The participant of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Rūta Kučinskaitė has recently finished her exchange programme at Espronceda, a contemporary art gallery in Spain. As a young entrepreneur says, coming to Espronceda was a big challenge and she had to learn a lot of new information every single day. However, soon she got used to the gallery, its environment, colleagues and, of course, a different Spanish lifestyle! We are happy that Rūta agreed to share her insights and impressions about this Exchange and we are excited to share them with you!
I have heard about this programme just recently. I was looking for information about different exchange opportunities, which could provide useful experience and additional knowledge in a particular business field – art market. Accordingly, I found Erasmus For Young Entrepreneurs. The main expectations were to find mentor, who could help to improve my business plan.
Not always had I dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. However, during the past 7 years this idea was becoming stronger and stronger. I studied arts so naturally, I was always looking for a way how to turn my hobby into a viable business. Currently, I’m planning to open an online art gallery. In the very beginning I’ll have to restrict the limited edition prints but over the time, I’ll broaden the offered range.
With regards to my mentor, it wasn’t so difficult to find the right one here, in Barcelona. The new technologies and the internet made the searches much easier. At first, I was thinking of the Netherlands, but Barcelona won my heart. I chose it because of its multiculturalism and its art industry. Here I worked at Espronceda, a contemporary art gallery, where I had a chance to meet with galleries structure from inside. Each week I had different tasks, related to my business plan. I made researches, benchmarked about my competitors both in Lithuania and abroad. Moreover, I got to know more about the product that I offer and its target audience.
What aspects of my business plan have I improved during this exchange? Well, I have improved a general knowledge about management and the run of the art gallery – it is a priceless experience. Besides, I learned about relationship marketing and I can proudly say that both my business model and I, as an entrepreneur, have significantly improved. I’m glad that the adaptation process to the working culture in Spain was not so hard. Perhaps this is because of my previous experience in France and the USA where I worked with the art managing activities.
What is more, during this exchange I have made many contacts and relationships for the future collaboration. I participated in every single business meeting and the openings of the art gallery. This has led to a wider circle of new contacts. Guess that the main challenge was to stop doubting about my business idea. However, while being here and receiving comprehensive support, I solved all the unclear questions and overcame all doubts.
And for all of you, who are still hesitating to take this life-time opportunity and participate in Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs I would advise: “Don’t wait, just go and start doing it right now!”
by Gintare Jasiunskaite, European Social Entrepreneurship and Innovative Studies Institute