Building An Expat Business – Getting Prepared and (almost) Qualified

I have spent almost my whole adult life building businesses and working on projects in one form or another. I have a BA Hons in Business Studies I won several junior awards for Entrepreneurship throughout my education and came from a background of having a family business.

I set up my first business at 22 after having my first child and ran a busy thriving shop for 5 years in my local town, then the recession hit…I realised, like many other local retailers that national competition and online pressure had squeezed margins to such an extent that the business had simply become unviable and so I made the decision to close.

I was fortunate. I very quickly found a job with a Times Top 100 company in my local town and worked my way up from a Personal Finance Manager in the call centre, to Team Leader, Business Analyst and finally ran my own project for the CEO.

They have been very supportive of my move and I can honestly say that without my Totemic family I would not have had the confidence to attempt the move to Italy and the subsequent business ventures. I will always be very grateful to them.

For the first few months I spent some of my time in Italy studying an advanced diploma in Import and Export, my TEFL and I also enrolled with my local Commune to take 6 hours per week of beginner and intermediate group study lessons (to back up my private lessons taken with a tutor).

If anyone is considering a move abroad I would highly recommend going to the local community centre and seeing if a similar scheme is available.I pay 15 euro per year for my lessons and my confidence to speak improves every week, the ability to communicate should never ever be taken for granted, it is absolutely the toughest thing about moving to a foreign country.

So now I feel ready…almost…I know I have areas to work on and I know I will make mistakes.It’s time to take the jump 🙂

Emma x

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