Marija Bumbak & Marko Paunović - Erasmus entrepreneurs

Success stories

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

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New entrepreneur:
Marija Bumbak (Croatia)
Age: 29
Company name: INOVA (Start-up)
Sector of activity: Education and training services

"Best learning is through experience and the shadowing experience was an absolute best for me. I gained so much knowledge and developed myself and my entrepreneurial spirit. Working with Marko in Out of The Box International was amazing and I hope our collaboration will continue in the future.‘’

Host entrepreneur:
Marko Paunović (Belgium)
Age: 39
Company name: Out of the Box International (10 years of experience)
Sector of activity: Education and training services

"The experience was very positive despite the pandemic negative impact on our daily work and cooperation.”

Period of exchange: 06/2020 until 10/2020
Duration of exchange: 4 months


Marko Paunović, CEO of Out of the Box International is a consultant moderator and social entrepreneur with more than ten years of experience. His motivation to participate in the programme was stimulated by seeing first-hand the value of such a collaboration and being aware of how he has developed through the know-how he got with practical experience. By sharing experiences with others he wants to give back the same with the benefits of the innovation bust provided by the fresh contact. Marija Bumbak, from Šibenik in Croatia, is a Business, Economics and Finance graduate, soon to specialise in project management. She realised the advantages that Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs brings by studying in Lithuania and upon return she had a desire to bring a little European spirit into her city. Given the increasing digitalisation and recognition of knowledge transfer as a very valuable tool in the form of non-formal education, the idea for the establishment of INOVA arose.

Marija obtained a great deal of knowledge from the host and gained insights about the work of European institutions, NGOs and the possibilities of financing projects that the funds enable. The host provided training on the Cohesion Fund and investment areas, COSME programme for small and medium enterprises, Creative Europe Fund, LIFE programme. European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, ERDF, ESF, European Solidarity Corps along with training on stile and Smart Cities development.. Marko gained some fresh ideas and new contacts from Marija for possible new partnerships and project development; one project was also approved.

From this exchange Marija developed her communication skills through correspondence with various stakeholders writing web and newsmail content, learning about online tools and how to disseminate information in a targeted way which was very useful for her work plan and she also wrote project applications. The NE developed knowledge of project management software and especially developed key skills like leadership, time management, planning skills, risk management, negotiation skills, and cost control facilitation. Now she feels more empowered and aware about the context and mechanism of EU funding she has established contacts throughout Europe, working as part of Out of The Box International network.’’

Thanks to Marija's contribution his consultancy had an Erasmus+ project approved. To him, she was a dedicated team member and an advocate for a more dynamic and innovative Europe. They aim to continue working together on her business plan.

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

New entrepreneur's contact point:
INFORMO - Udruga za poticanje zapošljavanja, stručnog usavršavanja i obrazovanja (Vodnjan-dignano, Croatia)

Host entrepreneur's contact point:

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