Benjamin Ayeolowo & José Rodrigues - Erasmus entrepreneurs

Success stories

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

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New entrepreneur:
Benjamin Ayeolowo (Netherlands)
Age: 33
Company name: (Start-up)
Sector of activity: Crafts, art materials and accessories

Benjamin: “I would like to encourage people who may be interested to start their own business and become an entrepreneur to also join the EYE program. I believe the EYE exchange prepares me very well for an entrepreneurial future.”

Host entrepreneur:
José Rodrigues (Portugal)
Age: 44
Company name: Teatro Metaphora - Associação de Amigos das Artes (9 years of experience)
Sector of activity: Crafts, art materials and accessories

José Rodrigues – “Benjamin embraced graciously his Erasmus Young Entrepreneurs Programme and set the example for future young entrepreneurs. We were very lucky to have him in our team. Since the beginning he has shown a great ambition and wish to learn and improve his knowledge and skills in busines

Period of exchange: 01/2020 until 04/2020
Duration of exchange: 6


Business sector of the exchange


Arts and theater


Jose Rodrigues is president of the NGO "Teatro Metaphora" based on the remote Portuguese island of Madeira. With over 10 years of experience in youth projects addressing exclusion, unemployment and social apathy in the local community, he was looking for new creative methods and a broadening of his horizons with a fresh mind.
Benjamin, the New Entrepreneur, is originally from Nigeria and graduated from the Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands. He was looking for coaching to expand his knowledge and experience in running a business.
During the exchange, NE learned so many new things that really helped him grow. He was able to gain knowledge about managing social arts and environmental organizations, which is very helpful for his future business that he wants to start in the Netherlands. The HE gained a lot in terms of intercultural understanding, as it was the first time to host a participant from a completely different reality. HE became more aware of how other countries work Nigeria/Netherlands. NE shared his experience at Teatro Metaphora with local organizations, international organizations, family and friends. The NE worked closely with the Host Entrepreneur and through daily information sharing, NE learned the field of non-governmental organizations by combining different types of projects to address the needs of the local community, which helps us in implementing projects/activities with locals. NE was involved in all the ongoing projects and activities of the association and developed new ones taking into account the specifics of the local goals and the mission and objectives of Teatro Metaphora. He was involved in upcycling projects that helped him acquire enough knowledge to develop his future business, and together we achieved a great result that was exhibited for 3 months. Benjamin learned how to face different daily challenges. As for the goals of Jose, this collaboration helped him gain more visibility and more opportunities for future collaboration. The goals that Jose had for Benjamin were fulfilled: managing the implementation of local projects through the NGO, combining different areas to achieve common goals.

The NE has completed the program and after returning to the Netherlands will push to start his own furniture upcycling business as soon as possible. He is very motivated and equipped with a lot of knowledge gained during the exchange. His learning outcomes include the fact that he was able to gain knowledge in managing social, artistic and environmental organizations which will help him to properly run his own future business in the Netherlands. He has gained a better understanding of the pros and cons of starting a furniture upcycling business. He has increased his language skills, especially learning a new language (Portuguese), which is good for international relations. HE has gained a lot of cross-cultural awareness and new insights and fresh ideas.

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

New entrepreneur's contact point:
Van der Vliet Evidence Based Training (Lierop, Netherlands)

Host entrepreneur's contact point:
Conceptwin (Castelo Branco, Portugal)

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