Sometimes life gives you such opportunities you cannot simply resist. It triggers you to try your strength at something you have never imagined being your thing or… just finally make your old dream come true.
When Evelina Petrovaite was asked how come she decided to participate in Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs project, she confessed that it has always been her goal to start her own business:
“For a long time I have been developing a desire to create my own business. I have been working every summer since I was 16 years old and I use to dream that one day I will have my own business that impacts others. I finished psychology studies myself so I understood that in order to achieve my dream I will need some help and guidance. That is why I decided to go on Erasmus for young entrepreneurs program and put great work ethics, desire, effort and knowledge in order to make my dream a reality.” So as you now can understand, she has very interesting things to share with all of you, young entrepreneurs, who are still looking for the right path to begin your business journey.
Shared experience was an inspiration
The fact is people are more believable to make a decision before someone shares their positive experience (and this is what this article is all about, right?) In this case, Evelina was not an exception — to participate in “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs” she decided right before hearing about her best friend’s experience in this project: “My best friend went with the same program two years ago, so mostly I learned about this opportunity from her.”
— Evelina, tell us when you realized you want to become an entrepreneur?
— My desire to own a business developed over time. The funny thing is that even when I was a little girl I used to make businesses together with the children from my neighborhood — I used to organize events and manage everything — from creating the invitations to the families of ours, developing a program and managing the money we got from the tickets. One time in our back yard I made a fun park where you can climb the trees and have a picnic and I called with the telephone with the wire at that time to ask my class mates to come and play there. And I told them that the entrance costs one litas 🙂 To sum everything up, I heard one TED talk that mentioned that if you feel in your heart that you want to have a business, you are an entrepreneur, because so many people don’t even think about it, so it must mean something.
— Tell a little bit about your business. How did you come up with your business idea?
— I want to create a social business in Lithuania that brings value to our nation and every person separately. I want to create an opportunity for people to have free training in small and big towns where they can come and learn about mindfulness, emotional intelligence, empathy, I want them to feel comfortable in their own skin and understand their feelings. I have been developing this idea since I was studying psychology because almost every day I was realizing that people in general need to be more aware of their emotions and feelings. In order to make there training we will need to raise money, and we want to do it by selling natural, valuable cosmetics.
— How your business idea has progressed since the time you have started your Erasmus?
— My business has two parts — one social and other — selling biological cosmetic. I found a partner in Spain who wants to work with me on the second part of the business, I met people who work for big cosmetics companies and they share their experience in the field and gave me tips on marketing and business strategies.
I met people who have been training others for decades and teaching them how to develop inner knowing, peace within and understanding the risen emotions and feelings. It have been a great pleasure of mine to broaden my horizons in the understanding of how the human mind works and how to heal and accept yourself and others. I want to say that my journey is just beginning, it’s going to be a long way, but the best thing that thing program gave me is the confidence that I can do it.
— Tell us about a team you are now working with.
— I am working with Bea — a 32 years old woman from Spain, Malaga, who has 8 years of experience in developing truly natural cosmetics.
Fabiola — she is helping me with understanding the strategies to develop training and lessons.
Giampoulo — is an expert on developing start-ups, so he is helping me to develop an appealing business strategy and he is giving me all kinds of tips as I move forward.
Sole — she is helping me with marketing questions.
— What is the most important lesson you have learned so far?
— The most important — I got my confidence that I can make my business happen, I met really valuable and extremely friendly people who all promised that they can help me in answering my questions even when I will go back to Lithuania.
— For your Erasmus staying you chose one of the most beautiful countries — Italy. How do you like living here?
— It is beautiful! I really enjoy how environmentally cautious people are here. And in general, Italians seem to have the life figured out — they are active, friendly, professionals in their fields, they care about what they eat, and they balance family — work situation like nobody else I have seen in my life.
— Do you call this project a one in a lifetime opportunity? How do you think your business idea would have grown without this project?
— It truly is a great opportunity, in just two months my idea changed and developed more than in 6 months working on it myself.
— What new business-related connections you found during your stay in Italy? Are you planning to collaborate in the future?
— I found many people, basically I have found at least one experts in all the fields it is important to have when you develop a business. Me and my mentor talked about future collaborations and we will definitely keep in touch!
by Ieva Tilindyte, European Social Entrepreneurship and Innovative Studies Institute