I have met with Tatjana on a number of occasions and have found her story to be both interesting and inspirational. We met most recently ahead of the BAWE Scotland networking dinner and Tanya spoke about her entrepreneurial journey.
Born in London, her family having moved to the UK from St Petersburg after the Bolsheviks swept to power in Russia, Tatjana spent the early years of her life in Buckinghamshire.
On leaving school Tanya joined the WRAF, seeing this as a good career move. Even though this was still very much a man’s world Tanya enjoyed her time there very much, travelling to Cyprus during the troubles and around the world with the UN, working in supplies and accounts.
In those days it was not possible to stay in the service once you were married and so following her marriage Tanya left and started work close to where she went to school. Starting in book-keeping and accounts Tanya rose to become Finance Director. In 1987 she moved to Scotland to sort out the finances at a graphics company. After a short time Tanya owned over 75% of that business, which had to close when her then business partner died suddenly.
Tanya decided to take the staff and started a new company TBDA Scotland.
“Design is our passion and as graphic and web designers, it’s important that we deliver professional, creative design which generates results for our clients. We make a positive difference to how our customers are perceived in the market place”.
The formation of TBDA Scotland marked the start of Tanya’s journey as an entrepreneur and the company is still going strong today, with clients in Scotland, London, Wales and Europe. Her business philosophy is to encourage staff development which has enabled TBDA to gain ‘Investor in People’ status. Tanya’s experience in business management and accountancy makes her the ideal link between customers and clients. Since moving to Scotland she has made many business and trade mission visits throughout Europe. Many of these were in her capacity as President of Central Scotland Chamber of Commerce
In 1995 Tanya became involved with BAWE in Scotland, at the time it was run by Marilyn Orcharton. She soon became President in Scotland and Vice-President in Britain. In 2004 the world congress was held in Glasgow and Tanya took over as British President, a post she held for 5 years.
“BAWE is a peer group for women entrepreneurs who want to be challenged. Our aim is to challenge women entrepreneurs not only be great but to be exceptional! We are looking for women entrepreneurs who want to build global brands, who want to build sustainable, profitable, innovative businesses. We are looking for women entrepreneurs who recognise the power of collaboration in business. We are looking for the women thought leaders of today and of tomorrow”
In 2006 Tanya became Vice-President of the World Association, Les Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises Mondials (FCEM), which represents sixty affiliated countries from five continents.
In this year’s New Years Honours List Tanya was honoured with an OBE for her services to the business community.
Tanya is one of just 50 UK Female Entrepreneurial Ambassadors (UKFEA). UKFEA is part of a wider EU-funded ambassador network, European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors (ENFEA) which is a comprised of 22 European countries including the UK, France, Germany and Italy. Together, these countries provide a high-level network of 250 role models who act as ambassadors, sharing the message about the benefits of female entrepreneurship across Europe.
While Tanya spent the early years of her life in Buckinghamshire, she spoke Russian at home and following the collapse of the Soviet Union she made an emotional return to the ancestral family home in the Ukraine, specifically their family palace Kachanovka west of the Ukrainian capital Kiev, which the family had been forced to flee in the early part of 20th century. The Ukrainian government has designated it as a nationally important building and to honour her contribution the Ukrainian Government minted a coin with Tatjana’s grandfather and great grandfather on one side and the palace on the other.
If you would like to know more about BAWE in Scotland or the UKFEA programme, please contact Tanya directly via www.tbdascot.co.uk
(Article originally published October 2011 – reposted as part of the Inspirational Women Series January 2012)