Building His Own Dreams - An Expat Gives Back in Bulgaria
How it got started: Daniel Montiglio moved from Chile to Bulgaria over 14 years ago in search of new opportunities and a rich cultural experience. He faced the same challenges in establishing himself and his career as any expatriate settling into any new country. One of the biggest challenges Daniel found was that information was scattered in several places, inconsistent, and often outdated. This made it difficult for Daniel to find his way through the system. However, he says the people of Bulgaria were very helpful. Even though they didn’t know him, they gave him a friendly hand in difficult times. Through his experience, he began to realize that there was a business opportunity to help others navigate their way as foreigners settling in Bulgaria. He founded Foreigner BG to fill the information gap for those new to the beautiful country he now called home.
Time to give back: Social entrepreneurship became a particular interest of Daniel’s because of the kind assistance he was given by people he met along the way. He would like to repay this kindness by providing free and useful resources to every foreigner establishing in Bulgaria. He says, “Now is the moment I feel confident that I have the knowledge and capability to finally move forward. It’s my time to give that hand back to other foreigners in need.”
How the My Own Business Institute course helped: Daniel has pursued entrepreneurial projects in the past, in different industries and with varying levels of success. This time, to build a solid foundation, he enrolled in the MOBI class offered through the Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center (BEC) in Varna, Bulgaria. The course was taught using the online MOBI curriculum in addition to regular class meetings and mentor engagement through BEC. Daniel felt that the mentorship and guidance he received through the MOBI/BEC course made the difference in his approach to this entrepreneurial opportunity. He describes the experience of sharing ideas with a broader audience and fine tuning his strategies and plans based upon the feedback of his classmates.
In addition to the interaction Daniel had with others through the MOBI/BEC course, he found the curriculum around creating a business plan to be particularly helpful. Initially he did not see the importance of writing a business plan. The course taught him to understand that the business plan is the cornerstone and compass of any business, even while it is continuously changing.
Daniel is excited about the opportunity that lies ahead. His short-term goal is to grow his audience while at the same time building trust and rapport with his network. For the long term, he has two objectives. Daniel aspires for Foreigner BG to be the leading site for his target audience in Bulgaria, and he hopes to break even financially after 12 months. The market seems to be receptive, Foreigner BG is nominated in the Innovation of the Year 2018 category for the Third Annual Tourism Awards presented by the Bulgarian Ministry.
What motivated Daniel to be an entrepreneur? He says, “My inspiration comes from my desire to build, follow and live my own dreams. For many years I worked for others, I was building someone else’s dream.”
Daniel is grateful to BEC and the MOBI course. He hopes that many other people will enroll and learn about starting and growing a business as he did.