Sofia is the capital and economic powerhouse of Bulgaria, a hub of industry and commerce and an incredibly popular destination for foreign investment.
Sofia was recently ranked 20 out of 80 locations in the fDi and TNW’s Tech Cities of the Future for 2020/21, highlighting the renown in which the city is held within the international business and tech communities.
Tech is one of the fastest-growing sectors in Sofia, with new startups taking root in the ancient city everyday. Sofia Invest’s 2020 report highlights the Bulgarian capital’s role as a major ICT center, employing over 50,000 people in the region.
An emphasis on diversity
A major factor in Sofia’s claim to being a tech capital of the future is its striking emphasis on diversity within the industry. Bulgaria is the EU country with the highest rate of gender diversity working in ICT, with women accounting for 31.2% of the workforce. Sofia is a modern city for a modern industry — while the rest of the EU continues to play catch-up.
A highly-skilled workforce
According to data from the National Statistical Institute and Sofia Invest, the majority of local graduates hold a higher-level degree. Equally as important, this data reveals that the majority of local graduates display a proficiency in at least one foreign language — a vital asset in a global industry.
A focus on tech education
An increasing number of new university and private tech-ed programs have emerged to respond to the growing IT business demands in the country. As of 2021, more than 30 private software academies offer short to mid-term educational programs (six to 30 months), with courses ranging from programming and computer graphics to IT project management and sales.
One such institution is the Telerik Academy, the first Bulgarian private tech-ed organization. Based out of Campus X, Telerik partners with companies from across the tech industry, leading the way in tech education.
Campus X is a flexible office provider and a leading coworking hub, which provides companies and individual professionals with all they need for success in one place. At the Campus, you can benefit from flexible modular offices, enterprise-grade infrastructure, easy access to talent, funding (with two of Bulgaria’s leading investment funds working on-site), and a tight-knit community of fellow innovators.
To empower Bulgaria’s tech ecosystem even further, Campus X has also launched new substantial discounts (up to 25%) in support* of both Bulgarian and international tech start-ups looking to start their operations in Bulgaria.
*Terms and conditions apply
A cost-effective environment
In 2020, Sofia ranked third in cost-effectiveness among all major cities European cities. What’s more, Sofia ranked third in the list of top cost-effective fintech destinations. These findings reflect the highly favorable tax rates for both businesses and individuals in Bulgaria, which have served to stimulate local business and invite international investment:
– 10% corporate tax & personal income tax
– 20% value-added tax (VAT)
– 18.92% employer social security contribution
An easy place to set up shop
As a major city in Southeastern Europe, Sofia is a perfect location for any young company with an eye on expansion. This is because Sofia offers direct links to other EU hubs such as Paris, London, and Berlin, but it also acts as a gateway for businesses looking to tap into Russian and Middle-Eastern markets.
The Commercial Act offers numerous incentives to stimulate both foreign and domestic business in Bulgaria, while the city boasts world-class infrastructure ready to host everything from major corporations to exciting new startups — thanks in no small part to a great selection of flexible and hybrid office spaces.
Sofia is a more attractive destination than ever before. As more and more tech companies take notice of the skilled workforce and generous tax incentives, we can expect to see Sofia drawing major talent and investment away from other EU markets in the coming years.
To learn more about the options in Sofia for coworking, VOs, shared offices, or single-use day passes like Global Pass, visit our homepage. You can also visit Coworking Insights to check out our interview with CEO Boyko Iaramov here.