Blagoevgrad is the largest city in southwestern Bulgaria, the administrative centre of Blagoevgrad Municipality and of Blagoevgrad Province, with a population of 70,881 inhabitants. It lies on the banks of the Blagoevgradska Bistritsa river.
The city is the economic and cultural centre of southwestern Bulgaria. It is located in the valley of the Struma River at the foot of the Rila and Pirin Mountains, 101 kilometres south of Sofia, close to Republic of Macedonia border. Blagoevgrad features a pedestrian downtown with preserved 19th-century architecture and numerous restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, and boutiques.
Blagoevgrad is home to two universities, the South-West University "Neofit Rilski" and the American University in Bulgaria. The city hosts also the "Sts. Cyril and Methodius National Humanitarian High School", the former Bulgarian Men's High School of Thessaloniki moved from Thessaloniki to Blagoevgr in 1913.
Because of the large number of students, its cross-road location, nature and number of social factors, the city has well developed economy. There are many clothing stores, cafes, and restaurants. The district ranks sixth in GDP per capita in the country right after the more industrial districts of Sofia, Varna, Sofia District, Plovdiv and Burgas. The registered unemployment is slightly below 10%, less than the average for the country.
Industries of interest include: food and tobacco processing industries - Animal products, fruit, vegetables, tobacco, and liquor production, textile industry, timber and furniture industries, iron processing and machinery industry, radio-electronic equipment and other electronic communication components, construction materials industry, tourism, pharmaceuticals, plastics, paper, shoes, etc.
BATTI Blagoevgrad was established in 2015 with the idea to create regional community of innovation support and technology professionals, to promote high standards in the provision of innovation support and technology transfer services to SMEs, NGOs, public sector, universities, etc. and to share professional experience and good practice, with a view to developing the knowledge economy, improving quality of life and boosting the wealth creation process in Blagoevgrad and the Blagoevgrad region.