Ivo Silva, a member of the “FrëschKëscht” team shares his experiences in the Mini-companies programme with us. A year of learning for him and his team who were elected best Mini-Company of the year 2019-2020.
You have won the title of the best 2020 mini-company in Luxembourg. When you started out, did you imagine that this project would develop into a real entrepreneurial adventure?
Our aim was to be the best and win the first prize. We always worked with this goal in mind, because we really wanted to make the most of the experience. Right from the start, the atmosphere within the team and the relationship with our clients motivated us and we knew that we wanted to continue this entrepreneurial adventure, even after the end of the school year, and that’s exactly what we did.
Your product has been a real success with the public. How do you explain this?
The fact that we have chosen the food sector has enabled us to reach a wide customer base. “Healthy” and organic food is the trend and consumers are increasingly vigilant about the origin of the products they consume. All our products are seasonal and regional, so by buying a “FrëschKëscht” our customers don’t waste time searching for the origin of the products or whether a vegetable or fruit is in season. In this way, we have been able to meet the needs of a very busy clientele who are concerned about their food consumption as well as the environment.
Could one assume that today you have developed a taste for entrepreneurship?
Yes! Absolutely! We have always been intrigued by this kind of experience. We had also taken part in other programmes before, such as the Innovation Camp, and this had already motivated us to try the mini-company experience. We can say that we were not disappointed! One team member was more sceptical about entrepreneurship before the mini-companies. At the end of the programme she was delighted with the experience where she/we learned so much. We started to liked this school programme so much that we decided to make it our first official entrepreneurial adventure. And for some of us, this will probably not be the last company of our career.
We are convinced that the mini-company programme should almost be compulsory for all young people.
It provides a lot of skills, knowledge and experiences that are important for our future.
We are convinced that the mini-company programme should almost be compulsory for all young people. It provides a lot of skills, knowledge and experiences that are important for our future.
What has been the most important thing for you this year? What did you learn?
The importance of building relationships based on trust and sustainability. The relationships we have built with our customers, suppliers or partners are important to us and this is what motivates us to work tirelessly, even in difficult situations. We have learned not to give up when we encounter an obstacle, but to continue working with motivation and determination.
You participated in the European Junior Achievement Company of the Year Competition. What were your impressions?
Participating in this international final, seeing all the other interesting and innovative projects gave us a fair bit more perspective as well. We were very impressed with the level of the competition and we congratulate our comrades who won some well-deserved prizes. It also motivated us to continue developing our concept.
Would you recommend this experience to other young people and why?
Absolutely! For us it is the best experience we have had in our school career. The mini-company programme gave us an insight into the reality of the business and employment world. Taking a course in economics and accounting will help you understand the theory, but the mini-companies will help you put your knowledge into practice and get to know yourself and the world around you. The skills and knowledge acquired in a school year with the mini-companies are diverse and will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
What are your plans for the future?
We have decided as a team to continue the “FrëschKëscht” adventure. This school year is going to be a challenge as we will all be in our final year. We have already drawn up an organisational plan adapted to our school and extra-curricular diaries. If necessary, we are also planning to use people who can help us with deliveries, for example. We are therefore in the final phase of setting up our company and we are working on a few new features for the coming months! We are constantly seeking to develop all aspects of our business, so that we can continue to offer our customers better services and products.
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