Markus Kraxner & Gabriele Gmeiner - Erasmus entrepreneurs

Success stories

Recent testimonies of successful business networking - Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme

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New entrepreneur:
Markus Kraxner (Austria)
Age: 30
Company name: (Start-up)
Sector of activity: Clothing, footwear, leather and textile, luggage articles and accessories

“In addition to the work, it is also the experience of living abroad that contributes to the development. I have met new friends, formed views and perspectives that have enriched my life and future activity. To sum up, I return home with greater personal and professional experience."

Host entrepreneur:
Gabriele Gmeiner (Italy) (20 years of experience)
Sector of activity: Clothing, footwear, leather and textile, luggage articles and accessories

"Every person participating actively in the daily workshop life brings in special abilities and ideas. Me, as a host, I am always open to these new influences which enrich my entrepreneurship."

Period of exchange: 01/2022 until 06/2022
Duration of exchange: 6 months


Business sector of the exchange


Crafts - shoemaking


Markus Kraxner, a shoemaker from Austria, had the goal of learning new skills and gaining knowledge from other shoemakers to start his own business. During a trip to Venice last year, curiosity and interest in his profession led him to one of Gabriele Gmeiner’s workshops. Gabriele Gmeiner is a renowned shoemaker, who creates bespoke shoes of the finest quality. She has been working in Venice since 2003 in her workshop at Campiello del Sol and already participated in the program as a host entrepreneur. She loved having the opportunity to share her experience with someone else, so she told Markus about the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs program and the possibility of participating in an exchange, where he could learn all he could about running a small business.


Markus was excited at the idea, so he decided to apply as a New entrepreneur. He aimed to learn as much as possible from Gabriele’s technical and entrepreneurial know-how. Through close cooperation, he not only improved his skills but also got a lot of new ideas. Life in a foreign environment and the intense preoccupation with himself and the future of his own business gave him lots of new inspiration and creativity. For Markus, the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Programme was perfect because it matched exactly his personal and professional stage of development. It gave him the time and opportunity to develop his business idea in a way that would certainly not be possible in the usual everyday life and environment. Besides the day-to-day collaboration with Gabriele, the entrepreneurs carried out two special projects.

The first one was their participation in Homo Faber, an international craft exhibition in Venice. As part of this exhibition, the doors of Gabriele’s workshop were opened to interested visitors over three weeks. During this time, Markus was able to bring the craft closer to many people and convey his passion for the profession. In addition, he met many people during this time and had interesting and inspiring conversations. The second project was the independent production of a complete bespoke pair of shoes. Gabriele gave him the chance to do every part of the production process himself and constantly supported him with her knowledge and experience. This has helped Markus to gain experience in areas of shoe making and to fill gaps in his knowledge and at the same time to get first-hand experience on how to run a small workshop. The exchange was a complete success, thanks to Gabriele's help and willingness to pass on her knowledge.

For more information, please contact the local contact points involved in the exchange:

New entrepreneur's contact point:

Host entrepreneur's contact point:
Unioncamere Veneto (Venezia, Italy)

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