Alona Popova, a 29-year-old young entrepreneur from Ukraine, was working in marketing and product management while building a career in a Ukrainian educational company. She intended to start her own marketing agency to help similar companies grow. However, due to Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, she was forced to leave her hometown, which has been occupied since the early days. She heard about the "Erasmus for young entrepreneurs” program from her friend and understood that this was her chance to learn how to run a business in Europe. When she met Román Navarro, an experienced business owner from the Spanish town Rincon de la Victoria, she knew that she wanted to do a program at his Spanish language school. It was a win-win situation. Román needed a fresh look on his business and help with marketing, while Alona had dedicated 8 years of her life to this working with schools every day. And on top of that, she was already learning Spanish. So 3 months of exchange began in July 2023.
The goal was to exchange experiences, views, and ideas. Alona wanted to understand how a business works in Europe. For Román, it was important to develop a unified concept of marketing for all his 4 business directions. Working side by side, they prepared a promotional concept for the company in both the long and short term. Research conducted to get to know both customers and competitors allowed them to form a vision of where the company needed to go. This data became the foundation for launching a unified company website and attracting customers in organic and low-cost ways. Through constant brainstorming, they understood that it became clear that transparency and automation of financial and managerial processes are more important and prioritized so Alona and Román created a financial accounting system based on automated spreadsheets. This work will help the school to grow not only in the number of clients but also in profits.
Alona gained a great experience in a new country, met people from different backgrounds, and discovered the culture and traditions of Andalusia. She has improved her Spanish language skills. She is confident that this will also be a strong catalyst for the growth of her business and is already thinking about focusing her attention on the Spanish and Latin American segment. Despite the fact that starting a marketing agency is quite a time consuming task, Alona hopes to open her agency over the next 2 years. Experience in organizing, learning about the tax system, and working on financial statements with Roman helped her to get a clearer idea of timelines and estimates. Also, in addition to her personal plans, she continues to communicate with Román and is already planning a joint project. Alona hopes that this is only the beginning of their productive cooperation.
For more information, please contact the local contact points involved in the exchange:
New entrepreneur's contact point:Alfred Nobel University
(Dnipro, Ukraine) Host entrepreneur's contact point:Dirección General de Empresa
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