Olga is a University College Birmingham graduate who is passionate about travelling and thus aviation passenger rights. She strongly feels that we should all be aware of our customer rights and aims to make a positive change in the aviation industry.
Olga, tell us about yourself…
“First of all I would like to say a huge thank you to the BSEEN team for nominating me to be BSEEN’s Entrepreneur of the Month. It’s a real pleasure and I haven’t expected this. My name is Olga, and I am from Slovakia. I would define myself as woman who is crazy enough to set up a business in another country, whilst studying for a master’s degree, with motivation to change the world.”
Tell us more about your start up…
“I don’t know if you are aware but 85% of aviation passengers are not informed about their rights in case any flight issues occur. If your flight is delayed, cancelled or overbooked you can be eligible for an up to 600-euros compensation. I don`t think it`s fair that only people who are aware of this law, get their compensation. We have equal rights, so I decided to start a business in an industry where there is much room for improvement.
The main aim of my company Aviation Passenger Advice is that one day all passengers around the world will be aware of their rights thanks to the services we provide. They will know what to do if flight issues occur; they will know how to react and mainly there will be no distressed and confused passengers at the airports.“
What made you jump at the chance of coming on BSEEN?
“My friend Patrik, also a BSEENer, is always motivated and full of energy to inspire people around him, told me about this opportunity. When I watch back and I see how my journey with BSEEN started, I just laugh to myself because it was a bit crazy. I was working as a pool manager in the United States during the summer and just 2 days before the BSEEN application deadline I was speaking to Patrik and he told me about the programme. So, I just filled in the application with this business idea which I was working on for almost a year and I sent it. A few days later Joe and Nathan from BSEEN contacted me for an online interview. As you can imagine, thanks to time zone differences I made my Skype call at 5am and because of bad Wi-Fi connection, I had to speak really loud so all people who lived with me were woken up and were listening too!
Once I received the good news that I was accepted onto the programme, I had two choices. I could stay with my friends and travel across America as we planned during the summer or just cancel everything, change my flight tickets and join the BSEEN programme. I think you can guess which option I chose. As all my friends were already in Las Vegas, I took a flight from New York to the UK, feeling super scared and alone. But I had a super good feeling about this new opportunity, so I didn’t regret it, and I still don’t.”
What do you think you have learned the most from your BSEEN journey?
“I think that BSEEN gave me the first kick that I needed to get me going. It showed me that having an idea is amazing but it is just a first step and there is a lot more to do going forward. The programme started with an amazing week of training where I learnt everything, including what ‘entrepreneur’ actually means. I was never interested to set-up my own business before, I just wanted to help people. Then I found out that the only way to do this is to create a new service.
So I incorporated my business and met new like-minded people during the bootcamp training. These were people with their own dreams ready to fight for fulfilling them. What I think is extremely important, is realising that not always knowing what to do is a normal part of the process. Whatever problem you have, you are not the only person who is struggling and there is always some solution on how to solve it.”
Any advice for entrepreneurial students or graduates thinking about starting their own business?
“If you are thinking about setting-up your own business, do not use excuses such as ‘I`m shy’, ‘I don’t have money’, ‘I can´t do it because nobody in my family is an entrepreneur’ or ‘I don`t have a business partner’. You will be surprised how many people are in the same situation and more importantly, you`ll be even more surprised to find out that there are various solutions for that. So, I strongly believe that BSEEN is the first step you need to take if you want to go forward with your dreams.“
What are your next steps for your business?
“Well, I think that after two years of working, thinking, and validating this idea, it’s time to show what we have and work on it even harder. I think that first big upcoming thing we have, if corona allows it, will be exhibiting at the Festival of Enterprise in London, taking place in February 2021. So, we will use this opportunity to officially launch our services. In the meantime, I am planning to concentrate on my dissertation. This reminds me that you can check your knowledge about your passenger rights with us now, because I have prepared a questionnaire. We will send you the right answers afterwards. So if you want to check your knowledge, head to this link. “