I have spent 9 weeks in Bulgaria as a young entrepreneur at Coworking Bansko – an amazing coworking space located at the foot of the Pirin mountains. To say I have learnt a lot about myself and future plans will be an understatement. At first, I was a little worried about travelling alone and to a country, I have never been to before. But I do not regret it at all. It has been (and continues to be) the most amazing and eye-opening experience.
I am working on a weekend conference (happening next week) for women in business and technology (“Women On The Mountain”). Although I have done a few tasks for the business (i.e. helping with onboarding new members in to the space) I have spent the vast majority of my time organising the conference. I do love the coworking space and my love for sharing and community has grown since I have been here but I have come to the realisation that I perhaps do not want to open a coworking space in London anymore. This experience has taught me, that I much rather prefer running events and providing networking opportunities for women. Therefore I have decided to change the nature of my business plan to be more of a social enterprise that specialises in conference production and event organisation.
Organising the event has provided me with a huge amount of connections, both within the space and beyond. My LinkedIn connections has increased from 129 to 410 with women all across Eastern Europe eager to connect and work together. I am heading to Macaedonia next week to meet a potential partner and attend a weeklong workshop to develop my business plan further.
Above all I have made some of the most amazing friends! I have met very inspirational people who are always eager to help develop my idea. I have met friends who have exactly the same interests and very similar aspirations to myself and it is so comforting to be able to brainstorm with them. In addition to Matthias (Host Entrepreneur, Cofounder) and Uwe (Cofounder) I have met Irina, the chief coworking officer at Coworking Bansko. Not only does she love both art and event organisation (like myself) but she is super supportive. She also painted me a picture (see attached). She inspires me to run for events for creatives in London. I have met Joana (who loves dance) and we are working on creating a dance event together for young people in the local community. I have met Krissy, the best and most supportive person ever. We are in talks on running some events in France together. I have met Kat who will be running one of my events in London in October. I have met Deni and Camila who have been amazing for the short time I have met them. I met Georgi, a 16 year old young man running his own business and developing a hackathon. I met Anna, the founder of Coding Girls – we are working on a partnership together. Lastly, but most definitely not the least, Julia – a volunteer I meet in Bulgaria and who is willing to partner with me to continue running WOM in Bulgaria.