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Valentina Falconieri of English Bus

Valentina Falconieri
English Bus

Potenza, Italy

Enabling people in Basilicata to develop the communication skills they need to create market opportunities for their businesses outside of the region is the driving force behind this innovative language tuition business.

Valentina Falconieri approached Shell InventaGIOVANI in 2011 in order to create a more sustainable future for a family business. After detailed market research showed her that the idea wasn’t viable, Valentina decided to develop her existing experience of coaching university students to pass their English exams.

With support from Shell InventaGIOVANI, Valentina investigated the market for English language tuition, developed her unique selling point, and produced a viable business plan.

In 2012, Valentina launched her business, English Bus, to provide mobile English language tuition to adults in small and isolated villages in Basilicata, who are unable to travel to attend courses in larger towns because of work or family commitments. English Bus specialises in English training for people involved in the region’s tourist industry, as well as for entrepreneurs who wish to attract new business from outside of Italy.

In just over 20 months, English Bus has grown its customer base from a handful of clients in a remote village to customers across the region including restaurateurs, tour guides, artisans, farmers and other SMEs. As a result, turnover has climbed to US $25,000 and this is forecast to double within the next 12 months with the increasing demand.

Valentina is passionate about the commercial benefits that greater proficiency in the English language can bring to the local economy - a view which is shared by Shell, which has contracted with English Bus to deliver its training to people throughout the region.

Full of praise for the encouragement and ongoing support she has received from Shell InventaGIOVANI to start up and develop her business, Valentina said, “I thank Shell InventaGIOVANI for the many opportunities it has given me to start up my business and the ongoing support which will enable me to grow further in the future.”

Moving forward, Valentina plans to have a young team working for her and to diversify her business to provide translation, interpreting and travel agency services.

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