Swiss by choice Elvira Weber on sport, school and art
The entrepreneur has her business address at Satellite Office in Zurich and uses all locations for meetings with business partners. Today our way leads us to Switzerland. To be more precise, to the Satellite Office in Zurich. It is wonderful here, the view of Lake Zurich is a dream. And the lady we meet here is also exceptional. Elvira Weber is her name and her business address is here in the Satellite Office, right on the world-famous Bahnhofstrasse.
Elvira Weber has two business areas that she drives from Lucerne and Zurich. On the one hand, she is at home in the arts, and on the other hand, she is also a competitive golfer. She initiated both projects herself and also manages the business personally. Likewise, both projects were born out of my own interest, but now let’s take it one step at a time.
Elvira Weber is a native of Crimea, formerly Ukraine, now Russia. Her parents are from Greece, the family belonged to the Greek minority in the Crimea. Elvira Weber has lived in Russia, Central Asia, Dubai and Germany. She has been at home in Switzerland for many years now, is married and has three children. And now I hear her exciting story which is also about your roots…..
“If you have children who are ambitious in sports, it is difficult to find a school in Switzerland that combines performance-oriented sports and a good education at Matura level” Elvira Weber starts our conversation. And if – like Elvira Weber – you have studied economics, politics and international relations, you can also come up with the idea of founding a school yourself. Or? It didn’t stop at the idea, Elvira Weber did it. It took her three years to develop the concept, find coaches, and mobilize investors. Originally, she wanted to realize the school in Switzerland, but came to Dubai via detours. Especially for golf a top address, because it is difficult to play in winter in Europe. The Dubai campus will start in 2018 with 35 student athletes from Europe and Russia. In total, the school offers more than 1000 school places, of which 250 are for boarding sports students. The Dubai campus combines a very good school education with sports support at a performance level. “The concept is based on that of private schools, so the costs have to be manageable, that was my goal” tells the ambitious entrepreneur. Not so easy, because in addition to school, accommodation and apprenticeship, the sporting competitions, tournaments and coaches also have to be financed. The food should be healthy, the accommodations at an upscale 4-star standard. “After all, parents entrust us with their children,” Weber said. Normally, such schools would only exist in the USA, but with Dubai, Weber has moved much closer to Europe geographically. “This makes the decision easier for many European and Russian parents, they can visit your children much easier,” the mother of three tells. Children can be registered from the age of twelve, but most of the children starting soon are already fifteen or sixteen years old and are graduating from high school in Dubai. “Sports and fitness are a lot of fun in a group, the kids are always together, which strengthens the team spirit and increases the willingness to perform. In golf in particular, you’re often quite lonely otherwise,” says Weber, describing the advantages for the children.
Her second professional passion is art. “I had a house to furnish in Switzerland” said Weber. “In my search for sophisticated art, I have come across many galleries that exhibit without a price and often just a few artists.” For normal people, he says, it is simply difficult to find art at the moment when you have to furnish an office, a private home or even company premises. Elvira Weber has again taken the initiative, put an online store on the web, written to talented artists and given them the opportunity to exhibit in the webshop. Of course with price. She handles international delivery and shoots a video about the artists so customers can see who they’re dealing with.
“I try to reconcile different ideas. I know how to start ventures.” She tells me that the road was often not easy for her. “I don’t give up even when things get tough”. It simply takes time to build trust, drum up funds and turn ideas and dreams into reality. “I draw strength from my Russian-Greek roots. We had to cope with many problems in my childhood. Armed conflicts, wars, national and economic crisis and sometimes even food was scarce”. With this experience in the bag, many things are put into perspective.
Satellite Office was found by Elvira Weber quite by accident. For her, the luxurious space next to the corporate address is a great way to make appointments with international clients and have an office exactly when she needs one. Otherwise, she travels the world between Dubai and many worldwide art exhibitions. Always happy landings, dear Mrs. Weber! Thanks for the great interview!
The interview was conducted by Annette Kissing for Satellite Office.