Panel discussion – having a small business in Bulgaria

What: Panel discussion
When: 27 September 2019
Topic: Small business in Bulgaria

When we came up with the idea to make a panel discussion in Smokinya Foundation it seemed like something very distant and unreal. Today is exactly a week since the first ever panel discussion with Smokinya happened.

We decided to make the discussion on Friday evening, which was a risk we had to take due to a high busyness of our guests. And the risk payed off: we had three experts to share their knowledge with an audience eager to get that knowledge.

If you follow our Facebook page (which you should do, if you want to be updated about everything Smokinya Foundation does), you already know who these people were. But let me shortly introduce them here as well:

John Alexander Adam from Scotland. John came to Bulgaria 18 years ago, established an online financial markets and private investor-targeted media: Invezz. Two years ago sold it to a London-based group and currently is in the process of launching his new company – Boring Bulgaria. It will be a project management agency/consultancy for foreign companies establishing a presence in Bulgaria.

Tsveta Tsekina. Tsveta studied French philology at university, but at the moment is dealing with something quite far from it. She is an owner of a selected second hand clothes store Trash for almost seven years; and recently opened a second one.

Stefan Yordanov. Several years ago Stefan opened a MTB shop AllMountain with the hope that he can reverse his hobby into something that can be future-proof not only in his “free” time but like a business without harming his love for bikes and snowboards.

We won’t retell everything that was said during the discussion, this you can watch yourself since we have made a live stream and this video is available on our FB page (told you, there’s so much interesting things on our social media), but we will share some interesting thoughts.
For example, all our guests have faced betrayals from their business partners in the beginning of their career. From here is their advice: always have good contracts! It saves money, relationships and nerves.

They also agreed that legal procedures to open and keep small business going in Bulgaria have to be improved and digitalized. But despite all the difficulties no one of them wants to give up running their own businesses and return completely to an employee status.

And if you are still trying to figure out when is the best time to start your own thing, the answer is NOW.
This is a very brief summary of one and a half hours long discussion and Q&A with the audience, after which we continued conversations in less formal way over a cup of coffee.

Is there something to improve in the process of moderating our next panel discussion? Absolutely, we collected some feedback from our guests and made notes for the future. Yes, that’s right – we are planning to have more events like this. Keep an eye on our updates and we will see you next time!

We also would like to thank everyone who spent their Friday evening with us or joined us online, and huge thanks to our experts who took their time to share their knowledge and experience.


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This program is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme to support education, training, youth and sport in of the European Union.

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Panel discussion – having a small business in Bulgaria