A team of Bulgarian scientists and students is on the verge of a major breakthrough in the fight against the virus
The oldest and most prestigious university in Bulgaria, St. Kliment Ohridski, is on the threshold of a molecular genetics breakthrough of global significance. Thanks to the esteemed founder and chairman of the Family Business Network –Bulgaria – the philanthropist, entrepreneur, and honorary consul of Uzbekistan, Petar Mandjoukov, numerous school and university students will get the chance to work with cutting-edge technology. The Petar Mandjoukov Foundation is the exclusive investor in a state-of-the-art laboratory created for the needs of the Genetics Department of the University of Sofia. The donation will help the medical and scientific community to combat COVID-19.
According to the Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Prof. Stoyan Shishkov, we are witnessing a sustainable trend toward an increasingly larger and more inspired agenda of family entrepreneurs in support of important scientific discoveries.
Never before has humankind experienced such a vicious and ubiquitous crisis as the Covid-19 pandemic, said Mandjoukov. He added that no one as yet can predict the economic consequences of this pandemic. The global crisis has brought into the limelight the key role that family businesses play in the restoration of the economy. One of the biggest lessons from the past year is that the global economy is not adequate enough in conditions of social isolation and limited movement of people and goods. This is where family businesses have to step in and take charge of the reinvigoration of the local industries. On a global scale, family companies are the leaders in corporate social responsibility, according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers among 2,801 owners of family businesses. 80% of the corporate donation campaigns in the fight against the pandemic are organised by family-based companies. The famous entrepreneur said that in 2020 all around Europe, including in Bulgaria, it was precisely the family-run businesses that rose to the occasion and started manufacturing essential products for protection and disinfection. Thanks to their efforts the mask and disinfectant delivery crisis was overcome in a matter of months, he commented.
Along the same lines, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, praised the decisive role of family businesses in the resurrection of the economy from COVID-19 and for the future. Hosting an exclusive round table on February 26 on the issues of family businesses, the Prime Minister became acquainted with the mechanisms used by family businesses to tackle the effects of the pandemic, and the significant role they have in the support of the local communities. In Bulgaria, the role of businesses in support of science and medicine has grown in the context of Covid-19.
‘Wealth is a relative concept. I am very fortunate to be able to call myself a wealthy man. But people like me have to realise that we cannot be wealthy only for our own benefit. Each of us is a member of society and we all have the duty to contribute and support the medical community’ said Mandjoukov. At the height of the first wave of the pandemic, the Bulgarian entrepreneur donated to the Military Medical Academy high-tech ambulances, respirators, breathing ventilators and air filtering systems. The overall price of the donated equipment was approximately EUR 1 million, as reported by the Military Medical Academy. The highly esteemed Bulgarian benefactor called on all wealthy people around the world to contribute to the global efforts.