Recent testimonies of successful business networking - Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme
Period of exchange: 02/2020 until 07/2020
Duration of exchange: 6 months
Nastasja Minja is an aspiring entrepreneur from Slovenia graduated in psychology. She wants to start a business in the field, and for this, she went to Italy for a five-months entrepreneurial exchange.
Yet, not long after she started working alongside host entrepreneur Valentina Bortolotto, owner of NEFELI EDUCATION, she found herself facing the coronavirus crisis and the national lockdown.
"I arrived in Italy in February and the lockdown started in March. It was a sudden change that I was not prepared for. Yet, I had to promptly adapt to the situation and comply with the restrictions of movement and social interactions. It was very difficult for me to avoid physical contacts with people as I am psychologist, but there was no choice”. "We needed to be responsible and show respect to those suffering from the consequences of the disease.”
Even if not ready for this, the lockdown presented nonetheless an opportunity for Nastasja and Valentina to work differently. The two women thus decided to continue the collaboration virtually using digital tools for communication. This way, they could carry on the activities initially planning during the exchange.
Using the spare time that the quarantine allowed, Nastasja could refine some aspects of her business plan. She notably focused on creating content for sport psychology, whilst also being fully committed to Valentina’s business.
To make her remote work life more comfortable, Nastasja created an environment at home that resembles to a workplace, which helped her a lot to be efficient and productive. She advises everyone to do so too. She also recommends setting a daily schedule making sure that it fits in own daily agenda.
"It is more difficult to avoid distractions at home, especially if you live with someone, so I needed to have a strict schedule that I followed rigorously (e.g. working whilst others are sleeping).”
The communication flow with Valentina and the other colleagues at NEFELI, has not changed much during the quarantine, it just got better!
The restrictions actually allowed people to have more time to talk to each other and focus on discussions about strategies and future projects.
And one of the most important strategy during the quarantine, was to try to adapt Valentina’s business services to virtual methods. Indeed, like many other businesses, hers has been financially struggling during the crisis. The government provides economic support but that is not enough for a full recovery.
Yet, the two women remain positive about the situation as for them, no matter how bad it is, it nonetheless represents an opportunity for both business growth and personal development.
Nastasja Minja remains also very keen to connect with other EYE entrepreneurs currently abroad facing the same challenges. She can provide psychological support to anyone who may need it. Her mission as psychologist is to help people overcome the worst and thrive in adversity and she would be more than eager to offer her help in these challenging times.
For more information, please contact the local contact points involved in the exchange:
New entrepreneur's contact point:
University of Primorska (Koper)
Host entrepreneur's contact point:
Unioncamere Veneto (Venezia)
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