CSR News

Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria's #YouthEmpowered education program has trained over 22,000 young people

Over the last 6 years, the program has successfully established itself as one of the most effective tools for developing the potential of young people in Bulgaria.

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Supporting young people and developing their potential is one of the main priorities for Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria and one of the sustainable activities thanks to which the creation of a better future has always seemed one step closer. As a responsible company developing and supporting local communities, in 2017 Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria launched the #YouthEmpowered education program in partnership with Junior Achievement Bulgaria. In setting up the program, the company set itself the ambitious goal of educating a total of 23,075 young people in Bulgaria by 2025, as part of the Coca-Cola HCB Group's overall goal to educate 1 million young people over the same period under #YouthEmpowered. The team is motivated to meet its targets ahead of schedule. So far, over 22,300 youth from different regions of the country have received valuable advice and lessons that have developed their skills and helped them to smoothly enter the job market after completing their education and successfully pursue their career in the country afterward.

"At Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria, we believe that one of the main steps for building our common better future is quality education, developing the potential of young people, and preparing them for a successful career path in Bulgaria. Our tomorrow is in their hands, so we continue to develop and build on the #YouthEmpowered program to provide young people with valuable skills and knowledge, pass on our experience, and help them successfully take their first career steps. Our hard work so far is already yielding results, and this motivates us, even more, to continue investing time and effort in developing the skills of young people",  said Maya Ivanova, Customer & Community Partnerships Manager at Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria, and added: "I am grateful for the commitment and dedication of all the experts in our team who are among the speakers in the program, as well as all our partners, thanks to whom it is a fact."

For 6 years, the #YouthEmpowered program has provided meaningful training to thousands of youth between the ages of 16 and 26 across the country, currently focusing primarily on two target groups: students in their final years of high school and college students. At the heart of the program are its mentors, including the experts - employees of Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria - who volunteer their time to develop the initiative's participants. So far, more than 460 specialists have spent nearly 4,000 hours helping thousands of young people in the country to develop their personal skills and business competencies through specialized webinars, career afternoons, and training to enhance personal skills and business competencies in the areas of sales, finance, business planning, project management, and others.

The program is implemented in partnership with several educational organizations and institutions, including Junior Achievement Bulgaria, Teen Station, SoftUni Digital, American University in Bulgaria, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski“, New Bulgarian University, University of National and World Economy, "St. Cyril and St. Methodius" University of Veliko Tarnovo and others.

"My involvement in #YouthEmpowered as a mentor has helped me to further develop my communication with the next generation. I am encouraged and even more motivated to help with whatever I can to protect the environment so that the next generation can focus more on making their dreams come true rather than fixing our mistakes. We need to communicate with each other, we need to share, dream together, and even argue with each other. The #YouthEmpowered program allows us to communicate in this way with our future, which is something huge in itself," says one of the mentors of the program - Ventsislav Kachovski, Environment Manager at Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria.

The #YouthEmpowered program will continue throughout 2023, with a new series of exciting encounters and learning initiatives that will be the intersection of young people with businesses and continue to develop their skills and potential.