Irina Georgieva, co-founder and CEO of Enterprise League
Frustrated by wasting time trying to find new business contacts, Irina Georgieva sought a solution and will soon launch her B2B networking platform, Enterprise League.
Tell us about your business, what does it do?
Enterprise League (EL) is a B2B platform for SMEs. Through EL’s platform, small businesses can advertise what their value offerings are for free and search for other firms they can do business with. Moreover, companies can specify exactly what they need at the moment through “tender” posts which are also searchable through our extensive search filters (location, industry, sector, number of employees and specific keywords).
What did you do before you started this business?
I worked as a business consultant for a biofuel production company.
What inspired you to start up?
I faced the issue of finding new business opportunities and service providers for our requirements, numerous times whilst working in my previous job. I was often targeting these challenges by conducting extensive research on Google or LinkedIn in an attempt to find the business collaborators we needed. This was a long process of contacting and being frequently greeted by customer service employees which would redirect me a countless number of times and more often than not, no results would come out of it.
Therefore, I thought it would be such a facilitator to have a place where you can find the firms that you need and contact them directly. Our platform focuses on companies that strive to achieve growth and are looking for new business opportunities. We encourage the firm’s EL profile to be looked after by the firm’s decision-maker, as these are the people that strive for business growth the most.
How would you describe your business to your grandma?
Hey grandma, I am helping small businesses find more new business opportunities even if they don’t know a lot of businesspeople or don't have money and time to constantly go to networking events, exhibitions or hire third parties to help them find contacts.
Where do you get advice, support or help?
We work closely with small business owners that have gladly accepted our request to advise on the platform’s development. These people are facing the issues we are aiming to eliminate and give us a perfect perspective to view our solution from the viewpoint of various industries.
Finance is one of the most common barriers to starting up. How did you access the finance you needed?
We invested ourselves in building the platform which will be live on 4 November 2019. Now we are also collaborating with a serial entrepreneur who is backing us and invested in Enterprise League.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
My biggest achievement so far has been building our team. All five people have contributed in a valuable way to the execution of our vision thus far, and I am extremely proud to have selected these particular individuals from a sea of other applicants.
How do you differentiate your business from others?
Our platform is extremely straightforward to use, offers direct contact to a business’ decision-maker and it is absolutely free to use. Traditional methods offer to sign up for directories (pay to be shown on their page), include generic contact details (anyone can get back to you or more often your message is ignored), limited opportunities (hard time finding exactly the type of firm you want to work with).
What’s it like to be your own boss?
First and foremost, it means saying goodbye to free time and peace of mind. You find yourself constantly thinking about the next tasks, big thing to implement, new strategies to achieve your goals etc. It’s a never-ending job.
Where do you see your business in five years time?
A well-established B2B platform which is empowering SMEs to take control of their business opportunities, growth and success rate. With five million+ users, Enterprise League is helping bring down the 60% statistic of small businesses that fail after year five.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Nothing is impossible. There is always a way to do something, keep searching, use every resource at your disposal and if you don’t have any resources – find some. It is crucial to be able to see clearly where you want to get to, analyse what you need to do to get there and start climbing step by step.
Prioritise hiring people based on personality and character rather than skills. No amount of skills can compensate for having a high spirited believer in the company’s vision with the willingness to learn and contribute to achieving the firm’s goals.
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