08 Feb

GEM Bulgaria’s Management Team Grows

We would like to welcome our new team members Iskra Yovkova and Natanail Stefanov who have taken over the operational management of GEM Bulgaria as of December 2016. We are pleased that they decided to focus their energy and passion, knowledge and professional expertise in the advancement of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bulgaria.

Iskra Yovkova
Iskra is a Business Administration graduate with 15 years of professional experience, including 5 years on top management positions, 5 years of business development experience and 5 years of experience in business consultancy, research and analyses. Iskra is joining GEM Bulgaria as Managing Director.

Iskra has got considerable experience in the BPO sector, B2B services, project management, business incubator and virtual incubator development, EU Phare programme projects. She was working as a business analyst with leading international business intelligence companies and has been involved in event management for concerts, business conferences and international sport events.

Her previous roles include:
– Managing Director, overseeing the operations of an international multi-channel retailer with 250 employees;
– Leading role in multilateral project negotiations for the development of Joint Implementation projects of the Kyoto Protocol; building in-depth knowledge in Kyoto Protocol trading and emission trading scheme;
– Member of the founding team of one of the biggest Bulgarian outsourcing companies.

Apart from her professional activities, Iskra is among the most world renowned judges in sailing and has been an active volunteer in the sports sector.
– Member of the Development and Youth Committee to the International Sailing Federation;
– Member of the Women Forum to the International Sailing Federation
– Chairman of the Board of Control of Bulgarian Sailing Federation;
– Chairman of the National Race Officials Committee;- Former Chairman of the Board of Control of Bulgarian Youth and Sport Union;

 

Natanail Stefanov
Natanail is an entrepreneur, social change maker and university lecturer with 7 years of professional experience. He has been part of the GEM team throughout last year, involved in building partnerships and business development activities. Natanail is taking over the role of Executive Director.

Being passionate about both commercial and social entrepreneurship, formal and informal education, economics, business, as well as volunteering and social work, his main professional expertise is in the fields of entrepreneurship, marketing, business development and project coordination. He has worked on projects for local companies, multinationals, startups, NGOs and government institutions, mainly in IT, B2B services, education and in the non-governmental sector. Natanail has co-founded two hardware startups and also consults businesses by helping them to create competitive business strategies, to have relevant marketing initiatives and to do active business development.

After graduating Business Administration, he became a Lecturer & Teaching Assistant at Sofia University. In addition, he has participated in numerous educational and executive programs with focus on entrepreneurship, innovation and marketing, e.g. Babson College, UC Berkeley, Aarhus School of Business and more.

Natanail is an active member in a number of social projects and NGOs as well, including the Association of the Bulgarian Leaders and Entrepreneurs (a.k.a. ABLE), Ideas Factory Association among others. Through this volunteering experience he is passionate to support the development of the educational sector, entrepreneurial culture and leadership potential in Bulgaria as a way for sustainable economic, social and cultural progress.