ALMA: Access to Language Methods for Increasing Migrants' Abilities to Start Their Own Business

alma: Access to  Language Methods

ALMA: Access to Language Methods for Increasing Migrants’ Abilities to Start Their Own Business is a European cooperation project aimed at stimulating migrants to begin a new business, to inspire and provide them with practical guidelines in order to start and run a successful company within a new cultural and linguistic context.

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Role Models' Profiles

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Photo of Lili Todorova Schroot-Nedeva

Lili Todorova Schroot-Nedeva

Lili helps enterprising Bulgarians on their way to success

After years of paid employment at an accounting firm, Lili changed course in 2009 and started her own business. With her own office she now helps mainly Bulgarian entrepreneurs on their way to Dutch society.

Schroot-Nedeva's accountants office is called BG Start and is located in Amsterdam. She has been an entrepreneur for eleven years now, a step that she still looks back on with pride.
"A Bulgarian client from the office where I worked at the time gave me this idea and encouraged me to start my own business. According to him, many Bulgarians were looking for a good accountant who could help them in their own language."

Lili sees something in that idea and asks permission from her employer to work for herself as well. “If you are employed, you cannot just start for yourself. You must request permission from the management. Fortunately, the two partners of the firm had no objection. They even encouraged me." With the support of her employer and her husband, Lili sets to work. She starts part-time, with one day a week. "I resolved to start my business calmly. I spent a year acquiring customers." Things quickly go so well that Lil also continues to work on the weekends. It is then time to continue completely independently.

In 2010, Schroot-Nedeva graduated as a chartered accountant from the University of Amsterdam, a milestone in her life. With her office she wants to be the best in a niche market: to serve Bulgarians who want to grow as entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. She finds satisfaction in assisting people, helping people to integrate and be successful. A nice extra is that she can speak her native language almost every day. And now she no longer works exclusively with Bulgarians, many entrepreneurs of other nationalities also know where to find her.

Lili is not only in contact with customers. Over the years she has been a member of various business associations. She explains: "I am someone who approaches people easily and develops new relationships. So networking is very fun and important for me. Whenever possible, I always try to bring people together if I think they have common interests."

When asked what drives her, Lili is clear. "I do this work because I want to help migrants from Europe with their integration in the Netherlands. Every person has a chance of success, but sometimes you just need a little help and support. I like to act as a compass and navigator.” Lili also has a few good tips: "Before you start, choose a good company name and legal legal form. The Chamber of Commerce organizes very good and affordable seminars to help you on your way. Once you have started: find a good bookkeeper or accountant, someone you trust. Save time by being supported by people with knowledge and experience. Good advice is worth its weight in gold!"