Knight's honest

21 April 2011 text Dima Chakurova, photos Angel Kotzev Studio
Gergana Djenkova is a psychologist by education and a coach of leadership and Apostol Dyankov, an adviser of steady business and collaborator of Gorichka are the people behind the really interesting project The Green Knights - a courier business accomplished in urban conditions with electric bicycles. On 14th of May the two of them, along with the third member of the team - Dimitar Dimitrov, a master of financial magaement and activist for human rights will present at the organized by Gorichka Forum Business to tell us why the green scenario is possible in a city like Sofia too. They believe so hard in their idea that we believed them too.

How the idea of the Green Knights was born?
They started as a diploma project for my master degree of business administration when I met my colleague Mitko who is a part of our team now. About an year later we started to talk to Gergana and right now we are developing the idea. I am the head of the idea but for all of us it is already a cause.
Gergana: Apostol is the brain and the main force in the motor of the project. My role is to support the realization as I direct to the details and I insist to clarify them. After we begin my work will be connected with the internal training and development of the knights - the qualification and the experience I have are connected with the building of the personal capacity.

Who could take advantage of the Green Knights when they go in charge?
Everybody. The knights will be urban velocouriers on electrical byscilces even though a lot of people think that Sofia is not the most suitable city for bicycles. Our main clients will be companies that are in for the stable development. In its basis, it is the idea that while we are developing the business, we also develop the people in the team. They will have not only the opportunity for an interesting job but also they will gain skills and experience that will make them competitive on the jobs market for a short time. I hope that we could be a stepping stone for young people that need such a chance and the business to show a positive example for the city and to encourage the bicycle transport – something that has been a practice in other European cities for a long time.

The idea is provocative and we are used to connect the business with some stringency. Do you see it going?
Apostol: The Green Knights is a provocative project, this is true and some people would say that it is very difficult to be realized. On the other hand, there are many companies that would like to improve their so called corporate social responsibility – being more stable and responsible to the environment and the society. There is a certain hunger for positive projects that would bind the business to some cause besides the making of money. We are trying to turn a cause into business and the advantages to be for as many as parties as possible – the clients, the young people, the city, the Nature.
Gergana: In the times we live, the ideals are not respected. Our project is a return both to the deeper sense of the personal existence and doing a business – to serve the others in a better way. We want The Green Nights to follow an ethical code – to be contemporary urban role models and thus to provoke more people to think about the things that really matter.

What was the biggest challenge you have met so far?
Apostol: We are still solving a lot of challenges we have met. The formation of the team, the technical providing, the attraction of clients – we are solving all these issues on the move, so it could be ready when we start. But maybe the greatest challenge is to answer the expectations of our partners. It appeared that the idea for The Green Knights as a stable courrier and a bridge between the young people and the business has inspired a lot of people. Now they expect of us to make The Green Knights reality and we have to achieve it the best possible way.

What should we expect from the knights during the Forum Business?
Apostol: We will tell about the idea, what we have done so far and what remains. The goal is to attract the people with our vision for bicycle courriers in Sofia as The Green Knights.
Gergana: One of the things that would help for our success is the visibility of the cause and the support from many people. We will use the forum to tell about our idea, to hear comments and proposals, to meet people with same views.

If you have to imagine this project in its ideal form after five years, what should have happened during this period?
Apostol: Many young people should have passed through the school of the Knights and they should have succeeded in their carreer. The business will be more acceptable for green ideas and id should be more stable. The citizens in Sofia should know well who are the bicycle courriers. There should be more veloaleys and more people would ride bicycles.

The most important lesson you would like to share from your experience?
Apostol: It is always good to share your ideas. There is no need to fear that someone would steal them or that they won’t take you seriouosly. There wouldn’t be any way The Green Knights to happen if there weren’t many people inspired and involved. If our idea succeeds, it will be due to the sharing and embracing it by everybody.
Gergana: It is always worth it to make the effort to fulfill a dream – even if you don’t see it in the way you have imagined it at the beginning; while you are fighting for it, new dreams will occur or you will meet new followers and friends. Whatever happens, you will not lose.

Forum Business is in Modern Theater on May 14 from 10AM to 6PM,
preliminary registration at or in the shops of BioMag – 30lv for two people or 20lv per single, at the event – 30lv for single ticket


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