Silvja Hodo & Sonia Mérida Martín  - Erasmus entrepreneurs

Success stories

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

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New entrepreneur:
Silvja Hodo (Albania)
Age: 33
Company name: BioLab Albania (Start-up)
Sector of activity: Agricultural, forestry, horticultural, aquacultural and apicultural products and services

“This Erasmus exchange in Pamplona has been a perfect opportunity to improve my soft skills and better understand how to interact with my future clients as well as develop my problem-solving and creative abilities to address situations that I havent envisaged at the domestic front".

Host entrepreneur:
Sonia Mérida Martín (Spain)
Age: 48
Company website (13 years of experience)
Sector of activity: Agricultural, forestry, horticultural, aquacultural and apicultural products and services

“From the very beginning it has been a great pleasure to work with Silvja and all the positive aspects of the exchange have exceeded my expectations. It has definitely been a win-win situation that I would highly recommend and I do not discard the possibility of repeating again.”

Period of exchange: 01/2022 until 03/2022
Duration of exchange: 1 month and 2 weeks


Business sector of the exchange


Organic products and services


For Sonia Mérida, the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme has been an interesting opportunity to share knowledge and experience so that she can continue to learn and improve in her business. She has been the owner of Especialité, a specialised tea and spices shop, for more than fourteen years. New entrepreneur Silvja Hodo wanted to start her own business to introduce organic production methods that will enable Albanian farmers to farm sustainably. Sonia and Silvja engaged in an EYEexchange in Pamplona for almost two months and together they developed a strategy for commerce digitalisation. Silvja's previous studies in communication and information management contributed to the development of the new website, including the online shop, while Sonia provided Silvja with a perfect opportunity to strengthen her interpersonal skills and build long-term relationships with her customers and suppliers.

Under Sonia's mentorship, Silvja was involved in evaluating Especialité's marketing plan, particularly the shop's website. To assess the shop's new marketing plan, Silvja was able to create her own schedule and meet with Sonia every week to report on developments. This flexibility meant that Silvia was always comfortable and able to develop her creative side, while Sonia was able to continue running her business on a regular basis. In February 2023, Sonia organised a visit to Josenea, an organic farm for growing aromatic and medicinal plants, which was of great value to Silvja's nascent business. It was a great opportunity to expand the network of suppliers. They also shared traditions and customs between cultures, and Sonia presented information about her products, while Silvja suggested new spicesand teas that could be added to Especialité's product range.

Overall, Silvja learned new skills from Sonia in dealing personally with clients and how to build relationships that can be fruitful in the long term. She was pleased with the working ethic of the store and the good working atmosphere among the staff, and assures that she will apply all the acquired competences and soft skills in her new business in Albania. She also learned how to contact suppliers via the internet and by visiting the organic farm she expanded her network of potential suppliers in Navarre. With Silvja's support, Sonia uploaded Especialite's website and implemented a defined and strategic marketing plan. She acquired knowledge and skills in digitalization and developed new ideas to reach potential customers and incentivise the consumption of teas and infusions in the summer. Thanks to their desire to capitalise on the experience, they have managed to achieve their goals in a short time.

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

New entrepreneur's contact point:
QENDRA PROTIK (Tirana, Albania)

Host entrepreneur's contact point:

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