Sergejs Andrejevs (Latvia/Education and training services) and Maria Grazia Pirina (Italy/Education and training services)

Background information of NE
Name & surname: Sergejs Andrejevs
Country: Latvia
Sector: Education and training services, NGO
Have you already started your business? Not yet

Background information of HE

Name & surname: Maria Grazia Pirina 
Country: Italy
Experience (years): 12
Sector: Education and training services, NGO
Name of business: Mine Vaganti NGO (MVNGO)

Period of Relationship: 09.07.2019 – 06.01.2020
Duration of Relationship: 6 months

Why was his EYE exchange the most important learning opportunity for Sergejs?

New entrepreneur Sergejs decided to participate in the program to gain practical skills from an experienced organization on project writing and implementation in the role of organizer and educator in the non-formal education field. It was important to him to find new partners and establish a network for future cooperation. Already for several years he was trying to establish himself in the field, but his experience was not substantial enough.

Thus, Sergejs decided to join his mentor Maria, who already has more than 10 years experience as an entrepreneur, in her organization Mine Vaganti NGO. MVNGO is an educational training provider at local and European level, established in Sardinia in 2009. MVNGO has a consultant role for public and private bodies in order to promote and develop European and trans-continental projects.

In the course of the program Sergejs succeeded to gain knowledge and practice in how a professional NGO works and international relations, he learnt how to implement projects while also developing many skills, such as project management, analytical thinking and problem-solving.

During the exchange, Sergejs created educational trainings on different topics – storytelling, media literacy, voluntarism, employability, entrepreneurship, etc. He also experienced the role of a trainer for courses such as Empower the Employment, RevenYouthLab on personal branding and social entrepreneurship, The Inspiration of You on youth mobility and voluntarism, EntreprenHour and Customized Support to Youth Development of Active Leadership.

By being involved in day-to-day activities, Sergejs gained knowledge on how to lead an organization which provides educational training and how to work with youth. He learnt about different EU funding possibilities for educational trainings, as well as shared his own knowledge, practices and experience. As a project manager he had the chance to bring his own ideas into the working place and to develop them, participating in all creative and practical processes, from brainstorming to implementation.  

Sergejs believes that the exchange program gave him the experience and knowledge he was looking for for many years to step forward and realize his business idea. As the host entrepreneur, Maria discovered new perspectives on different educational methods, learning from what Sergejs has used in Latvia and gained new ideas for her own organization’s workshops and trainings. Both entrepreneurs now plan to continue their collaboration and in the future to create new projects together.

Concluding Remarks

Sergejs (NE): This program gave me the opportunity I would not get in another way. Six months that I spent in exchange was the biggest learning opportunity in my life to gain knowledge, skills, attitude regarding my entrepreneurial idea.
There were many things that I learnt during my exchange, but the biggest and most important for me was to learn how to create an educational program and deliver it to target groups. Other learnings were how to write and implement projects, how to lead people around you, how to be an entrepreneur, etc.
There was a never-ending learning process, which will not end by ending the exchange, but will go further with the next months, years by practicing knowledge, skills and attitudes that I got during my exchange.”

Maria Grazia (HE): For us and our organization Sergejs was not the first NE, we are already being part of this program for some years and we will continue participate in this program also in a future. We see this program as opportunity not just for NE, but it brings also new look and perspectives to our organization’s daily life. Each new entrepreneur that comes to our organization shapes our look to the world around us, exchanging knowledge, creating new corporation and proposing new ideas for our organization’s future development. As NE grow during mobility, also we are growing together with them.