What do experienced entrepreneurs gain from taking part in an international exchange? Here’s how some of our recent hosts have benefited.
Community participation & public space
Host entrepreneur: Andreas (UK) – Roam Agency
New entrepreneur: Daniella (Sweden) – This Side Up
Duration: 4 months
Andreas and Daniella share a vision of engaging communities to (re-) design public spaces. Andreas had been involved in projects in which unused spaces in the city were re-designed by citizens to benefit the local community – precisely what Daniella planned to do with her new company back in Gothenburg. For this pair, Erasmus for Entrepreneurs was a step towards long-term collaboration and sharing networks.
Building on Andreas’ participation methodology, Daniella created collaborative maps and planning ideas for a neighbourhood, engaging with local ambassadors and a school. During her stay in London she also carried out a feasibility study on developing a community centre on an abandoned car park.
Andreas and Daniella also prepared funding proposals for a new training method based on community participation and peer-to-peer learning. Daniella helped Andreas look at blockchain models of endorsement and certification of his company’s training model. This was a major benefit for Andreas, and the pair are continuing to work together on this.
“In the field of civic engagement and process design for city making, partnerships and collaborations are very important to learn from each other and to realise projects”, says Andreas. “I highly valued the collaboration with Daniella and the opportunity to build a network with organisations with a similar approach.”
Technology and creative industries
Host entrepreneur: Ed (UK) – Delic Network
New entrepreneur: Victoriano (Spain) – Bolaboo
Duration: 2 months
Ed and Victoriano planned to create a holding website to demonstrate a new creative collaboration platform, Delic. In fact, in just two months they achieved far more.
“Progress with the front-end design was so swift that we were able to connect the front-end with a back end, and implement the functionality for end users to add requirements, visualise new projects, and upload media files”, says Ed.
Victoriano also had time to focus on his own platform, Bolaboo, conducting research in machine learning to create effective algorithms for making product suggestions to end-users more accurate.
That’s not all. “Our combined interest in new technology meant we also ideated around how we could work together to provide a data and technology service for clients both in the UK and Spain”, says Ed.
While Victoriano says he learned new skills, improved his business English, and developed the UK site for his business, Ed also benefited.
“Victoriano provided a really great addition for us at an exciting period of development”, he says. “His deep technical expertise really complemented my experience, and a huge amount more development of our site was achieved than planned. Perhaps above all, we each got a new friend and colleague for future dealings beyond our own borders.”
Host entrepreneur: Gwendolyn (Netherlands) – Studio Redivivus
New entrepreneur: Marek (UK) – Marek Golias Paintings Conservation and Restoration
Duration: 4 months
Marek wanted to set up a painting conservation company. But while he mastered the technical skills, he lacked experience in running a business. Gwendolyn, meanwhile, had been running her painting conservation business successfully for over 10 years, and was looking to mentor a newcomer. She was also interested in expanding to cover three-dimensional sculptures, something in which Marek already had experience.
During Marek’s stay, the pair organised Open Studio Days, a promotional event running twice per month, plus one larger industry-focused event. Gwendolyn also mentored Marek in the use of new techniques for retouching.
While Marek gained skills in marketing and client relationships, upgraded some of his technical skills, and had time to rethink his business strategy, Gwendolyn benefited from increased client demand thanks to the open events they organised. She also noticed the value of welcoming a newcomer into the business.
“Marek’s optimism and dedication were wonderful”, says Gwendolyn. “He gave the studio an energy boost and some new insights into how we are working.”
Erasmus for Entrepreneurs offers new and aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to spend 1-6 months in another European country, working alongside an experienced host entrepreneur. Costs are covered by a grant from the European Commission.
Contact us to find out more or to apply!