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Maggie Stancheva: “Help each other”

Maggie Stancheva: “Help each other”


Mar 7, 2024

3 min
Maggie Stancheva

Meet Maggie Stancheva. She is an ACCA, a Chief Flavour Officer, a mentor, and most importantly, the founder of VEDA Accounting

From Bulgaria to the big city of London

Maggie Stancheva was born and raised in Bulgaria and completed her university studies in Business Economics in 2011. Driven by curiosity and ambition, she moved to London to experience life in a new context. She thought:

“If not now, when?” 

Despite her fears of not making it, she still thrives in the United Kingdom. “I survived post-savings, although I had to ask my parents to send me money twice.” she laughs. 

Learning to ask for help

“After four months, I first ran out of money,” Maggie revealed. “I had a coffee with a friend I had met three months earlier and told her I was probably returning to Bulgaria because I didn’t have a job. She asked if I was serious and then called one of her friends, who got me a job as a waitress.” It taught her that you should not keep your problems to yourself. 

“You must learn to say: I’ve got a problem, can you help me?” 

Nine months later, Maggie got her first office job as a data analyst at a start-up company.

Turning to accounting

Financial instability is a common theme in start-ups, and Maggie Sancheva’s first employer was no exception. When the company struggled financially, she continued waitressing to support herself while committing to the start-up for no pay. 

One day, the founder came to Maggie Stancheva and said, “Please, I need an accountant, and we can’t afford that. You’re good with numbers, can you do it?”

The future starts now

Maggie’s mother cautioned her against pursuing accounting during her university decision-making process. Yet, the founder’s request led her to pursue ACCA qualifications, teaching her another lesson:

Embrace unexpected opportunities and be adaptable when facing challenges.

Juggling two jobs while studying for ACCA presented numerous hurdles. Looking back, she regrets not celebrating her victories fully. ‘Each exam results day brought a brief sense of achievement when I saw the ‘pass’ mark. However, Maggie reflects that she swiftly moved on to the next tasks without allowing herself to enjoy the moment.

“You studied, worked hard, and got a good grade – it’s time to celebrate.” 

Maggie Stancheva, ACCA

Maggie received her ACCA diploma

The first start-up’s journey ended emotionally as a corporation acquired the company. Maggie thought she would never deal with start-ups again.

Next, she explored a traditional construction business and a bank’s highly regulated pensions department. However, the strict corporate world didn’t suit Maggie Stancheva’s passion for the innovative environment of start-ups.

“I loved the hustle of start-ups. You’re sitting next to the founder, and you can say, “Hey! I’ve got this idea”, and they say go for it!”

A small step for Maggie Stancheva, one giant leap towards her future

Her love for start-ups reignited. However, like many others in the industry, COVID hit the second start-up she joined. 

Then, she met Danail Koev, the owner of an accounting firm, VEDA, in Bulgaria. After a two-hour meeting with Maggie, a stranger to him, Danail proposed they join forces and set up an accounting firm in the UK. It was time to make Maggie’s dreams come true.

“Having a practice has been my dream because you can support many companies in their journeys.”

Maggie Stancheva and Danail Koev
Maggie Stancheva and Danail Koev

Overcoming fears and establishing VEDA

Facing the same concerns that trouble many founders, Maggie feared the challenge of getting clients for her new business. However, Danail provided the much-needed reassurance, reminding her there is always a demand for quality accounting services. 

“I hate explaining how good I am to people. I’d instead show them how good I am.” 

With over a decade of experience running an accounting practice, Danail’s assurance gave her the confidence to bid farewell to employment and start VEDA Accounting.

VEDA Accounting team
VEDA Accounting team

A woman with many hats to wear

Maggie Stancheva’s journey showcases her multifaceted skills and dedication to mutual support. She’s a Chief Flavour Officer at Zing, a toothpaste company. 

“My friend was single-handedly managing Zing. We discussed what he needed to do to set up a company, and I’ve now been his buddy and mentor for anything business-related. I help him with accounting, and I get to try all new products. Developing unique flavours such as peach and lemon, which taste great and promote dental health, adds an exciting dimension to the journey,” Maggie explained. 

“Revolutionising a household essential like toothpaste is truly an incredible experience.”

In the spirit of helping others, she co-founded TaxRest, software that allows self–employed people in the UK to do their tax returns digitally. “Self-assessment returns are our main business focus. I don’t chase those clients, but why not if I can help them,” Maggie states. They are creating a platform for other accounting firms to help their self-assessment clients. 

“We are solving the problem that is coming soon, and no one is solving it yet.”

The perfect work-life balance for Maggie

Maggie’s personal time is as valuable as her professional commitments. “I release the pressure that comes with everything I do by going on long walks,” she explains. In contrast to her planned-out work life, she and her partner often go on spontaneous adventures. 

Maggie Stancheva on an adventure
Maggie Stancheva on an adventure

At least once a month, Maggie Stancheva has a day when she does nothing except sit on the couch and watch TV—completely relaxing. “It’s refreshing because I usually have responsibilities and deadlines, places to be, and people to meet. After a lazy day, you think, “Excellent! I’ve done nothing and haven’t achieved anything. Tomorrow can come, and I’ll worry about everything then,” she says.

“I decompress by having a day where I do nothing.”

Despite her mother saying she should never become an accountant, she is – the founder of a successful accounting firm. Maggie Stancheva’s story is not just about an exceptional career but about facing fears, finding your desired path, understanding the importance of the community, and knowing to ask for support. 

We should all take a moment to let her motto sink in:

We need to help each other.

Juuli Pihel
Copywriter at Uku

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