London and Sofia agreed to provide free support to entrepreneurs willing to start a business in the two capitals. The support will include the provision of a free office, assistance with accommodation and transport in the city, promoting and contacts with local businesses. Thus, Sofia entrepreneurs will receive the necessary support in their first steps on the London market and London entrepreneurs will be given the same support when investing in Sofia.
The collaboration was agreed by Vladimir Danailov, executive director of Sofia Investment Agency, and his colleague Tony Margiotta from British agency “London and partners”. The agreement will place Sofia to cities like Paris, Tel Aviv, Lisbon, Los Angeles and San Diego. With these cities the British agency has concluded similar agreements as part of its City-to-City Business Welcome program.
Following the agreement under the City-to-City Business Welcome program, London will be committed to provide Sofia entrepreneurs with an office in a co-working space, introducing contacts with communities in different partner organizations, accommodation during the time of stay in the city, discounts for the transport network, assistance in recruitment of staff. An important part of the commitments is to introduce the entrepreneurs and businesses to local ecosystems and to make specific contacts with relevant partners, business angels, investors and other stakeholders in the British capital. A mentoring team will be offered to startups to monitor progress and provide interim support at the initial stage of establishment. The commitments are bilateral and bind Sofia to provide the same support to investors from London.
The collaboration talks took place during the business visit of Mayor Yordanka Fandakova to London Mayor Sadiq Kahn to discuss how the two cities can work together on different projects. At the meetings, Vladimir Danailov together with Nikolay Stoynev, deputy chairman of Sofia Municipal Council and chairman of the Supervisory Board of Sofia Investment Agency introduced to “London and partners” the opportunities for business development in the capital. At the invitation of Sofia Investment Agency, Rob Wirszycz, executive director of Questers, a British IT company with an office in Sofia, mainly active in the formation of highly efficient teams of technology specialists for companies in Europe and the United States, was included in the presentation of Sofia as a business destination. Based on his personal experience, Rob Wirszycz expressed his positive assessment of Bulgaria and Sofia as a relatively unknown but interesting destination that offers good conditions and multiple opportunities for companies from the UK. As a result of the presentation of Sofia in the British capital, the invitation to join the City-to-City Business Welcome program of “London and Partners” has also been received.
The text of the agreement has already been drawn up and is to be discussed at an expert level and executed.
About “London and partners”
The core business of “London and Partners” is to build the international reputation of London and to promote the city as a top destination for investment, education and tourism. The agency is 50% funded by the British capital’s municipality, and 50% by the business. It employs about 150 people working on different programs, including City-to-City Business Welcome. The program aims at linking London and other capitals or major business centers in a global network of cities that work together and develop business cooperation and growth. The program achieves bilateral mutually beneficial commercial and investment links, providing companies with the necessary support to enter the business environment of the respective host city.