Jane Dimitrova co-founded the increasingly popular platform FoodObox – a digital solution to combating food waste.

The latter is one of the most significant problems of our time, with recent figures showing that almost 59 million tonnes of food is lost or wasted in the EU every year.

This equates to 131 kg of waste per person per year.

Despite the startling statistics, Bulgaria lacks awareness regarding this global problem, which is a significant challenge in deploying the full potential of FoodObox.

However, such obstacles do not demotivate Jane and her team, and they expand their business model with educational materials for children precisely to raise awareness among the next generations.

Jane and I discuss the importance of soft and hard business skills, which are vital when interacting with customers and partners.

We talk about whether it is still challenging to be a female entrepreneur in Bulgaria and what hinders the success of novice entrepreneurs, even when they have a genius idea.

Thanks to Jane for her time.

We wish her and the FoodObox team well in their journey to solving one of the biggest global challenges – waste.

With this interview, we hope to contribute more to society’s awareness of this critical and socially significant cause.

Ana Todorova took the interview.

Hi Jane, I’ve been following your FoodObox brand for quite some time, and I’m so glad you agreed to participate in our successful interview series. Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?

Thanks for the invitation, it’s a pleasure.

My name is Jane Dimitrova, and I am 25 years old and from Sofia.

For about five years, my personal and professional mission has been the fight against food waste – first abroad and then in our country.


You completed your higher education abroad but are returning to do business in Bulgaria. Why and was it difficult to make this decision?

I went to Italy when I was 18.

The reasons were that I wanted to get a better education and, simultaneously,  challenge travel more.

I was accepted on an overseas exchange at the Institute of Technology in Buenos Aires and lived in Argentina for about six months. The trip opened my mind; I learned about different cultures and became fluent in Italian and Spanish.

During all these years abroad, I have gained a lot of knowledge, experience, and ideas, and now I am thrilled that I can transfer them to our country and create value.

When did you decide that you were going to be an entrepreneur, that you were going to develop your own business? Was it challenging to take the step?

When choosing which Bachelor’s to enroll in, I needed to figure it out, so I decided the Business and Economics major by the exclusion method.

Subsequently, after an internship in startups and entrepreneurship, I enrolled in a Master’s in Startup and Startup Development.

I wrote my master’s thesis on Foodobox because I had started developing it parallel with studying.

What are the qualities a person needs to build a successful business?

Perseverance, sacrifice and a desire to learn throughout life.

What are the biggest challenges you face on the road to success?

There are constant challenges.

The good thing is that they change with the development of the business.

Initially, the main difficulty was finding like-minded people to make a team.

The next challenge was to include our first business partners in the network. Then – finding capital from investors.

We are currently struggling with our exit in Romania.

Do you feel successful, and what does it mean to you to be successful?

My actions bring value and improve the environment in which we live.

I feel fulfilled and happy that I am dedicated to something that I genuinely love, and we are creating it with a great and inspiring team around me.

Every day, we enjoy our small victories until they become successful – there is time.


Джейн от FoodOBox

Tell us a little more about FoodObox – what is the purpose of the app? Why do you and your team think there is a need for FoodObox?

Foodobox is a mobile app that pursues the mission of fighting food waste.

The company connects end users with food businesses so that food left unsold at the end of the day finds its way to the table instead of the bin.

According to a WWF report, 40% of the food produced in the world is thrown away.

UNEP’s Food Waste Index report says that 68 kg per person, or 500,000 tons per year, are thrown away by households in Bulgaria alone.

Foodobox’s mission is to reduce this waste.

The company’s app connects end users with restaurant and store owners who sell the food sold outside the day at a discount.

FoodObox connects end users with restaurant and shop owners who sell food not sold within the day at a discount.

Undoubtedly, since its inception, FoodObox has received mostly positive feedback and serious recognitions, such as the award for Social Innovation from the Forbes Innovation Forum & Awards in 2022. But what are the main obstacles to your social innovation?


To solve a problem, we first need to understand it.

We need more awareness about food waste. We need to realize how serious this problem is and what profound consequences it has on the environment.

For a year now, our team and I have created educational material for children on the topic of “Climate and its relationship with food waste,” every week, we visit different schools.

We teach 10-13-year-olds this interesting topic and aim to raise their awareness so they can be responsible adults one day.

This takes time and would take years to have an effect, but we have to start somewhere.

We need more awareness about food waste. We need to realize how serious this problem is and its profound consequences on the environment.

On October 10, TEDx Vitosha took place in Sofia, and at the exhibition accompanying the event, I had the opportunity to meet part of the FoodObox team. Young, intelligent people who made a great impression on me and in whom I can feel a lot of positive energy and motivation. Do you need help attracting young people to socially significant causes and businesses? What do you think motivates them to participate – the money a successful startup should bring in or the social mission it adheres to?


Indeed, the leading value of most colleagues in the team is to contribute to something greater and positively impact society.

In a small startup like ours, there are also many development opportunities and different responsibilities taken on around each project.

We are flexible and learn on the go.

Our daily life is dynamic, and there are always new challenges. These factors add value to working at Foodobox.


Джейн от FoodOBox

You are a technology startup, but to convince people to use your digital application, you need to be able to emotionally engage them in the meaning of your cause – fighting food waste. In this sense, what skills do you look for and expect from your team – mainly well-developed hard or relatively soft skills?

We are 6 out of 7 women in the team, which shows we are looking for soft skills. Communication skills and empathy are pretty crucial when dealing with business partners and when dealing with end users.

Of course, technology skills are also required, as to be able to scale over 500 partners and 60,000 users with a team of only seven people, we help ourselves with automation, AI, and other tools to scale the business.



One of the things we discussed briefly with the FoodObox team during the exhibition was the importance of marketing in a company. Would you share how you are doing in this regard? In your business model, as far as I understand, it is a bit more specific: you are targeting two groups at the same time – on the one hand, restaurant owners, on the other – end customers, consumers. How do you manage to communicate your activities and above all the value you bring to all stakeholders?

As a marketplace, we work with both businesses and end users.

The main message to food business owners is that with us they turn unsold food into additional income, while at the same time reaching new customers.

End users save at least 40% on the price of food, eat deliciously and without having to cook and shop and discover new places.

And the icing on the cake is the surprise box, in which they discover a variety of delicacies.

Have there been times when you felt undervalued because you are a woman, or in business, gender doesn’t matter?

I don’t think so; I find respect and support from our investors, partners, and customers. Qualities and drive are more important than gender.

What advice would you give those wanting to start their own business?

Don’t overthink it, and start somewhere.


I often meet people with unique business ideas who delve too much into unnecessary details such as – what my company will be called, what color my logo will be, etc. – and waste time instead of just launching and validating whether there is even a market for their idea – whether their idea solves a real problem and whether there are potential buyers.




Ana Todorova prepared the interview, part of our meetings with exciting and motivating personalities.

Ana Todorova develops the organization’s digital marketing. She maintains the Startup Factory website and the video course platform she created in 2022. She writes content on various topics such as decentralized technology, green and circular economy, emotional intelligence, leadership, and more.

Similar articles

Emanuel Tonev: Words without actions are just words

Emanuel Tonev: Words without actions are just words

Emanuel Tonev is among the active young people forming the Bulgarian marketing community. For our team, it is also a natural continuation of our collaboration with the entrepreneurial and proactive community of Varna.

Лого БФЖ

Startup Factory is a non-profit organization founded in March 2015 by a group of young entrepreneurs working in the IT sector. Startup Factory helps people develop their digital and business skills. Together, we build a supportive community.  Check out our platform with on-demand video courses and valuable free resources.


Sign up for our monthly newsletter and be the first to know about events, trainings and opportunities in the digital world.