Manca Bitenc (Slovenia/Restaurant) and Marta Demin (Croatia/Crafts and Arts)

Marta Demin and Manca Bitenc

Background information of NE
Name and Surname: Marta Demin
Country: Croatia
Sector: Handmade Crafts and Arts
Business: Obrt Demin

Background information of HE
Name & Surname: Manca Bitenc
Country: Slovenia
Sector: Vegetarian restaurant
Business / website: Rudra Simha d.o.o. /

Period of Relationship: 21/09/2019 – 15/03/2020
Duration of Relationship: 6 months

How did Manca Bitenc improve the marketing of her vegetarian restaurant and expand her international network of contacts?

Two entrepreneurs – the Slovenian hosting entrepreneur Manca Bitenc and the new Croatian entrepreneur Marta Demin – set strong collaboration during the Erasmus exchange programme in vegetarian Radha Govinda restaurant in Ljubljana, which proved to be extremely rewarding for both of them.

At the beginning of their exchange programme Manca helped Marta to get acquainted with the team in the Radha Govinda restaurant based in Ljubljana. Manca introduced Marta to her main business partners, their organizations operating in the food & beverages industry, affiliated NGOs as well as to the yoga culture in Slovenia. Moreover, during the first few months Marta had a chance to learn directly on field about the role of suppliers and customers in the food & beverages industry, as well as about organisational systems and economic activities based on membership, thanks to the relevant activities performed under Manca’s attentive mentorship. These activities were even more insightful given the fact that Marta was in the position to provide direct help to HE in working on improving marketing strategies for the promotion of her restaurant.

Afterwards, Manca and Marta focused their activities on improving both the services provided by the Radha Govinda restaurant and catering services with the use of new media channels and with the application of new project management tools or by approaching market actors who are successful in online selling and thereby securing their own strategy in reaching new customers. Among other things, Marta helped Manca in promotional activities with regards to the new food products being offered by the restaurant (also with an improved packaging).

During the last months of the exchange programme Marta learned from Manca how to become fast and responsive to ordinary clients by keeping them informed by means of online communication and related promotional tools such as the online shop. At the end, both entrepreneurs achieved sufficient experience and reciprocal knowledge to assess the activities that they successfully performed together. In addition to this, Manca further supported Marta to improve her own business plan. Together they sketched the possibilities for a future entrepreneurial collaboration.

Among other things, Manca gained new ideas to apply to her vegetarian restaurant offer – for instance, new ideas on how to pack food for catering in environment-friendly ways. Thanks to all the support received from Manca, Marta had a unique chance to improve her business skills. While learning contemporary marketing tactics on social media, she also obtained a number of new contacts with potential clients and members of vegetarian restaurants for expanding her own business in the coming months.

Manca Bitenc (HE): “The restaurant I manage in Ljubljana is considered by many as one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Slovenia. The vision at the basis of such success is simple: I try to follow my principles I live and share my interests, knowledge and entrepreneurial experience with newcomers. It thus came as a very natural process to share my knowledge and entrepreneurial enthusiasm with such a passionate person as Marta. We had a really good time together.”

Marta Demin (NE): “With the support of Manca and her staff at Radha Govinda restaurant, I achieved the goals that have been set at the beginning: namely, I learnt how to manage and lead such a company as Radha Govinda’s restaurant, secure customers and promote my products locally and abroad thanks to new media channels. The entire exchange programme was a rewarding experience to me and I am happy that I took part in it. The experience I obtained will help me in managing my own business – the Obrt Demin craft trade, which I intend to start after the expectation of my first baby.”