Estonian-based Marleq is building an international community of high-quality career coaches

Estonian-based Marleq is building an international community of high-quality career coaches

Tehnopol is part of the joint Northbound Scaleups (NBSCALE) project, which helps companies expand into new markets. Estonian start-up Marleq visited Berlin as part of NBSCALE and met with prospective coaches.

Marleq is offering their clients mentoring by experienced career coaches. The start-up’s internationalization plan is to expand further to Germany, as they already had one coach in Berlin, and during the NBSCALE program, they found a new coach in Munich. “The German market has potentially over 360,000 career coaches on LinkedIn. And according to the Federal Statistical Office – Destatis – roughly 46,1 million people who are German residents, were in employment as of October 2023. Consequently, both of these are a great opportunity”, said Milo Radulovic, the CEO of Marleq.

Milo Radulovic met with their previous, current and prospective new coaches. “We had the list of 18 people to potentially meet during the visit, but only 6 of them live in Berlin, so it was quite challenging to organize face-to-face meetings with them”, Radulovic said. “Unfortunately, some coaches declined the physical meetings at the last moment, so the visit in that sense did not entirely go as planned.”

As to whether there are any competitors in the German market, Radulovic said that there are global competitors that they have to take into consideration – such as LinkedIn, Randstad, Noomii, UpWork, etc. But he pointed out two major German specifics. First, Germans use XING, the leading online jobs network in German-speaking countries with 16 million users. Second, there’s a German start-up called CoachHub, which raised 330 million dollars and is the leading digital coaching platform with 4,000+ certified international coaches.

“What sets Marleq apart from the competitors, is that we are a proactive and supportive community of coaches”, said Radulovic, “Currently, we have 32 coaches from 26 countries, and our coaches feel like our true members, not just a number in a huge company. We focus on human-to-human relationships, rather than a transactional approach.”

Marleq’s biggest advantage is their people, as the majority of them have been working in 4-5 countries. They are building a privileged community of coaches. “Interestingly, 1,000+ coaches applied to be part of Marleq, so we focus on high-quality coaches, rathen than quantity. We work closely with coaches to secure their success. On average, candidates need six months to find a new job, our candidates need 1-2 months”, Radulovic explained.

The start-up plans to foster internationalization, grow faster, and increase the number of both career coaches and job seekers globally. Currently, they have coaches in 26 markets – the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Singapore, UAE, Qatar, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Finland, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Nigeria, Uganda, Montenegro, Cyprus, Serbia, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Estonia. Their goal is to have up to 3 coaches in these markets. “We are not ready to accept more than that, as we cannot provide them with enough qualified leads. The only exception of having potentially up to five coaches per market, at this stage, can be in the UK, Germany, USA, and the UAE, as the demand for these markets is exceptional”, added Radulovic.

Northbound Scaleups (NBSCALE) is a joint project run by Tehnopol, the Turku Science Park in Finland and Movexum in Sweden to help companies expand into new markets. Northbound Scaleups project is funded by the EU Central Baltic Program.

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