Meet Lubomila Jordanova, the founder and CEO of Plan A, the first data-driven crowdfunding platform in the fight against climate change.
In 2016, Lubomila had a deep realisation of the negative impact that humans were having on the planet. The awareness about the ever-increasing likelihood of irreversible change, gave her the necessary inspiration to build a data-driven platform solely dedicated to environmental themes. Prior to Plan A Lubomila worked in the investment banking, venture capital and fintech in Asia and Europe. Born in Bulgaria, she completed her tertiary studies in the UK where she holds a Master in Management degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Plan A was founded in Berlin where Lubomila is now based.
We recently heard Lubomila being interviewed on female entrepreneur podcast 'FemGems' and we were immediately impressed and asked her for an interview! We speak to her about adapting to new co-founder responsibilities, necessary entrepreneurial skills, how living abroad shaped her career, as well as some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
How did you adapt to your new responsibilities as a first-time co-founder?
Diving into it is the only way. When you make the conscious choice to go on this journey, you have to be prepared for a lot of unknown challenges, unanswered questions and difficult moments. The lucky thing for me has been my drive and sense of urgency for the topic I am working on, namely climate change.
What have been some of your biggest challenges and how have you overcome them?
Once I started diving into the topic of climate change, I often wanted to share the exciting knowledge I had gathered and the progress I had made on the idea with the people around me. Although I was feeling quickly confident about the concept, I wasn’t always successful in explaining what I wanted to built, simply because I was forgetting people were not day-in, day-out reading about species going in extinction and levels of deforestation. After the 100 time, the problem started solving itself and I learnt how to speak about Plan A and climate change in simple terms. Conclusion: know your audience.
What skills did you pick up in previous roles that you've applied to your startup?
There are two types of skills which are incredibly useful today that I picked up in my banking and fintech jobs. The technical ones are Excel, PowerPoint and writing emails. The less technical but often even more important have been working under pressure, learning how to navigate the work environment well and listening.
What are the most essential skills that aspiring entrepreneurs should learn?
Honesty. When you are building a new business, you are building on your existing credulity for people who know you, but for those who don't, each post, each product launch, each announcement is an opportunity to get to know you and start trusting you.
Positivity. Being an entrepreneur, requires a lot of patience and consistency. Things don't always work out, especially in the beginning when you have little expertise in building a business. Positivity is the only way for one to go through these thunders untouched.
Determination. If you have an idea and you think the whole world is waiting for it, you are yet to proven wrong. The world has been for decades working in its own way and has been quite successful in doing so (with all of its faults, flaws and changing climates of course). You have to use all of your existing drive to show the world why your product is amazing and how it can make people's lives better.
How did your living abroad experience influence your career?
I have lived in quite a lot of places in Asia and Europe and each of those cities I have spent at least 6 months in have made me each time even more fascinated by different cultures, even more open to new experiences and none the less more loving of our planet. If it was not for this, I wouldn't have been so driven to fight for saving the heritage we have and the nature we have been blessed with.
What career advice do you have for aspiring female co-founders?
It is the same as the one I have for aspiring male founders. Be bold, don't doubt yourself. You define the journey ahead - neither the stereotypes, nor the challenges you will face.
What other Bulgarian entrepreneurs are making waves right now?
There is so many of them all across the globe. Where do I start?
What do you believe is the most essential skill that an entrepreneur can be taught?
Patience. I think all of the experiences before have thought me to be patient and to understand that no one on this planet lives with my own speed. It's mine to manage. Once you understand this, be it by applying for jobs, looking for a flat, waiting for the bus even, you will be unbeatable.
Who are some people you admire in business?
Do you have any future plans for Plan A that you’d like to share with us?
On the 10th of December Plan A will launch its new data-driven platform in the fight against climate change, where you can learn about the issues of climate change in each country, while also donate to projects that you believe in. At the moment we are calling for projects that fight climate change and need funding (you can visit our website here), so if you have ideas, please share. Also, we are doing a big party a few days after the release, but for more on this - subscribe to our newsletter.
Our aim is to empower female entrepreneurs and positively influence the landscape of female founders in Europe — would you like to be supported in launching your idea to the world? Aspiring female founders can take advantage of our scholarships of up to 50% off our eLab Emerge and eLab Advance programs — we aim at fostering a culture where women can reach their fullest potential in mentorship, networking, and entrepreneurship.