The Lodge will host the second edition of BASE Stara Zagora

Provoked by the interest in the program and the success of the first edition in the city, the organizers from the IT Stara Zagora Association will organize a second BASE cohort in October this year.

BASE program main goal is to encourage people with business ideas and start-ups to develop their concepts and turn them into successful ventures. Participation in the program is free. Everyone can become part of it without any age limit – from teenagers to adults. High motivation and an idea or started small business are the only requirements.

In the first edition of BASE in Stara Zagora, there were numerous great ideas: creating a workshop for the production of herbal cosmetics, developing consulting services in the field of financial and organizational management, a shop for personalized gifts, building a summer STEM camp for students and others.

BASE is sponsored by the “America for Bulgaria” Foundation and the Association of Bulgarian Leaders and Entrepreneurs (ABLE), and so far a total of 36 editions have been realized in various settlements in Bulgaria. In Stara Zagora, BASE is organized by “IT Stara Zagora” – an association focused on the development of the digital and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the city and the region.

The autumn edition of BASE in Stara Zagora will start on October, 26th and will last for the next 12 weeks. There will be lectures led by an entrepreneur or expert, who will share some of his personal experience. The topics are important for every start-up entrepreneur – finance, sales, marketing, human resources, legal norms, presentation skills.

At the end of the training, future entrepreneurs will have to prepare and present a business plan for their project. The winners will receive a financial incentive from the intended prize fund.

Do you want to be part of the second edition of BASE in Stara Zagora – apply by filling out the form HERE until October 24th, 2023.

Additional information can be found on the website of the Business Academy for start-up entrepreneurs – www.baseprogram.bg.

Follow the news on our website, as well as our profiles on social networks (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) to be the first to learn about upcoming initiatives that we are happy to partner with and with which we contribute to the development of the city.

THE FIRST EDITION OF BASE ACADEMY IN STARA ZAGORA ENDED

The first edition of the Business Academy for Starting Entrepreneurs BASE in Stara Zagora, which we hosted, ended successfully. It was attended by 32 participants, and 21 projects competed for the prize fund of 10,000 leva. 

Within 12 weeks 32 participants from Stara Zagora, Kazanlak, Veliko Tarnovo, Razgrad and Sliven with ideas for their own businesses were mentored by experienced entrepreneurs, who shared their knowledge in different areas – finance, sales, marketing, human resources, legal norms, presentation skills. 

At the end of the training the participants had to prepare a detailed business plan for their project or business. At a special closing ceremony the finalists presented their ideas in front of a jury. 

The projects were in various areas. Among them were a workshop for the production of herbal cosmetics, a company for consulting services in the field of financial and organizational management, a tea shop,  a centralized software system that supports the work of car services,  a summer STEM camp for students and others. 

The big winner in the first edition of BASE in Stara Zagora was the project Conestoo by Rositsa Albenova. Conestoo is a workshop for textile products for babies, children and adults from natural materials with main filling of Bulgarian wool. 

Second place was taken by Dimitrina Zhelyazkova, who received support for developing her project – U-gift – a store for personalized gifts. Third place was shared by Miroslava Doseva for her business idea for educational culinary workshops for children and Dian Dankov with his project for Mickey Mouse Children’s Club. Another project was supported as well – Maria Koleva, who makes macrame decorations with her Macrame atelier

For us at The Lodge Coworking Space it was a pleasure to host the lectures from the programme and to watch how the ideas of the participants developed. We wish good luck and successful implementation of the projects to all participants!



RAILS GIRLS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN STARA ZAGORA

On May 19th and 20th The Lodge Coworking Space hosted the first edition of the free workshop that targeted women with little to no experience in the field of programming and technology Rails Girls Stara Zagora. It was part of the first big technology festival in Stara Zagora – Zara Tech Spring. The organizer of the edition in Stara Zagora was IT Stara Zagora Assosiation, and the general sponsor of the event was the company Siteground

The main goal of Rails Girls was to encourage women to take their first steps in technology, by giving them basic knowledge of programming and showing them that it is an exciting, fun, interesting and very useful skill. 

During the edition in Stara Zagora 20 ladies of different ages made their first contact with technology and learned the basics of web programming. With the help of the experienced mentors Vladislava Karataneva, Plamena Manolova, Vladimir Radkov, Dimitar Papazov, Ivan Gyokov, Ivan Dinchev and Plamen Kostov they created their first web applications. 

On the first day the participants learned more about the main building blocks of a website and learned the basics of HTML and CSS. 

On the next day they discussed the basic terms and concepts in programming and web applications and with Ruby code they made their first web applications. 

In the course of the event the ladies learned more about the work of programmers and received valuable tips on how to start a career in the field. 

The next edition of IT training for ladies is coming in autumn. This initiative has already been implemented in over 200 cities around the world.

THE LODGE IS A PARTNER OF ZARA TECH SPRING

For the first time in Stara Zagora, a big technology festival will be held – Zara Tech Spring, which we have the pleasure to be partners of. Its main goal is to promote and popularize technologies and to focus on the development of the IT sector as a key factor for the local community and economy. 

Within almost two months, various lectures, discussions and workshops in the field of digitalization and entrepreneurship will take place. They are free and open to everyone with an interest in these spheres. They are aimed at students, young people and adults who are about to choose a career, as well as specialists from other sectors who want to retrain, teachers in information technologies, business people  and others. 

We are happy that such an initiative will take place in Stara Zagora and that we will host two of the events – the first edition of the workshop that targets women with little to no experience in the field of programming and technology Rails Girls Stara Zagora and the two-day entrepreneurial training for people aged between 19 and 35 years ABLE Weekend Activator. 

Rails Girls Stara Zagora will take place on May 19th and 20th. The goal of the workshop is to encourage women to take their first steps in technology, by providing them with basic knowledge of programming and showing them that it is an exciting, interesting and very useful skill. During the event, the participants will learn more about the work of programmers and will receive valuable guidance on how to continue to develop in the sector. 

More information about the event can be found on the website of Rails Girls Stara Zagora, as well as in the profile of Rails Girls Stara Zagora on Facebook

From June 2nd to 4th at The Lodge Coworking Space will also host the ABLE Weekend Activator. Within 48 hours future entrepreneurs with ideas for social projects or their own business will work on different cases and ideas and with the help of experienced mentors they will have the opportunity to improve them to a real working version. More information can be found HERE.

Details about Zara Tech Spring, as well as the whole programme of the festival and the participants in it can be found at
www.zaratech.bg.

WORK FROM COWORKING OR WORK FROM HOME – WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE?

In the last few years remote work has become more and more popular around the world. Various entrepreneurs, freelancers and digital nomads choose to perform their work duties remotely every day. Some employers also introduced this way of working as the only option during the COVID-19 pandemic, but seeing the benefits it provides, many of them decided to keep it long-term. 

Working from home is a very tempting option for anyone who works remotely, but it also has its drawbacks in the long run. That is why many of those working remotely choose to spend their time from 9 to 6 in coworking spaces. Which one, however, is really worth choosing? To perform work tasks with the cat around or to prefer a shared workspace? Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of both ways of working. 

Advantages of working from home 

Working from the comfort of our own home undoubtedly has its advantages. We don’t have to spend time traveling to a specific workplace, we don’t become part of the busy traffic and we don’t think about the means we have to allocate for transport or fuel. The familiar environment at home can give us a sense of calmness and security and, thus, accomplish even the most challenging tasks with minimal amounts of stress. 

At the same time, performing work tasks from home, we don’t need to spend extra time thinking about what to wear or how to put on our makeup for work. 

Working from home allows greater flexibility in choosing when to work, when to take breaks and when to eat. This can be very useful for parents with young children, students or anyone else who has to juggle multiple commitments.

 Disadvantages of working from home 

There is no denying that performing work tasks in pajamas can be a very tempting idea. Unfortunately, however, this way of working has disadvantages that are not to be overlooked. 

Despite the comfort, balancing our personal and professional life can be challenging. The lack of a clearly fixed working time leads to blurring the boundaries of when we work and when it is our time for rest. Performing household chores during working hours, on the other hand, extends the working day duration and at the end of the day it is quite possible to have the feeling that we have seriously overloaded ourselves working for at least eighteen hours instead of eight.

Another disadvantage of working from home is that not all homes are suitable for being used as a workplace. Usually at home there are many factors that can easily distract us and lead to lack of concentration or inability to focus our attention entirely on the project we have been working on for a long time. 

In addition, working from home can also be a very lonely activity. The lack of live contact with colleagues often leads to a drop in our motivation. Working with our teammates promotes a positive work environment and reduces the pressure that someone working alone may feel.

Of course, we cannot ignore the fact that at home we may not have a printer, a representative place for meetings or a secure and stable internet connection at our disposal, which can also lead to unexpected problems and negative emotions. 

Advantages of working from coworking 

If you work remotely, you have definitely heard of the existence of shared workspaces. They have been growing in popularity in recent years and this is due to the advantages they offer over working from home. 

You may find it surprising, but studies show that working from coworking often makes us much more productive than performing tasks at home. This may be partly explained by the fact that at home we can be easily distract by other things. Turning on the TV to work in the background, washing the dishes “quickly” or to collecting the clothes and turning on the washing machine are activities that can look harmless at first glance. The fact is, however, that they distract us and can make us lose focus for a long time. 

When working in a coworking our focus remains only on the specific task, and watching how others perform their professional duties, we are additionally motivated to do ours effectively and competently. The atmosphere in the shared workspaces greatly resembles the one in the offices and this additionally helps us to be tuned in to the work process. 

Another advantage of working from coworking space is the opportunity to make new acquaintances. Meeting new people from working in the same area or finding potential clients is a great asset! Enriching our network of professional contacts is always welcome, and socializing with other people is extremely important for us to feel good within the working day and after it. 

In most such spaces, various events and initiatives are also organized. Attending significant professional events not only makes us feel part of a community, but also give us new ideas and perspectives for development. 

Working from a coworking space can also have a direct positive impact on our physical health. Usually, the desks there are adapted for work, and the chairs are ergonomic and save us possible back and waist pain. While working from a shared workspace, it is more likely that we will remember to take more frequent short breaks and walks – something that we certainly miss at home, and the refrigerator is not to be open when we are not hungry. 

Coworking spaces can help in unforeseen circumstances. We need to print a document urgently, but we don’t have a device at home! We need to have a meeting with an important client, but the restaurants and cafes in town are not the most suitable place! The internet suddenly stops and the deadlines are approaching! It is almost certain that in coworking spaces we can easily handle these challenging situations. They have quality office equipment and special meeting rooms where we can meet even the most demanding potential clients. 

Among the advantages of working from a shared workspace are also the reduced costs. Most coworking spaces have different plans for renting a place. The costs are usually much lower than renting your own office. The package price includes everything and there is no need to deal with anything else, except our own work commitments. 

Disadvantages of working from coworking 

Like most things in our lives, working from shared workspaces can also have its disadvantages. 

For some people, having to spend time traveling from home to coworking may not be a good option. When working from home we can start with tasks as soon as we wake up and have breakfast, as well as finish what’s left after the kids are already in bed. 

We can’t deny either that in shared workspaces it can sometimes be a bit noisy. Although they provide favourable conditions for everyone to concentrate fully, the presence of many working people in one place can be distracting. However, those working from coworking spaces share that they usually get used to minimal noise. Others advise using headphones, with which we can even enjoy our favorite music while working. 

Of course, there is always a risk that someone else has taken over the meeting room exactly at the moment when we need to use it. This problem, however, can easily be solved if we book the rooms in advance for the hours when we need to use them.

What to choose? 

There is hardly a definitive answer as to whether working from home or from a shared workspace would be the best option for us, as everyone has their own personal preferences. However, we cannot ignore the fact that by nature humans are social beings and isolation and lack of contact with others can definitely affect us negatively in the long term. Coworking spaces combine the flexibility and comfort of home with the practicality and opportunities for social contact of traditional offices and are a great place to do our work duties. 

Whether you still prefer to stay at home or want to try something new and become part of a community of remote workers like you – you can always personally test the benefits of coworking. Come and visit us at The Lodge Coworking Space! 

We have all the amenities of a regular office environment and more! You can easily choose a subscription plan according to your needs or try it out for a day first. In addition to a comfortable workplace, we have meeting rooms available, free coffee and drinks and great members you can meet and exchange ideas and experience with.

 If you’re ready to move from the couch at home to The Lodge – book your spot now! If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to call us at 087 042 6222 or write to us at .

HOW TO KEEP OUR MOTIVATION TO ACHIEVE OUR GOALS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR (PART 2)

Motivation is one of the key factors that help us achieve our goals. The crucial question is how to keep it on the way to achieving them? 

In the first part of our article we gave some valuable ideas for that. Here are some more tips that will help you stay motivated throughout the year. 

Make a plan 

Very often the secret of success in both personal and professional life lies in good planning. Whether you want to take time out of work to improve your qualifications, or start practising a new hobby – they both require a precise and clear strategy of how and when this can happen. Regularly filling out a planner for the week is a great start that will help you fit in all the goals you want to achieve and give you the focus and time for each of them. 

Don’t neglect your health care 

In the last few years, in the context of the COVID pandemic, we have repeatedly reminded ourselves that whatever we do our health should always be priority number 1. No matter what plans for the future we have, if we are not physically healthy, there is no way to fulfill almost any of them. 

We are currently in the midst of another flu wave, but there are some basic things we can do to at least slightly boost our immunity and try to resist diseases. Experts advise us to reduce the intake of harmful food and increase nutritious meals, which contain beneficial vitamins and minerals. Regular physical activity can also help you stay healthy. If you are not fans of fitness halls, you can always go for a nice walk outside. Don’t forget to sleep enough hours and drink the necessary amount of water. This way you will feel in shape and be even more motivated in performing your tasks. 

Be consistent. Results come gradually

Have you ever set yourself very clear goals at the beginning of the year, and by the middle of it your good intentions for fulfilling them have evaporated? Often the reason for this lies in the fact that you have not seen quick results. 

Every new good habit takes time to assimilate. Be consistent in building it and don’t give up. Gradually you will achieve your desired goals and see that no effort has been in vain. 

Balance between work and personal life 

To be mentally healthy and happy it is important to be able to balance successfully between work and personal life. If you focus only on one of them, the other will inevitably suffer. Those working remotely often face this challenge – in the comfort of their own home they can be tempted to take on household chores or vice versa – buried in work to neglect their loved one. 

That’s why working from shared workspaces is becoming more and more popular and preferred around the world. When we see how others like us are motivated to work, it gives us even more inspiration to cope with our work duties. Performing them from a coworking space, balancing between personal and business life is easier, and the time for performing tasks passes unnoticed. Want to see for yourself? Come visit us at The Lodge! Here you will have all the amenities of office space at your disposal, as well as a corner for rest when you want to relax between different tasks. 

More information about our plans can be found HERE. If you have any questions – do not hesitate to contact us at 087 042 6222 or .

HOW TO KEEP YOUR MOTIVATION THROUGHOUT THE YEAR (PART 1)

At the beginning of every year, we usually make our resolutions – we will start exercising regularly, eat healthier, and change our current job in search of a new challenge. And we imagine the next 12 months will be spent chasing them.

Is that how it goes in real life?

February comes and it turns out that some promises may not be fulfilled. Then comes June, September, and we get to the end of the year and it turns out that we have actually achieved a very small number of the things we wanted. Don`t worry, it’s perfectly normal.

The reasons are usually varied and complex. It is very likely that the loss of motivation during the year is the main culprit. Here are some tips on how to stay focused during all these 365 days and how to pursue your personal and professional goals to the end.

Start with small steps

One of the most important things when you decide to take on a new challenge is to plan small steps on the way to achieving your goal. However, after the first steps, you may encounter difficulties and think about giving up. To prevent this from happening, it is a good idea to set clear goals from the very beginning and give yourself a realistic time for their implementation. Even with just two hours of work a day, you can gradually learn a new skill or even a foreign language. The important thing is to be persistent and not set unrealistic deadlines. So motivation will always be there.

Avoid jumping into too many commitments at once and give yourself time to rest

Taking on too many tasks in a limited amount of time can often be demotivating. Realizing how much work you have to do and your potential inability to finish it in the time frame you want can make it easy to give up. That is why it is extremely important to be able to balance between making efforts in a given direction and getting a full rest. Creating a harmonious work-life balance can not only improve your physical, emotional and mental well-being, but it is important for your career.

Monitor your progress regularly and focus on achievements

To stay motivated in the pursuit of goals, it is also good to track your progress. If you often find out that everything is going according to your plan or even better – this will definitely make you happy and inspire you to keep going. If you see that you are falling behind, this could also motivate you to be even more persistent. Allocate tasks correctly and regularly monitor the results you achievе. Experts say that monitoring progress and reporting small achiеvements will also help you stick to the goal and not give up, even when it gets tough and the work is a lot.

Surround yourself with role models

This advice may seem as old as the world, but it turns out that we often forget about it. One of the most powerful tools for staying motivated in the pursuit of our goals is to surround ourself with people who have already achieved theirs. You have a small business and want to promote it, but don’t know how to do it? Meet people who have already succeeded. You want to start working as a freelancer but you don’t have the courage? Look for someone who is already doing this. Attending lectures and events related to the topics you are interested in can also be an opportunity to meet new inspiring people.

Limit distractions

You have just started a programming course and you are highly motivated to take the first steps in your IT career. You tackle a task, but when it gets challenging, you grab your phone and suddenly 30 minutes pass aimlessly scrolling through social media. Don`t worry, it’s normal. The mass concentration time of people is getting shorter and shorter, and the things that distract us – more and more. If you want to stay motivated and focused on what you are doing – limit all factors that can distract you from work. This way you will be more productive and you will be able to complete many more tasks in the time given.

Stay tuned for part two of this article with more ideas on how to stay motivated and achieve your goals throughout the year.

THE MOST POPULAR PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE PYTHON IS COMING TO STARA ZAGORA

In March, Stara Zagora launched an on-site course on one of the most popular programming languages in the modern IT world – Python. It is organized by IT Academy Stara Zagora and will take place within 4 months at The Lodge Coworking Space.

The training is aimed at people without any programming experience. The language is suitable for complete beginners because it is extremely accessible and has an easy syntax, rich libraries and a well-developed community.

During the course, participants will master the basics of Python and will be able to take their first steps towards a possible future professional career by learning to create all kinds of applications, information systems and software products.

The lectures will be held twice a week and will be led by Nikolay Komitov and Lyudmil Bonev. They both have years of experience in programming and teaching various courses for IT beginners.

Nikolay has been a developer for more than 10 years. He is currently part of the leading IT company in Stara Zagora – eDynamix, upgrading his knowledge and working in PHP and Front-end.

Lyudmil has been actively working with various programming languages for 30 years – Java, Python, JavaScript, Visual Basic, SQL, PHP, C++, C#, etc. He is also the co-author of over 10 textbooks on IT and computer modeling. He is currently an Information and Communication Technology teacher at “Prof. Minko Balkanski” Professional High School of Computer Science and Mathematical Analysis “Prof. Minko Balkanski” and at the Trakia University in Stara Zagora.

Those wishing to apply for the course can fill in the form at itacademysz.com and send their CV by February 26. Detailed information about the training and its implementation can also be found on the website of the Academy.

As a partner, we will do our best for its successful implementation and for the participants to calmly and confidently take their first steps in the IT world.

Good luck to all who will join this adventure! Can not wait to see you!

GRAPHIC DESIGN TRAINING STARTS IN STARA ZAGORA

The Lodge hosts a graphic design course organized by IT Academy Stara Zagora

On January 17, 2023, the graphic design course organized by the IT Academy Stara Zagora in cooperation with The Lodge Coworking Space as a partner and host started. In almost 3 months, participants will master the fundamentals of this increasingly attractive and desirable profession, learning to create visions that meet different goals using Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

The lectures will be held twice a week and will be led by another of our partners, Nedko Boyanov, from Art Collective On the Street. He is a graphic designer who lives and works in Stara Zagora. He discovered his passion for design at the age of 16, first starting to make the visual identity of a series of associations, organizations and events.

He later worked in an advertising agency as a designer, and subsequently continued his career as a freelance specialist. He built the vision of a wide range of local businesses and national companies, including the International Youth Centre – Stara Zagora, Invest Stara Zagora, Christine Fashion and others.

In our efforts to support the development of the local digital ecosystem, we cannot hide the joy that another group of motivated people will have the opportunity to start their career in the technology sector.

Good luck and creative inspiration to all course participants!

THE LODGE COWORKING SPACE PARTNERS WITH DEV.BG

With the birth of The Lodge Coworking Space, we set one main goal – to develop the local digital ecosystem in Stara Zagora and to show that the city has the potential to be on the map of the technologically-developed towns in our country. On the way to it, we clearly realize that we want to work in partnership both with local businesses and specialists, as well as with people and organizations who are believing, that a strong and sustainable digital environment can be created in Stara Zagora. One such partner is DEV.BG – the specialized Job Board for IT ads. From the very beginning, they have been next to us and have supported us in various initiatives.

Who are DEV.BG?

The founders of the platform strive for DEV.BG to be “the best place where IT professionals find their next job”. Founded in 2016 in Sofia, DEV.BG began its journey as an IT community and became a leading tech Job Board, offering IT professionals to choose from over 6 000 up-to-date job postings every day. More than 30 000 IT experts are members of the DEV.BG network.

Approximately 130 IT job advertisements in 43 technology categories are added to the site daily. Whatever you are looking for – the probability of finding it is huge! DEV.BG partners with more than 1100 companies, each of which has a detailed employer profile on the platform. 

It has also a special Digest section, which is dedicated to inspiring stories from the IT sector, current news and interesting interviews. In addition, DEV.BG conducts analyzes and surveys among the technology community and shares current trends in the industry.

DEV.BG is also one of the main organizers of over 160 specialized tech events in Bulgaria every year. Thus, they enable IT experts from different technological fields to exchange knowledge and experience. They are also the organizer of the largest conference in the technology sector – DEV.BG All In One.

Our support and partnership with DEV.BG is one of the things that give us confidence to continue in the direction of development of the local IT, digital and entrepreneurial ecosystem. And working with their team is always a pleasure for us. Special thanks, DEV.BG!