Szkolenie, Roubaix, 13–18 X 2016


Together Inc was a training, dedicated to the thematic of entrepreneurship, and organized by two cooperating organizations: France-based OFCI and Cyprian Citizens in Power. OFCI took care of logistics and organization of the project, while Citizens in Power provided an experienced in the area of entrepreneurship and democratic dialogue trainer, Angelos Parmatzias.  The training took place in Roubaix, a city situated just 20 minutes from Lille and it lasted for 5 days.

The participants came from 10 different countries, which were: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. They are all dedicated to their NGOs youth workers. Some of them had already started with their own businesses, some of them had some ambitious projects, but needed inspiration and some tips from more experienced entrepreneurs.

The aim of the project was developing a creative space for learning good entrepreneurial practices by using non-formal educational methods. Equally important was networking – creating some new contacts in order to work together, exchange good practices, give each other inspiration and learn from one another.

In order to achieve these objectives, the participants took part in various activities, workshops and study visits.

First of all, the trainees have visited EuraTechnologies – a place of innovation, the incubator for start-ups and small business. During the visit, we could sightsee the venue, as well as get to know the initiative a bit more, ask some questions and even participate in companies’ fair. The participants could learn that there are a lot of possibilities out there if they would like to run a start-up. If they have a good idea, they can try to apply for help from EuraTechnologies, which provide support, mentoring and open-space for young start-ups. Next, if they succeed, ET can help finding investors, they rent work spaces and still provide consulting.

Another inspiring place, which the participants have visited, is Dagoma center. Dagoma is a fairly young and very successful start-up. They work in the area of 3D print and what is very special about them – they sell 3D services, as well as 3D printers. Using this technique, they can build new parts for new 3D printers, which is innovative, inspirational, economic, ecologic and clever. They are using filaments, made from resistible and eco-friendly material, which makes their product environmentally conscious. On top of that, the prices are fairly low, so they have succeeded at making their product more available – and so, more democratic. During the workshops lead by Angelos, the participants had time to reflect and discuss the places that they have visited.

The training had three types of activities. The first one was connected to the tasks the participants were supposed to finish online before the project. The second one was providing some good practices and tips about entrepreneurship. Finally, the third type was very practical.

The first group of activities took place before the project, on a Facebook group. The trainer asked the participant to complete couple of tasks. First was called “Genius practices” and its aim was to introduce yourself to the group, to show your interest, specialty, experience. Its aim was to enable easier networking and get to know each other. Then, another activity was to introduce others to the project that your sending organization created / in which they have participated, and they were connected to entrepreneurship / business practices. The participants had also to do a research and collect online material such as e-articles, e-videos,e-forums,e-audios, blogs, movies, websites and e-books which are associated with entrepreneurship. Last, but not least, each participant should find a video that illustrate an examples of successful entrepreneur with disability or an entrepreneur who is an immigrant. During the training, we have used all of the previously posted materials in order to discuss, share and reflect together upon it.

The second group of activities consisted of providing information about starting your own business. One of them was learning the bases of the model CANVAS. The model CANVAS is a strategic management and lean startup template for developing new or documenting existing business models. In order to create a successful business, the team has to determine the following: key partners, key activities, value propositions, customer relationship, customer segments, key resources, channels, cost structure and revenue streams. The others consisted of learning some more about the values important for starting the company.

The third group was more creative part, which consisted of, for example, study of observation in Lille. During the sightseeing, the participants had to be really observant and watch closely the environment and the surroundings, in order to find some ideas for business that were implemented in France and they couldn’t find it in their country.

At the end of the project, the participants were to create their own action plan for their projects or start-up / business ideas. The final results, in the form of posters, were displayed in the conference room, so the participants could network in order to make their projects happen and maybe – collaborate on them.

The TogetherInc project was well thought training, that included all sort of activities. The atmosphere was really inspirational and everyone was in a really creative mood. The participants left the project equipped with knowledge and some ideas that, hopefully, soon will come to life.

Estera Sendecka


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