450,000 Bulgarians Work From Their Own Homes
Approximately 450,000 Bulgarians earn their living working from home, as noted by a report presented by HomeNet Eastern Europe.
Prior to 2009 home workers were mostly retired people or permanently unemployed people. Currently, those two groups are joined by recent graduates - young laywers, economists, teachers and even artists, as explained by the organization.
The average age of home workers in Sofia is 40 years and 35 in Veliko Tarnovo.
''Up until 2014, there were no people working from home in the capital, while now they are close to 1000,'' stated chair of the NGO, Violeta Zlateva. ''Among them are also unemployed ladies that have turned their hobbies into real professions.''
As the report noted, most of the home employed people were engaged in artistic endeavours, such as the production of souvenirs, knitwork, jewelry, and even clothing and shoes.
However, merely 8% of them are permanently employed under a labor contract. Thus, the income received by these activities raraely surpasses the minimal wage in the country - BGN 340. The rest of the people are self-employed and sell their goods and products at various small street markets.
Despite the fact that they do not have a permanent income, they still need to comply with local legislation and pay insurance and pension installments per BGN 420 monthly earnings.
Therefore, HomeNet officers insist on legislative amendments that will allow self-employed people to only pay installments on a minimum wage rate and to receive support for easier access to bank credits.
''The idea is for them t get easier access to credits of up to BGN 5,000, that will allow them to purchase materials to work with, as well as to lend offices, where they can execute their businesses,'' Zlateva explained.
She further noted that Macedonian government, for example, provides EUR 5,000 grants to every self-employed home worker, that has expressed the desire to develop their own business.
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