On the 13th of July 2022, FUNDACJA ROZWOJU SPOŁECZEŃSTWA PRZEDSIĘBIORCZEGO and Youth Association DRONI started Erasmus + Youth Exchange named “Young entrepreneurs” in Bakuriani, Georgia, and the project lasted until 18th of July 2022. Young people from 6 different countries: Poland, Portugal, Germany, Georgia, Armenia, and Ukraine gathered together to explore more about the topic of entrepreneurship.
The project’s aims were:
- To instil and develop important personal characteristics that will be crucial for those wishing to become entrepreneurs;
- To empower young people to transform their hobbies into their future careers;
- To develop entrepreneurship skills, teamwork, and leadership skills;
- To work on business ideas, basic business skills, and marketing methods including digital skills we plan to have dedicated workshops on thinking and creating business ideas;
- To enhance the employability of the participants;
- To gain discourse and strategic competencies needed in the labour market;
Further aims of the Youth exchange were:
- To promote understanding across different groups, promote equal opportunities, and reduce differences in achievements;
- To enhance the soft skills and digital competencies;
- To give the participants the opportunity to be able to communicate in a foreign language and promote multilingualism;
- To promote cultural awareness and respect for other cultures and backgrounds in the international environment.
On the 14th of July, we started a project with an energic morning that started with an Armenian group´s facilitation. We had lots of activities for getting to know each other. First of all, we played a game which was called “Bingo”. Participants received papers where we had some interesting facts and they had to talk to each other and find out each other After that, you should write the corresponding name to the fact that it was suitable for. Whoever was the first to fill all the facts with all the names should have called bingo and was the winner. With this activity, we were able to remember each other’s names and also who was the first time abroad, where Harry Potter fans knew about the youth pass. After that, we continued the activity that’s aim was remembering each other’s names. Everybody stood in the circle and said their name and then the adjective that started with the first letter of their name. everybody had to repeat people’s names with adjectives who stood before them. After this, we all were able to remember each other’s names. Then we started our journey of secret friends which will make our friendship stronger with more memories.
Then polish group leaders did amazing activities that were really special, new, and different for most of the participants. Two of the activities were actions and energizers that helped us to make choices in teams and solve tasks together. The most meaningful activity was the one where everybody was divided into groups and they had to draw a flower where we wrote down things that we had in common and things that were individual and different. After that participants were asked to do a challenge and make the tallest tower in teams that needed good solutions and team actions.
The second part of the day we started the session with a wonderful energizer which made us get to know each other better. By throwing a ball at somebody participants were asking each other interesting questions. The last activity was very informative. Participants were shown the whole project schedule on the wall so it was visible to everyone. The project’s aim and story we’re introduced to everyone and also detailed information about what and how everything was planned for the week. Then participants were divided into three groups one had to search for information about youth exchange, the second one’s topic was a training course and the third got youth competencies. All of them had 15-20 minutes to present the information and also their own experience. Participants found out more about youth exchanges and training courses and more information, such as how to apply what kind of topics they mostly about, how old can they be to participate, how long it lasts, what is the aim, and a lot more, they found some difference between them. If they forgot about something Georgian facilitators added further information. This group talked about where can be the youth pass used and explained with examples the 8 competencies.
After that Georgian leaders moved to a code of conduct where participants created the main rules of the project with organizations. Participants signed the rules to make it official. Then we explained what reflection groups mean and groups were divided into Georgian traditional food khachapuri types. This continued with the reflection group itself where we discussed the activities. In the end, we had a group leader’s meeting.
In the end, we had a wonderful intercultural evening with Georgian and Polish groups with quizzes videos dances, and traditional food, chocolate, and snacks. Everybody got to know more about the culture, language, and history of these countries. Today was fulfilled with new information getting to know each other and everyone is excited about follow-up days and activities. Thank you to everyone.
The second day of the project was mainly dedicated to the topic of setting the ground for entrepreneurship/business. The young people got familiar with the basic principles of starting and running a business. The morning started with an amazing energizer – Washing Machine, which made the youngsters more enlivened. They are supposed to make a circle with one person in the middle who should give them the task to make poses, like washing machine, mixer, imitate the Merlyn Monroe or James Bond. The ones who failed had to go in the middle and take the place of the person who gave the task. With this game, they have become more energized and cheered up.
Then we continue the session about the principle of starting the business. The session was carried out by a Georgian facilitator. The participants were asked to share information about the most common businesses they have heard about and the unusual ones. The session was very interactive as everyone shared their experiences and thoughts. Afterwards, the participants were divided into 4 groups with different nationalities and provided the task to discuss and examine the businesses they shared at the session and evaluate them from the entrepreneur’s perspective. They prepared the SWAT analysis and assess the business. Through this activity, they learned what the SWAT analyzes and its importance while starting the business.
The second session started with a dancing energizer with music which made the participants more active. Afterwards, the participants made a presentation about the evaluation of businesses from the first session. Each group had 15 minutes. They explained what type of business it was, the aims/objectives of the business, target group, advantages and disadvantages, and SWAT analysis. From this activity, they have developed their public speaking skills and learned how to make an engaging presentation. The activity was very interactive as the speakers asked multiple questions to the participants.
In the second part of the day, we had a special guest from Georgia who has the experience to run the business. Considering the fact that the project is taking place in Bakuriani, which is a touristic zone, where the main field of business is the service industry, the guest shared his experience in this sphere. He provided information about the renting of hotels, the main challenges in this sphere, the advantages and disadvantages, the prices for different kinds of hotels, and what impact did Covid pandemic had on this business. The participants asked him several questions regarding other business ideas that may be realized in the Bakuriani, what are the main issues in this field and what are the main principles that the young entrepreneur should consider if they want to start the business. After that, the Georgian facilitators recapitulated the information provided by the guest and asked the participants question about the previous session. Everyone shared their impressions about the meeting, discussed the new and memorable things they have heard, etc.
After they have divided into five groups and provided the task to prepare the theatre show. Each group had its field of business and task, some of them running the bakery shop or café, one group had a company with ski instructors, etc. They needed to prepare two performances in which they should show the audience the proper and wrong way to run a business. They have made an amazing and entertaining spectacle, in which every participant was involved equally. With this activity, they have learned how important is to know the proper ways to communicate with customers and the significance of great service.
At the end of the day, the Armenian and German youngsters made an amazing cultural evening, with quizzes, videos, games, and dances. We had the possibility to taste their national foods, drinks, sweets, and snack. The participants have learned more about their culture, traditions history, etc. Today was very prolific and everyone the excited about the next day’s activities.
On the 16th of July, the main point of the first part of the day was the study visit to get first-hand experience and tips from the Georgian entrepreneurs. As usual, we started the day with enjoyable energizers. Later, we were divided into 5 groups and given some tasks to do on the way. (Scavenger’s Hunt).
Afterwards, we met the guesthouse owner and had an opportunity to interview her. The landlady has been running the business just with her husband! She was extremely welcoming, helpful, nice, and open and the place was just amazing! It also had a very interesting history. The interview went very smoothly and all the participants were happy to ask a lot of questions and the answers were very informative. We got to know how to invest money into a business, how to expand it, and how to overcome some difficulties and face challenges (e.g. pandemics or tough competition).
After a small debriefing session concerning the study visit, we played a very demanding but creative game called ‘Architects, Communicators & Builders’. The architects designed the picture using numerous colourful geometrical figures. Then they explained their ideas to communicators, who, in turn, had to give instructions to the builders. Their task was to recreate the initial picture. The game was not easy and demanded a lot of concentration, communication, and paying attention to details but it was much fun.
The second part of the day was equally involving. The topic was ‘From hobby to job’. It was run and supervised by the Ukrainian participants. Before we started the proper session we took part in an awesome energizer. It was both funny and physically demanding! Then, we brainstormed our ideas for hobbies popular in our countries.
Next, there were some videos about popular start-ups in Ukraine followed by an amazing presentation by Tamar. She is an extremely creative Ukrainian girl producing her own handmade soaps! Everybody was really impressed with her business and wanted to know more and more about it! Tamar eagerly shared her experience with us. This part was just perfect! Later, Natalia (a Ukrainian leader) elicited all the steps needed to be taken to turn your hobby into your job. Another point mentioned was how to choose the name for your company wisely. That was elaborated in the precise presentation by Maks. He gave us plenty of real-life examples of company names famous and successful all over the world. Well done!
From hobby to the job – Part 2 (practice). The session traditionally started with hilarious energizers to make us active and animated and also to divide us into groups. The next stage was to invent a company name, logo, slogan, strategy, and target audience based on a chosen theme. Then each team was presenting their company and the others could vote for the best one. Finally, a short evaluation of the sessions took place. All in all, it was just great! Thanks and congrats to the whole Ukrainian party! Tonight the intercultural evening was dedicated to the Ukrainians and Portuguese. This all meant a lot of quizzes, games, songs, dances, presentations, and delicious food! The experience was definitely worth it!
On the 17th of July, our participants started their day with an energizer which was called pang. it was very different from other energizers because everybody was outside and we had amazing weather. then we were divided into two groups called apples and mangos. one went inside in the conference room and the others explained the rules outside. one group had to draw a perfect morning on the beach and the other had to draw the perfect night in the city. then everybody set down in front of each other with one marker and paper. participants couldn’t talk to each other or write anything on paper. everybody had 2 minutes to draw and we had to touch the marker at the same time. In the end, we had a discussion if we did our task well or not. it appeared that most of us had difficulty actually drawing what we were asked. then we talked about how was the task itself and how we would do it if we could talk. that is why we did an important conclusion and parallel about how language barrier and other situations in real life in doing a business which is very important to take into consideration. then we were introduced to business canvas and had all 9 points.
We had to think about our business ideas and answer the questions on the paper. The whole group was divided into 3 smaller groups and was given 1 hour for each participant to come up with a startup idea lately to combine into one to make a united business idea. groups should have to go out of the box and think in a creative way and try their best to use their imagination. it was truly successful and the ideas were very much unique. at the discussion, we summed up that nowadays there are lots of businesses and we have to think about something different and unique which needs our imagination. these two sessions were very meaningful because they made all think about business and the process in different aspects. And learned new essentials of making a successful plan. after lunch, we had some free time some people decided to go to a Georgian restaurant, hiking, or to the lake. it was amazing and memorable. everyone is under great expressions and emotions. In the second part of the day, participants were exploring Bakuriani!
On the 18th of July, the morning started with nice weather and a great energizer which helped participants to be more concentrated and productive throughout the day. the Polish group started the session where participants had to think and answer couple more questions about the specific skills of a good businessperson. What kind of soft and hard skills do you need to gain in order to start a business? How to create a clear branding of your idea? The answers to these questions participants of the Erasmus+ project “Young entrepreneurship” have discovered themselves today.
In small groups, they discussed the critical components for professional development and formed a list of skills that an entrepreneur should have. participants drew a business person on their flip charts and added all of those skills on the paper and then every group had to present it. In the second part of the session, 2 representatives of the groups had to choose specific objects, and then with the group, they received the task with detailed instructions. participants started to create a branding of everyday things like shower, stone, clock, … That might be video advertisement, creation of a social media page, website, and so on. everybody got to their task and started doing the task which was an interesting, creative and fun activity.
After lunch we have 2 great sessions On the first one, we have been presented our advertising companies with different unusual objects (empty bottles, stone, part of a shower tube, a clock). Some teams were showing incredible videos about their products. Participants got lots of fun and positive emotions. After presentations, we were giving feedback to each team.
Firstly, we learned how should we act and build our speech if we want to give feedback to other participants. After 5 minutes of discussing inside the teams, participants were talking to other members of our project and saying about the advantages and disadvantages of each presentation. Also, we had so exciting energizers!
We were drawing the parts of the face of other participants and were switching the papers between us after we had drawn one part. In the second session, we have a wonderful part of a lecture about the risk-management and causes, which can direct the company to success. We were listening about the Blackberry crushing and were doing a task about avoiding risks if we have already had it in our business.
On the last day all groups, led by Hayk, from Armenia, started the morning with kisses in the most random places you can imagine, of course as an energizer. After that the participants were working, in national teams, on the follow-up activities, they would like to develop when they go back to their country, in order to share and promote what they have learned during this beautiful day in the peaceful mountains of Bakuriani.
Besides that, they prepared, each group, a newsletter to share with their local community as soon as they go back home. When all of them were done, they presented all the ideas and final works to the others and clapped happily as they can see that this week will forever be in their heart.