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Bulgarian with nomination for Global Business Hall of Fame 2020

Young and enterprising Boris Kolev says Sofia is among the best places to start new business

Photo: ferdslist.org

Social entrepreneur Boris Kolev is the only European who placed among the eight finalists for the Global Business Hall of Fame 2020. The contest is organized by one of the largest foundations for entrepreneurship education Junior Achievement. The foundation has been selecting for nearly 40 years key figures in the world of entrepreneurship- leaders who are inducted into the JA Hall of Fame. A jury of 230 business experts from different countries evaluates the candidates. 

“Everything is achieved with efforts and hard work. I am very happy that someone from the other side of the world has noticed us, because it happens very rarely. Here in Bulgaria, we are often underestimated. It feels good when the work of someone from Eastern Europe is noticed. Even the nomination itself is a great success”, Boris Kolev says. He is highly recognized for his successful entrepreneurial and social projects from an early age, as well as for the social impact of his work.

Boris Kolev started his business when he was only nineteen. He created a non-profit organization together with his friends from various volunteer organizations. Back then, their goal was to prepare the environment for the social responsibility and sustainability in business. In the beginning, they launched an information portal and were consulting several companies. Now, 11 years later, Boris says that the Bulgarian business has started to pay attention to strategic investments and causes on a social basis, rather than to one-time donation campaigns only.

Currently, Boris is Vice-President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa of a German company for financial software, founder of the world’s oldest trading platform.

“With every failed project, with every quarrel with the partners, it even happened to me even during the first bankruptcy of the company, to sell my personal car, in order to pay off my debts. You always manage after such failures, because you have already learnt your lessons. As a child, I volunteered and helped various organizations. I also volunteered at homes for disadvantaged children. This fascinated me a lot and as soon as I became an adult, I created my first organization. 4 years ago, I organized the biggest camp for disadvantaged children- with over 100 children in Varna. This type of business projects gives me greatest satisfaction.”

Serial entrepreneurship in building startup ecosystems is becoming increasingly topical nowadays. Boris Kolev is such an entrepreneur. Recently, he has been working under an innovative project. The focus is on improving and producing a three-layer nanofiber net which purifies the air when you are ventilating the room. Boris joined this project as a founder and investor. He and his colleagues have been working under this project with the help of a Czech laboratory. The final effect is 93% purified air. The Bulgarian entrepreneur is confident that the serial production of the net will start soon and the product will be on the market within a month.

“Money in Bulgaria is not a problem. However, it is difficult to find the right people to work with you towards the fulfillment of a good idea. Currently, Sofia is among the best places to start a business, because it is very cheap to fail here, regulations are not that heavy, taxes are low and the access to experts is facilitated”, Boris Kolev said in an interview for Bloomberg TV.

Boris Kolev is founder of one of the fastest-developing software companies in Bulgaria- DigiMark, acquired in 2019 by Devexperts. In 2011, he was ranked second in the competition for Bulgaria’s best young manager. In 2013, Boris was featured in Forbes Bulgaria’s 30 under 30 ranking, a list stating the most promising and outstanding young leaders under 30 years.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

Photos: ferdslist.org

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