Špela Mazovec (Slovenia/Restaurant and sustainable development) and Filip Brničević (Restaurant and social entrepreneurship)

Filip Brničević and Špela Mazovec

Background information of NE
Name & surname: Špela Mazovec
Country: Slovenia
Sector: Restaurant, sustainable development
Have you already started your business? Not yet

Background information of HE
Name & surname: Filip Brničević
Country: Croatia
Experience: 7 years
Sector: Social entrepreneurship, restaurant
Name of business: O.A.Z.A. – Sustainable Alternative to Community
Website: www.oazainfo.hr

Period of Relationship: 01.08.2019 – 01.02.2020
Duration of Relationship: 6 months

What did Špela learn from her host, a social entrepreneur, for her own business, a restaurant ?

Špela Mazovec decided to participate in the program because she wanted to gain specific experience in running her own restaurant business that she wants to start after the EYE exchange. She also wanted to share her knowledge and to create something valuable together with her Croatian host entrepreneur Filip Brničević. She wanted to cooperate with an experienced entrepreneur with whom she can also cooperate after the exchange. Špela also wanted to be somewhere close to Slovenia because of the similarity in mentality.

Filip Brničević from NGO OAZA chose to participate in the EYE programme because he wanted to share his experience in social entrepreneurship with new startups. He was just in the phase of starting a new restaurant which offered Špela an opportunity to jobshadow opening an enterprise, implementing, positioning on the market, developing a marketing strategy, managing human resources etc. Špela as future new entrepreneur gained experience in every segment necessary for her successful start. Filip has also been advising others (young people, youth workers, youth organisations) how to become social entrepreneurs. Filip set up a social enterprise in order to empower young people to become carriers of a sustainable future and also to start up their own social enterprises. Another reason to start the social enterprise was to show how such a business can be run, how to promote healthy vegan food and how a healthy lifestyle and similar topics can be presented.
OAZA is a non-profit organisation established 7 years ago. Filip, the founder of OAZA was also a NE of the EYE programme before he started the NGO to gain personal experience in the field.
Filip as a HE wants to empower the NEs through OAZA programs for already 7 years, but now with opening the social enterprise – the restaurant Joyful Kitchen – he went through the steps by his own experience. OAZA and Joyful Kitchen are connected enterprises where people work as a team and all major issues are discussed with the whole team.

Špela actively participated in day-to-day activities. At first, as she came to Zagreb, Filip was still opening a new vegetarian and vegan restaurant (at first we were thinking that it should be vegetarian, but after researching the market they decided it to be vegan) so Špela came almost at the beginning. Together, they were developing a marketing strategy, financial management mechanisms, menus for the restaurant, outer look of the restaurant, discussing target groups, sending requests for the products. They were also deciding what meals would look like, which names to use for them, their price etc. They did market research – they went to every vegetarian restaurant in the centre of Zagreb, tasted something and saw what they have on offer. Then after the opening, Špela started to work in the restaurant. Helping to prepare, cook, serve the food, develop contact with customers etc.
She took the initiative to make suggestions and help with her experiences and knowledge, so the experience was a mutual benefit. In the future she will open a business with products which they use in the restaurant so they will cooperate in cross border sale.

Concluding Remarks

Špela Mazovec (NE): “I had an amazing experience – I met a lot of new people, gained new contacts, knowledge, got a motivation to start on my own. I recommend it to everyone who is seeking not only business development but a life experience to participate in the program.

Filip Brničević (HE): “I want to continue with such business exchanges because I also want to share the values of sustainable development. The EYE program is a great opportunity because people need to know what it means to have one’s own company, where to start, how to run a business etc. I am happy that I can share some of my experience with them.

Špela Mazovec with her colleague during their work in the restaurant