I have recently had a very productive and motivating day and thought to share it here. I do hope I will have more days like this one, although it was really exhausting.
At 10am I started a press conference to launch the Young Entrepreneurs Association from the South-East Region of Romania (YEASER) and also the START YOU project. Well, before that, I had to be at Dunarea Business Center to take care of logistics for this event, together with some friends and close partners who I thank: Oana, Irina, Bogdan, Daniel, Dan and the founding members of YEASER. This was founded as an association of young entrepreneurs (we are young until 40 :)) which is independent and non-political. I made a public invitation for young people who have or want to establish businesses, to join us and get involved in our activities that are summed up below:
- Organizing projects to stimulate entrepreneurship in the South-East Region of Romania, especially to train the employees of the member companies. The first project in this regard is called START YOU and will unfold within the next 3 years. It will involve approximately 250 high school graduates and students aged 18-35 in innovative entrepreneurial activities like business mentorship, workshops and simulated companies.
- Organizing thematic debates within the social dialogue, between YEASER members and representatives of the local authorities; centralizing the major problems that young entrepreneurs are facing in the South-East region; identifying solutions and endorsing those solutions to decision makers, supporting new favorable laws for young entrepreneurs; offering consulting services to our members in areas like non-refundable grants and refundable loans, juridical and fiscal consulting; engaging in networking activities to support our businesses together with the Young Entrepreneurs Association from Romania and the Council of SMEs.
Here is the entire press conference and the reactions from the mass-media:
At 11am we started an Informational Debate within the framework of START YOU project. There were approximately 30 participants from YEASER, Galati City Hall, Galati County Council, Ovidius University from Constanta, the Students’ League from Galati, AIESEC, the Food Industry High School from Galati, the County Agency for Youth, Odobesti High School from Vrancea County, and the Pupils’ Council. We talked about problems that young people are facing when graduating high school and college and transitioning to the active life of entrepreneurship. Among the main ideas, I can mention that public authorities argued that the initiative to undertake a project should come from us. Also, they mentioned the need for a dialogue partner regarding economic problems. The scholars supported the need for young people to speak well, to return to production businesses and to take better care of accounting. YEASER members expressed the desire to establish a business incubator in Galati, in partnership with the local authorities, where young entrepreneurs would share the administrative costs of running their businesses.
At 3pm we started a World Caffee with approximately 60 high school pupils and college students aged 18-35 within the framework of the same START YOU project. The World Caffee is a method of participation that facilitates multiple debates on various topics. We had six tables with moderators that engaged participants in sharing ideas about themes related to entrepreneurship. At every 15 minutes, the moderators moved between themselves, so that all the participants had the chance to tackle all the issues. At the end, moderators presented the conclusions. I will write more about this activity in a future post.
At 5pm I was invited to attend the local news on VoxTV channel. There, I talked for approximately 15 minutes about the newly-established YEASER, the opportunities offered by the START YOU project and about local administration problems and ways to address them:
At 7pm I headed off to Braila, where I checked a location for a new self-service terminal from ZebraPay to be placed at Winmarkt. These terminals allow young people to buy train tickets, music, prepay credit on their mobile carriers, and soon tickets to various shows, plane tickets and a lot more. It is a modern business with great potential to develop the community. From Braila I went to Bucharest because at 3am the next day I had to be at the airport to leave for Zagreb, Croatia and attend a conference on Citizen Engagement and Active Citizenship. There I presented SMART Method of Public Policy.