Medeja Kenda (Slovenia/Hospitality) and Tina Batistuta (Netherlands/Travel Services)

  • Travel business from Tina Batistuata: Mijn Slovenië,
  • Hospitality Business from Medeja Kenda: Hiša Dobre misli

Medeja: Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Program definitely gave me certain width. I was exposed to different business and work environments and further, I had an opportunity to learn from experienced entrepreneur and got in touch with new approaches of work. Moreover, I improved my network which is especially nowadays very important. I would definitely encourage other new entrepreneurs to participate in the program. It is a life time opportunity to self-invest and better prepare yourself for your own business path.

Medeja Kenda and Tina Batistuta
Medeja and Tina

Tina: I am really satisfied with our cooperation. Moreover, we both agreed we can cooperate in the future, when Medeja starts her own business as well. When I moved to the Netherlands 5 years ago, I experiences this program as a Young Entrepreneur and found it extremely positive already at that time. That is the main reason why I am involved in the program as Host Entrepreneur now. I think this is a win-win experience and I will definitely stay involved in the Program.

Story: My name is Medeja and I come from Slovenia. For quite a while I had a business idea in my mind, thinking about it and considering real options for its realization when a good friend of mine told me about the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Program. From the very beginning, I knew this is a great opportunity to make an upgrade with my business plan and to learn something more, before starting my own business path. When searching for potential Host Entrepreneur, I was focused on Tourism Sector in Germany and Netherlands as studies showed that vegan services are more developed in these countries. And this is how I got in contact with Tina Batistuta, who was participating in Erasmus Program as well, searching for young entrepreneurs in tourism. She originally comes from Slovenian as well, but lives in Netherlands for 5 years now. She started with her own tour agency 3 years ago. Therefore, it is not a surprising fact that her agency Mijn Slovenië is specialized for Slovenian market and provides custom made tourist trips for Dutch and Dutch speaking Belgian tourists.

My future business idea is based on a sustainable accommodation facility, recognizable for its unique service. Its ideology is focused on a veganism and vegetarianism, emphasizing the healthy way of life and coexistence with nature, whereas policy relies on “co-living” concept, which puts emphasis on community and cooperation. However, we both agreed that we can gain from each other – I could learn more and improve certain skills and she could get a potential future accommodation provider in Slovenia. We both agree to arrange the Program cooperation for 6 months. I really wanted to upgrade my skills and my own business plan as much as possible so I thought staying with Host Entrepreneur for the longest time possible will be suitable. And I was not wrong.

Becoming a part of Mijn Slovenië team was an amazing experience. Tina explained me working processes and reservation program they are using. I could see the whole game: Dutch tourists on one side, with all their expectations and wishes and Slovenian accommodation and activity providers on the other side. I could easily detach opportunities for my business here – what are accommodation characteristics that are tourist searching for, but can’t get them in Slovenian hospitality market. I was really happy to recognize these opportunities and I involved them in my business plan. With Tina, we had weekly meetings, where we discussed about my business plan upgrades and of course things I have learned at her agency. She was always open for new ideas and thoughts and often our meeting ended just in another brainstorming that suited both of us. To be honest, I didn’t have any special expectations before moving to Netherlands. I visited country as a tourist a couple of times before, but I have never been to The Hague before. Further, moving to that town was something completely unexpected. However, I immediately found it as a nice place. It offers a lot and it didn’t take me lots of time to meet new friends and involve myself in free-time activities. The Hague became my new home. Besides, Tina tried to connect me to all activities regarded Mijn Slovenië agency as well. I attended different meetings, visits and fairs where I helped her with presentations as well. Once I had an opportunity to visit Hogeschool in Rotterdam and help students to prepare themselves for an excursion to Slovenia. I also made them itinerary for their one week stay in Ljubljana. I gained experiences that I wouldn’t directly connect to the primary purpose of exchange, like improving my presentation skills and public performing. However, these skills are always important when working with people! That is why I am so grateful to had an opportunity to achieve them.

For sure I can say I fulfilled my goals. While staying in Netherlands and attending the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Program, I upgraded my business plan, I learned about Dutch tourists’ expectations and wishes. Moreover, I make myself think out of the box. I was faced with new work approaches that made me think about other options, more suitable ones for my case. With Tina’s support I had an opportunity to work on my business plan for the last half a year and I can say we both agreed at the end, this is something that needs to be realized now. Further, we already discussed our future cooperation options: I will definitely offer my accommodation facility to Tina’s guests!

To sum up, I think this Program is an amazing opportunity for young people that finished with their studies but feel like they need just a little more before starting their own business path. It is amazing how much you can learn under suitable mentorship and enrich and improve your business as well as personal life. I am thankful for all the help I got from all participants, starting with my mentor Tina Batistuta. Secondly, I am thankful for all the help and coaching I got from Mr. Sebastjan Rosa and Ms. Eva-Maria Kropp. I hope more young entrepreneurs will decide to cooperate in this Program. For sure it makes a great option how to accompany your start of own business path.