“I have been involved in various tasks, among which the most interesting was, by far, contacting a Nobel laureate to invite him to a conference. That gave me a lot of confidence, and made me very involved in this exchange. I developed my skills in management and organizing events, which are very valuable for me. At the same time, I learned a lot about social entrepreneurship and positive economy.”
Alexandra Chiru is a very active, dedicated and engaged young entrepreneur from Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She was involved in several start-ups, learning that there is a need for a co-working space in the community, in order to bring together innovative and creative minds and help them to develop joint projects.
Through Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, Alexandra benefits intensively from HE Mr Thierry Vandebroek’s 30 years of experience in managing a business and promoting social entrepreneurship in the community.
Alexandra is also very happy with the city she chose for the exchange – Brussels (Belgium), which she considered to be the “motherland” of EU funds. An entrepreneurship exchange in the capital of Europe keeps her more connected to insights of European funds and Europeans programs and projects, as well as closer to the main European think thanks.
“The investment I need for my business is quite large. In the first two years I will focus on the co-working space and the training center, and later, after I will make some profit, I will also implement the library idea, as a component of this co-working space. As sources of funding, I have considered government programs for start-ups, European funds and, in the best case, a private investor. I chose Brussels as the first option for the exchange mainly because of this direct access to European funds knowledge; there are important European institutions, which my host entrepreneur can have direct access to.” (Alexandra)
Mr Vandebroek shares with Alexandra valuable experience in the field of public-private partnerships, social entrepreneurship and positive economy. He involves Alexandra in conferences and events, while presenting her the entrepreneurship scene and business networks he is involved in. Most valuable to Alexandra, her host entrepreneur gives her important management responsibilities in his current projects, the area she is most keen to develop.
Through “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs” programme, Alexandra learns about the business ingredients and recipes that work successfully in Western Europe, and that she can easily apply for her business idea back home. Her business plan for creating a co-working place, which includes a training center and a modern library for youth, perfectly matches Mr Vandebroek’s experience in engaging youth in social innovation projects.
The two entrepreneurs have a very successful collaboration so far, and are interested to further collaborate and contribute to the creation of a wider network for promoting social entrepreneurship.
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.