Meet Juliana Escobar
Meet Juliana Escobar, a Colombian TCN who participated in a TCN training held in Hungary. Juliana returned to the second training to share their business successes and help other TCNs enter the labour market. Subjective Values Foundation continued working with her in a mentorship program as well that helps migrant women start their business in Hungary.
I came to Hungary in 2019 to study. I chose the country mainly for personal reasons.
What are your business goals in Hungary?
My trending services are marketing and business development research and import/export consultancy. From time to time I also get contact for graphic design, where I do ads, presentations, brochures, etc.
My business goal at the moment is to help small Hungarian businesses to position and expand them to Spanish and French speaking markets. I’d also like to help medium size foreign companies to enter the Hungarian labour market.
How did this idea come from?
Before finishing my masters degree, I was trying to figure out what could be the options for staying in Hungary. I didn’t want to depend again on a work permit, because usually your permit will depend on your contract with the company, but if you quit, you have a certain amount of time to leave the country, or apply for a new residence permit. With the working permit for gainful activity, you have a little more freedom.
I already had some interested clients, who I met through my previous professional background or through start-up events and who required my services, so I already had a good income when I started my business.
What difficulties did you face setting up a business?
The language has been a big barrier for me, I am still struggling to learn Hungarian. Also, I was under a lot of stress because this was a new country with different rules. My first issue was that my information written on the imigration office system didn’t match with the tax office information, so I needed to correct each of them.
How would you evaluate the training programme of the Subjective Values Foundation held for TCNs?
I think it is a very complex training which has a very complete multidisciplinary program including finances, business, marketing, e-commerce, taxation and law regulations. It is an excellent programme that can give enough information and all the necessary tools for a TCN entrepreneur to start operating in the Hungarian labour market.
What would you suggest to other migrants and TCNs who want to set up a business as well in Hungary?
I suggest checking thoroughly which tax system works for them and what the necessary residence permit requirements are. Before starting a business, you should also consider whether your target audience is really interested in your product or service. Check also whether you need a license to work on your topic. Try not to do a business registration alone, since this is a critical process and it needs to be done by a knowledgeable lawyer or accountant.
Photo: Getting (self-)employed as a TCN in Hungary training, September 2021