Alessandro, could you tell us your story and your experience in Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme?
My name is Alessandro, I am Italian and I was born in 1986. I like reading and new challenges that help me with my professional and personal growth. Although in my CV there was no entrepreneurial experience and I was not very used to deal with European and international realities, my initiative spirit got me started.
I am keen on internet therefore I started to look for a way to transform my idea into something concrete with the help of the internet. Among all the entrepreneurial opportunities I had found, the only one that looked like a real world experience was Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs.
On the internet you can find thousands of mentors and web sites that offer courses but none of them gives you the possibility to be an entrepreneur and to face a real entrepreneurial reality. Since the first meetings with CESIE in Palermo, all my worries faded away and when I started to contact the entrepreneurs who belong to the EYE network I immediately felt part of a world that I consider innovative and with a growth potential.
I did not have a specific country in my mind, I did not want to analyse balance sheets, etc. When saw Corkscrew company I immediately thought that it was what I needed in order to overcome my difficulties and be able to internationalize and launch my idea.
Corkscrew is in Exeter, a city in Devon in the United Kingdom, and it is a Startup school. Every day Exeter surprised me because of its way of doing business and its simple but effective networking with other companies. Once a month I had meetings with the host entrepreneur Neil Finnie (Corkscrew’s founder).
In this company I had the chance to meet many students that have business ideas ready to be launched into the market. Sharing my experiences with them was really important.
Which activities have you undertaken at Corkscrew?
Business models, business & marketing plans and evaluations. In this four-month exchange I had the chance to focus on these concepts and to work using statistical methods to optimize the good start of a project. With the host entrepreneur Neil, we worked on how to get new local clients and clients at the international level; and on how to evaluate investments from a marketing view in order to reach more clients with a lower investment.
Which benefits have you achieved?
The co-working area was full of new start-ups and of people who like innovation, collaboration and sharing experiences with others. This experience gave me the opportunity to gain skills that support me in internationalizing a company, but above all, it provided me with deep insights of the necessity to operate business at European level, not just focusing on the local realities.My initial worries have been totally overcome thanks to this EYE programme.
How can you summarise your experience in few words?
A startup school in a co-working area in the UK…this was my experience in Corkscrew: developing competences, exchanging ideas, studying new markets, promoting myself in an effective and easy way. The conversations and discussions with my HE and with all his team, the networking chances I had, helped me to improve my entrepreneurial attitude.
My experience in Corkscrew was the best entrepreneurial experience I have ever had. Thank you Corkscrew, thank you Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs and thanks Europe. I can say that Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs meets the companies’ real needs: collaboration and a common desire for growth.
If you got inspired by the story of Alessandro, have your business idea, would like to open yourself to new horizons, expand your network and grow both personally and professionally – Erasmus for your Entrepreneurs is exactly for you.
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a cross-border exchange programme which gives new or aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to learn from experienced entrepreneurs running small businesses in other Participating Countries.
CESIE is involved in Eramus for Young Entrepreneurs programme, thanks to the StartUp – Start run and grow your business project, and supports the young entrepreneurs during their experiences with the expert entrepreneurs.