Ms. Kay Farrell was my mentor during this experience, helping me with information about how to start a bike business (taking into account the country profile), how to use the marketing tools (we jointly developed the company website), how to evaluate the competition, how to plan your cash flow, how to adapt to the changes in the market and how to develop the business in the future, all alongside administrative tasks in the company. Entering this entrepreneurial exchange was definitely the best decision I could have made to start and develop my future bike business in Romania.”
Istvan Demeter from Oradea (Romania) is a bike lover and keen supporter of sustainable tourism who devotes his time to promote cycling activities.
After years of working in a bike shop and participating to various trainings and competitions, Istvan decided to become an entrepreneur and structure his knowledge in cycling and passion for tourism into a substantial business plan. He applied for the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme to get insights on how to successfully run a bike business.
Istvan found a good match with a host entrepreneur from Malaga (Spain), Ms. Kay Farrell, who has over 7 years of experience in running a business in cycling tourism with Malaga Bike Tours company.
Ms. Farrell wanted to share her experience with someone who wants to start a touristic company, but with a focus on developing innovative tours through cycling and passionate to learn about the challenges of running a bike business both in management and service maintenance. Istvan was able to offer skills and knowledge in both bike tours and service, so he started his exchange for a period of three months in Ms. Farrell’s company in Malaga.
Istvan was received with open arms by the company team and worked alongside Ms. Farrell who helped him understand the challenges in running a business and get inside info, from how to approach clients and organize tours to how to properly maintain the service of bikes.
“I can say for sure, it really was a very fulfilling experience with a lot of benefits, new skills (administrative, marketing, financial skills), new friends and most important a new view in the entrepreneurial field. “
For Ms. Farrell, the exchange was an extremely positive experience for herself as an entrepreneur and for the company, as new services and products were developed with the help of Istvan inputs and new perspectives.
“Besides being an excellent mechanic, Istvan also gave lots of input with his ideas on marketing and web/ logo design. During our meetings and conversations about starting a new business, it has been interesting for me to see and hear another entrepeneur’s points of view and questions that have occurred from observations made. I have enjoyed sharing my experience of starting up a business and all the highs and lows that come with that. It has also been a chance for me to stop and reflect on how I have done- and do- things.”
The exchange has been interesting for Ms. Farrell also for being the first time to work with someone for an Eastern European country, as it was for Istvan to work in a western European country. In this respect, the exchange has also served as a cultural one and a potential to extend the business on the European market.
Both entrepreneurs enjoyed the exchange as a very valuable learning experience and are keen to stay in contact and become partenrs, once Istavn will start his business back in Romania.
New and experienced entrepreneurs shall apply for the programme via the web page www.erasmus-entrepreneurs.eu
For further information about the programme:
Ms. Cordelia Badescu
Ms. A. Sarateanu, CSCS
This article was funded by the European Union’s COSME Programme (2014-2020).
The content of this article represents the views of the author only and it is her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Executive Agency of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.