Success Stories

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Jill DiGiovanni
Business: Cheff in Berlin Original country: USA/Canada Expat country: Germany

CHEFinBERLIN was founded by expat chef, Jill, with the audacity to challenge the status quo of plant-based cuisine. With a combination of well-tuned culinary skills and abundant creativity, Jill’s team will delight your tastebuds with their fresh, life-changing cuisine.

“Changes in life give you the chance to reinvent yourself. I went through that sort of change where I could look at my life and ask what it was that I liked to do the most. I liked to cook and I liked to party! I completed my chef apprenticeship and worked in the industry for awhile, traveling with my work (on cargo carrying ships to interesting destinations). I dropped anchor and decided to open my own catering company. I didn’t know if it would work but I knew that it was my passion.”










logo-truenorthMi Elfverson

Business: True North Vision, Brighton based production company Original country: Sweden Expat country: UK

Mi is a professional photographer and video producer. She works individually and in parternship with others in her same profession to provide high quality and professional photography services for products, portraits and events.

“I think there are more opportunities here in the UK to work with small businesses. I have extensive experience in high end film production and casting and would like to think that I have what’s been recognised as a Scandinavian approach to both the look and quality of my productions.”







iF Logo yellowFlorian Eysler & Hans Au

Business: iF Juice Original country: Germany Expat country: China

Florian and Hans were expats living and working abroad who did not see a product that they wanted to spend money on when it came to fresh juice. They set out to develop a brand of fresh juice. They assumed a demand for fresh juice. Florian and Hans founded the company iF Juice in 2007 with the mission to bring fresh juices and smoothies with high nutrition and great taste to Beijing.

“You have to shut down your ego in order to serve the greater good. Know where you contribute best. Hans’ skill set means he is suited to the back-end/internal elements of the company. I am suited to the front-end/external. We have a balance of skill-set that suits our proficiencies. I know that I am an experiential learner and picked up operational Chinese that way. Hans is half Chinese and spent 15 years living in Hong Kong he speaks and writes Mandarin which helped a lot. His background as a lawyer also meant that we could insource a lot of the legal work that comes with setting up and running a business. People are now coming to Hans for this expertise.”



301764_383734995004987_846497494_nAmanda Fisher

Business: The Blakemere Company Original country: UK Expat country: USA

The Blakemere Company’s products are being sold in 23 different locations across the Raleigh/Durham area with further expansion plans already confirmed. For Amanda Fisher it has been all about “being in the right place, the only place that this could happen.” By the right place she means Chapel Hill, North Carolina. From the raw ingredients she needs to produce authentic British style clotted cream and scones to the small business resources available to help get you started. At each turn everything came together to make her original product Devonshire Delight a possibility.

“I am proud to be British and I am motivated by transforming the view of British food.
I am passionate about creating an amazing product that is made in America.”

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Social: FB The-Blakemere-Company






image-valVal Gayes
Business: Phoenix Trading & The Utility Warehouse Independent Trader Original country: France Expat country: UK

Val came to the UK for her undergraduate studies. She wanted to improve her English and did not plan on continuing to live in England after she graduated. After working in a corporate job as a civil engineer, she wanted a change. Phoenix Trading and Utility Warehouse are companies that offer a ‘business in a box’. It can be a great way to start up your own business because you are given a tried and tested formula and ongoing support.

“I have taken the plunge and got started in the first place! I’ve shifted my identity from defining myself by what I do, to just being me! I’ve left the ‘safety’ of the corporate world to be my own boss full-time.”

image-2valWebsite: /

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Photo by Katariina of Light Trick Photography