Giorgia from Italy, entrepreneur and founder of DottoreLondon
14 July 2014
Giorgia Bacco from Italy completed her MA/MSc in International Marketing and Communications at London Metropolitan University and got a job as a consultant in London. It was then that she became inspired to set up a project of her own – the first Italian gynaecological clinic in London.
Here, Giorgia explains how her UK university helped to make her business idea into reality – and set up DottoreLondon.
‘With the right work ethic and willpower, the UK can be very rewarding if you’re an entrepreneur.
‘My course at London Metropolitan University gave me the opportunity to study both in the UK and in France, which culminated in a double Master’s in only 12 months. This was in line with my passion for travel and learning from different cultures.
‘I completed my degree in December 2012 and started to work as a consultant in London. It was then that I came across a dental clinic catering to Italians living in London, and I thought how nice it would be to have an Italian gynaecologist in London. From first-hand experience, I knew that Italian women in London sometimes face language and cultural barriers when it comes to gynaecological treatment and are used to certain specific practices and ways of operating that are different.
Success story: Giorgia receives her award from
University Deputy Chief Executive Paul Bowler
‘I conducted a survey of around 100 Italian women living in London, which showed that 40 per cent had travelled home to Italy for a consultation, only 10 per cent had visited a gynaecologist in London – and 80 per cent wanted an Italian gynaecologist here. That was when I had the idea for DottoreLondon: the first gynaecological clinic for Italian women living in London, where they can find doctors who speak Italian, a medical standard they are used to, and private consultation at an affordable price.
‘My university’s Student Enterprise Programme offered an award called the London Met Big Idea Challenge, which offered funding and support to student entrepreneurs who came up with the best business idea to address issues including sustainability, creativity, technology and health.
‘Entering the challenge gave me the opportunity to structure and define my project in more detail, and proved the feasibility of my idea. I had to pitch my idea and make a video about it, and was also given access to expert training sessions in idea generation along with the other shortlisted entrants.
‘I won first prize – which included, among other things, £2,000 in funding and website and marketing consultancy. The prize gave me the boost I needed and has formed the crucial foundation for my business and its future. I have created my own website, business stationery and will be investing in premises.
‘My plan for the future is to add other medical categories, such as a paediatrician, dietician and dermatologist, in order to make DottoreLondon the clinic for the Italian community in London. This business idea can then be developed for other communities from different nationalities living in London.
‘I’m sure I’ll be very busy with DottoreLondon for the foreseeable future, juggling the expected and unexpected challenges that inevitably arise from starting a business and making it work. But I’ve worked hard and, professionally speaking, I am finally starting to see the benefits – and I’m so glad to be doing this in the UK.
‘London has a reputation for being multi-ethnic and multicultural, and to be honest the variety of friends and people I’ve met here have been the biggest reward. I guess the best advice I could give to any student, in any faculty, especially those here from a foreign country, would be: face the daily challenges, give your dreams the best possible chance of becoming real… and don’t give up!’
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Visit Giorgia’s website at www.dottorelondon.com.