How to start a pitch effectively?

  1. a) A personal story

When you start your pitch with a short personal story, you build a relationship with your audience within a minute. A personal story helps them to get to know you better. At the same time, they feel sympathy for you because you opened up and put yourself in a vulnerable position.

  1. b) A question for the audience

This one works especially well with large audiences as it forces everybody to listen and put their phones away. A question stimulates your audience to actively participate in your pitch.

Very important: this question should always be a yes or no question, as you don’t want to start a long conversation with your audience during your pitch. 

  1. c) A bold statement 

This is my personal favourite. Starting off your pitch with a bold statement usually has a big impact on your audience. A good bold statement has a small shocking effect, which will ‘wake them up’ and have them listen to you for the rest of your pitch. 

4) How to entertain the audience in a pitch?

  1. a) Clear Structure 

To entertain the audience in a pitch, it’s important to have a clear structure. The structure I always recommend goes as follows:

  1. The opening
  2. The problem
  3. The solution
  4. The market
  5. The team
  6. Call to action
  7. b) Make it concrete 

Use examples, numbers and (short) stories.

The more concrete, the easier it’s for your audience to follow and the more entertaining it will be.

  1. c) Keep it energised 

One of the most important aspects of a good pitch is the energy of the pitcher. Personally, this is one of my biggest strengths. Since I’m high in my energy throughout the day anyway, it’s easy for me to do this as well during a pitch. However, if you’re a bit more introverted or if you’re used to taking things a bit slower, really try to practise an energised pitch.

The reason why you should pitch with a lot of energy is because it is highly contagious. Roberto Cialdini, expert on influencing, describes in his book that human beings tend to mimic each other. If you’re able to pitch with a lot of energy, so will your audience be. Since energised people are more positive, this will work in your advantage when they mentally judge your pitch.

5) How can I engage the audience in a pitch?

Instead of a 2 people conversation, where you automatically create two-sided engagement, engaging with a big audience can be quite challenging.

6) How do I match my pitch with my audience?

Although you might have one company, you will need multiple pitches.

Whenever I coach entrepreneurs on their pitch, one of the first questions I ask them is: ‘to whom are you pitching’. The type and amount of person(s) listening to your pitch, has a great influence on the way you should prepare your pitch.

Is your audience full of tech IT professionals? Tell them a little bit about your IT structure.

Is your audience full of financial experts? Don’t forget your financial overview.

Is your audience small? Make your pitch engaging, open your pitch with a question to the audience.

Every audience demands a different approach. Before you prepare your pitch, do some research about who will be listening to your pitch and use that to your advantage.

7)How to practise a pitch effectively?

  • Read your text
  • Cover your text and replicate it in your head
  • Practise your text out loud. Use a voice recorder to see how you’re doing
  • Practise your pitch with the right intonation, volume and silences
  • Practice in front of a mirror
  • Practice in front of the camera of your phone
  • Watch the video to see where you can improve
  • Watch the video without sound on to see where you can improve
  • Show the video to a friend or colleague

8) Why practising doesn’t make your pitch sound unnatural

If you practise your pitch a lot, you will have no trouble recalling the text of your pitch. In fact, you should have studied it so thoroughly that if someone wakes you up in the middle of the night, you wouldn’t have trouble doing your pitch.

The reason why you should study your pitch text so thoroughly has to do with your focus.

If you studied your text thoroughly, your brain doesn’t need to focus on that part during the pitch. Since you don’t need to worry about that, you can focus on your presentation skills.

9) How to finish my pitch effectively?

The way you finish your pitch is extremely important. This is where your audience decides whether they will remember your pitch, or even better, do something with your pitch.

There is only one way to finish a pitch effectively. Finish your pitch with a call to action.

During this part you tell your audience what you want them to do. Do you want them to invest? To partner up? To make a deal?

Be clear about your call to action and focus on only one. Research shows that mentioning multiple calls to actions reduces the success of your call to action. During your call to action, it’s important to be as precise as possible about what you want from your audience.

10) What Should I Do After My Pitch?

Once you’ve completed your pitch, it’s important to follow up with potential investors or partners. Make sure to thank everyone for their time and remind them of who you are and what you pitched. Additionally, it’s important to remain professional and courteous throughout any interactions so that you can create a positive impression of yourself and your business. Finally, be sure to follow up quickly with any questions that may have come up during the pitch and keep an open mind as you continue networking with potential investors or partners.

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