Bringing together all actors to discuss common issues and jointly find solutions is always a winning bid. On March 29, 2023, SDA, Sofia Investment Agency and the Municipal Guarantee Fund for SMEs welcomed private and public organizations and employers from Sofia to discuss important questions linked to the integration of refugees in the local labor market.

The initiative is part of a project implemented by SDA with the support of UNHCR, and focuses on improving the policy framework in Sofia Municipality for refugee integration. Participants in the meeting were employers, who have already hired refugees and such that would like to include them in their workforce and would benefit from more information on how to do it. Some of those attending were also businesspersons from Ukraine who have fled from the war and who would like to continue their business in Bulgaria. We thank Maria Hristova, CEO of Invest Sofia, Nikolay Tzenkov, Managing director of the MGF, Rukiya Abdul Aziz, an integration associate at UNHCR, for speaking to the audience and presenting opportunities for financial and non-financial assistance to employers on the territory of Sofia. One such opportunity is the job search platform, created by Invest Sofia and supported by Sofia Municipality just days after the war in Ukraine in order to match employers and job seekers; nearly 30% of the applicants have been able to find a job through the platform. Participants in the event raised various questions related to the available business support measures at municipal level, but also brought attention to unresolved issues that require the intervention of the national government.

SDA has planned a series of similar events until the end of this year and we invite you to follow our website and Facebook @SofiaLab for further information.

The project Support for the Development of Integration Policy Framework and Service Provision for Refugees in Sofia is supported by UNHCR – Bulgaria.