Stoyan Panchev, a Students For Liberty alumni from Bulgaria is the founder and Executive Chairman of Bulgarian Libertarian Society (BLS) which has received attention for the organization’s efforts to fight for financial freedom and against regulations on cash payments in Bulgaria.
He’s most passionate about economic freedom and believes that “the most important task for liberty-minded activists in the coming years should be the separation of state and economy.”
Stoyan was first introduced to Students For Liberty while he was studying in the UK where he met some of the founding members of European Students For Liberty and was able to assist in laying the groundwork for Students For Liberty in Europe. Among his proudest accomplishments during his time as a student, he lists bringing SFL to Southeastern Europe, organizing three successful conferences in Bulgaria, and serving as the Chairman of European Students For Liberty.
BLS got its start as a student club and is today a formidable presence in the Bulgarian political landscape. Stoyan says their fight for cash is one of their biggest policy wins. “The government was trying to sneakily outlaw cash payments larger than 600 USD. We managed to lift the topic out of obscurity, make noise, protest, get in the face of politicians and defeat the powerful ruling party and their wealthy allies twice in a matter of months.”
He sees another victory here too, saying, “it’s proof that, if well-organized, the liberty movement can stand its ground against collectivists.”
Stoyan looks back fondly at his time with Students For Liberty.
“SFL showed me the possibilities of entrepreneurship – how a group of dedicated fellow students can build an incredible organization from scratch. SFL not only gave me the confidence to move forward with an idea, with a plan, with a dream, but even more importantly to first allow myself to entertain those plans and ideas.”
In Students For Liberty, Stoyan found an alternative to universities which he says are rapidly turning into “bubble-wrapped kindergartens.” He says, “I remember SFL as a place of inspiring leadership, boldness, great ideas, smart decisions but also mistakes, strong emotions and real issues to solve. Exactly what you need in your early 20s.”
Dedicated alumni like Stoyan exemplify what our mission is here at Students For Liberty and we’re grateful for his flattering words. We can’t wait to hear more from Stoyan and BLS as they make Bulgaria into a freer place.