Nelly Kostadinova arrived in Germany from Bulgaria with 50 Marks in her pocket. Today she runs a leading international translation company, with 19 locations on two continents: Lingua-World. Let yourself be inspired and motivated by her unique success story. Having Nelly Kostadinova as a speaker is an asset for any event!

Nelly Kostadinova, a trained journalist, arrived in Germany 28 years ago on a scholarship from the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. At that time she barely spoke a word of German. She first worked as an interpreter for the German police and courts, but had her sights set on something bigger.

Kostadinova soon made the decision to start her own business. In the beginning things didn’t look hopeful and experts from the German Chamber of Commerce advised her against starting a translation agency, due to a lack of demand. But despite poor prospects, giving up was out of the question. She looked for a niche for her company, and found one: in contrast to many other providers, Lingua-World relies on native speakers and industry specialists from all over the world, making all types of specialist translations possible. The first branch was opened in Cologne, in 1997. Today – 21 years later – the translation and interpreting service operates internationally. With 19 locations on two continents – including London, Vienna, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Kigali – Lingua-World generates millions in sales and is one of the most successful language service providers on the German market. Nelly Kostadinova’s story and entrepreneurial spirit inspires and motivates people all over the globe.

As Kostadinova’s success grows, so does her social commitment in Europe and Africa: in 2013 she opened a computer school for socially disadvantaged children in the township of Soweto in South Africa. Under the motto “The future begins today” she also supports children and youths in Soweto through the Christian youth organisation YAM (Youth Alive Ministries). She is an Economic Ambassador of the City of Cologne and member of the German Chamber of Commerce General Assembly in Cologne.

Kostadinova is also an ambassador for “Strong at Work” an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. The aim of the programme is to make it easier for mothers to enter the workforce. Nelly Kostadinova, herself a mother of two, doesn’t just want to encourage mothers to return to work, but also to encourage employers to recognise and use this potential.