Interview With Simon Feek: British Bulgarian Business Association
With such a prosperous Bulgarian presence in London, I figured that there must be some some sort of organisation in place to support the Bulgarian community, and there is, namely the British Bulgarian Business Association. I had the opportunity to speak to Simon Feek, a member of the board of directors as well as a founding member of BBBA.
In his own words: “BBBA has been established as a bi-lateral chamber organisation to represent the interests of British business in Bulgaria and Bulgarian business in the UK. The association has also begun to lobby for change in legislation in Bulgaria with other countries Chambers jointly supporting these initiatives.”
“My role and that of my fellow Board Members in the association is to represent our fellow members business interests regarding UK/BG trade. This includes us defining strategy for the association, working with third parties that include UKTI and British Embassy Sofia as well as recruiting as many suitable members as possible into our young association.”
With already 120 members after its launch in January 2015, BBBA is growing. As a new BBBA member, you will be paired up with a fellow BBBA member for free, to get the ball rolling.
The association organises two or three events per month, including a very active networking evening each month in the bar of the British Embassy Sofia. This is Simon’s favourite event as it is essentially “a very relaxed networking event over a good British beer! We meet a lot of new clients at this event and I think a lot of our members enjoy the “banter” that you may find in any British pub! BBBA members may also receive invites to external events too, recently that included the launch of the new Jaguar SUV!
BBBA also offers a “match making” service which involved matching incoming British businesses to potential BG partners both in and outside of the BBBA. “As we are so young (just over a year!) many of these services are still coming on-stream. However we have recently begun market analysis projects for potential incoming businesses and offer a number of other services upon request.”
According to Simon, the reasons that Bulgarian entrepreneurs should seek the help and support of BBBA are as follows:
Networking - “Members will be alongside companies of all sizes from start-up SME to massive corporate. The experience they can share about BG/UK business in general is more than useful to all companies.”
Credibility - “If they plan to enter each market place. Brand Britannia is very strong in most parts of the Balkans.”
Support - “They are not alone in growing their business and with such a wide range of industry sectors represented, they are no more than a phone call away from a fellow business owner and BBBA Member.”
Friendship - “I am very happy to say my network of personal friends has grown in the last year due to our involvement in BBBA. You can never have enough friends… especially at start-up level!