Life as a Global Entrepreneur in Bulgaria: An Interview with an Italian Expat

Meet our latest interviewee, an Italian entrepreneur who has made Bulgaria his home. He shares with us his experiences as a foreigner in Bulgaria and gives valuable insights into what it’s like to live and do business in the country.

Tell us a little about yourself and what do you do?

Well, I was born in Rimini, Italy. However, since I was 24 years old I’ve been a global citizen. I have lived in Panama, Brazil, and now Bulgaria. I’m an entrepreneur and I have successful businesses on three continents – Europe, North and South America.

What is your business in Europe?

MP Group, my Bulgarian company, is a contemporary concierge, we help those who are too busy or unsure how to accomplish their financial goals. 

Please tell me more about this concierge service

We help you draw and implement your strategy whether you want to start a business, protect your wealth, expand your portfolio, or plan for retirement. Currently, we are working as an intermediary in three main directions. First is “Connections Bulgaria” for those who want to open a company here and benefit from the low tax rates, and low labor costs, but also from the skilled and multilingual workforce. The Second is “Connections Mexico” for those who want to explore real estate opportunities in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Similar to this is “Connections Florida” where we help you with legal advice about opening a company or meeting your real estate needs, including construction, property management, and renovations. 

How did you come to Bulgaria and what were your first impressions?

In recent years Bulgaria has come a long way. The Bulgarian IT sector has been one of the driving forces behind the country’s steady growth over the past few years. Some of the many organizations that have already chosen to establish their operations in the country include global leaders such as HP, IBM, SAP, VMWare, and Adecco. Additionally, Bulgaria is not only at the top of the nearshoring destinations for fintech in the EU but also the fastest growing fintech hub in South-eastern Europe. You understand that I couldn’t stay indifferent to the possibilities Bulgaria has to offer. Other than that I was pleasantly surprised by the many similarities between the Italians and Bulgarians, namely their passion, their amazing nature, and their sense of humor. 

What are the main cultural differences that you have noticed between your country of origin and Bulgaria?

Obviously, every country is unique, and Bulgaria and Italy have different historical and cultural backgrounds. One thing that impressed me is the number of holidays Bulgarians celebrate. There’s an occasion for almost everything and I love that. This is such a great way to keep the traditions alive and simply enjoy life. Actually, Bulgarian culture reminds me a lot of my experience in Brazil.

What has been the most difficult part of adjusting to life in Bulgaria?

Bulgarians are very friendly, but the Bulgarian language is really difficult to learn. So, I think this is the biggest struggle I’m facing as a foreigner. 

How would you describe the experience of learning the Bulgarian language?

I know a few phrases and I’m constantly trying to remember new words, but it’s more challenging than I expected. Hopefully, one day I will be able to understand it better.

What do you like the most about living in Bulgaria?

You know what they say about America – “the land of unlimited possibilities”. I think Bulgaria is in fact the true land of unlimited possibilities. There’s so much you can do here. I love nature, the people, and the development of the country. You can be a successful businessman working along with some of the biggest companies in the world and still be able to live a relaxed life in a cozy village, during the weekends you can practice whatever hobby you might have, whether that’s skiing in the winter or swimming in the summer. 

Have you encountered difficulties in getting a job or in establishing personal relationships due to your status as a foreigner?

Being a foreigner is always challenging, especially when you have to deal with the bureaucracy inherent in most legal institutions here. Other than that I’ve had mainly good experiences. I made many Bulgarian and foreign friends here.

Have you noticed any difference in the quality of life compared to your country of origin?

I think in recent years the quality of life in Europe, in general, has become more or less the same. There are some minor differences but they’re too small to mention, so I’d say the quality of life is pretty much the same.

Have you had to face any legal or bureaucratic challenges when moving to Bulgaria?

Of course, I think this is inevitable. Luckily I have a great support group around me and I always find a way to deal with everything that needs to be done. Sometimes this may take a while, but at the end of the day, it all works out just fine. 

Have you found any aspect of the culture or lifestyle in Bulgaria that surprised you or that you did not expect?

The shaking of your head means ‘yes’ and nodding means ‘no’. I still get confused, especially when I’m asking for items in a restaurant or shop. To this day I always ask “da ili ne?”(yes or no). 

Have you made any local friends in Bulgaria? How have you forged these friendships?

I made some quality friendships while living in Bulgaria. Most people I have worked with and others I met at social events. 

Do you have any advice for someone considering moving to Bulgaria?

Do it now, it is totally worth it. Regardless of your career or family status, here you can have all that you dream of. But don’t forget to read a little bit about the history of Bulgaria in advance, as it plays a big part in their culture and mentality. 

What are your long-term plans to continue living in Bulgaria or return to your home country?

As I mentioned earlier, I consider myself to be a global citizen. I certainly plan to live in Bulgaria as long as possible and grow my business here. It would be my pleasure to motivate, retain, and attract new employees and business partners, meet new friends, and learn more about this beautiful country. 

We hope you enjoyed getting to know our interviewee and his journey in Bulgaria. His advice to anyone considering moving to the country is to go for it, as it’s a land of unlimited possibilities. Thanks for reading!

Foreigner BG | News