Ana Korošec (Slovenia/Education) and Noelia Villarino Miño (Spain/Education and training services)

Noelia Villarino Miño and Ana Korošec in front of Noelia’s business NOAVI in Sevilla

New Entrepreneur
Name & surname: Ana Korošec
Country: Slovenia
Age: 29
Sector of activity: Education
Have you already started your business? Yes
Name of business/website: Zavod to sem jaz, zavod za pomoč otrokom z avtizmom in njihovim družinam /
What is your business? Work in the field of special education.

Host Entrepreneur
Name & surname: Noelia Villarino Miño
Country: Spain
Sector of activity: Education and training services
Experience in running a business: 13 years
Name of business/website: Centro educativo NOAVI /
What is your business? Experienced company for education of children, adults and kids with special needs.

Period of exchange: 16/03/2020 – 31/07/2020
Duration of exchange: 4,5 months

How did Ana Korošec gain necessary knowledge on economics and marketing for her own business in Slovenia?

One year ago, I heard about the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme and I immediately had a lot of questions on how to participate in order to build my business in the future. My goals for the participation in Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs was developing my business and association and connecting with other companies in Europe. I am the co-founder of the non-profit organisation ‘’This is me’’ (To sem jaz, zavod za pomoč otrokom z avtizmom in njihovim družinam). We are helping children with autism and their families. In my career, I focused on children with special needs and children with typical development, I gained knowledge in Slovenia and abroad and saw how important it is to connect with others. I didn’t have any specific knowledge on economics and marketing to lead my future business. I have a vision for the future to collaborate with a multidisciplinary field, where we will be able to offer quality holistic treatment through the non-profit organisation. Before I stared the programme, I was participating in the Erasmus practice programme, where I worked with autistic persons and participated in therapy in Spain. I wanted to develop my communication and Spanish skills, so also for this reason I decided go to Seville, Spain. I found my host entrepreneur on the EYE website and immediately wrote to the company. Then we shared information on special education, and I shared my fresh ideas for the company. We connected quickly and decided to collaborate through this programme.

Noelia runs her business in Seville, the name of her company is NOAVI Centro Educativo. It is a company with 13 years of experience in working with children, adults and kids with special needs. They are focused on different projects and are motivated to improve the centre. They have a lot of experience in customer service, teaching different technique methods, marketing analysis, and the organisation of training services for professionals and the lay public. They are a perfect mixture of what I was seeking.

I started my exchange in the beginning of the lockdown in Spain. Because I came to Spain earlier, I met my HE and she showed me the company. She introduced me to all members in the company. The corona situation brought a lot of challenges for the company and also for the country. Despite the situation, we became close and I collaborated on a daily basis with my HE and other experienced persons in the field of education and marketing, such as therapists, professionals, etc. It was difficult on a personal and professional level, especially during the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, when everything was uncertain, and we were afraid. Because of quarantine we couldn’t work in the centre, so we moved all programmes online for 2 months. For the whole team it was really challenging to work online with kids, especially with kids with special needs. We paid more attention to the parents and provided parent consultations and they were the ones who were working with the children. We had daily meetings with the team, and we came up with a strategy for the future of the business. The team and my host in Noavi were really open and full of knowledge from different fields. I learned a lot from them and I really appreciated that we cooperated together. I remember the first days of lockdown. We were really confused, and we didn’t know if we could continue with the work. It was really difficult for the clients and for the whole team because we had a lot of technical problems with the programmes at the beginning, so we couldn’t work well. Week after week we were getting better, more organised and started to adjust to the new situation that was in front of us. Until the end of quarantine, we managed to establish almost all of our programmes. They helped me improve my communication skills with the clients. I learned how to use different methods with kids, and they helped me to create new ideas my future business.
EYE in Spain was a great opportunity to experience the culture and to get to know people from there (professional contacts and other people from the other field). I noticed also a big progress in my Spanish skills, which will help me for my future business, where I will collaborate with different professionals out of the board.

During the exchange, I achieved the set goals by gaining new experience and knowledge in marketing strategies and by researching models in the field of education. Now I know new strategies and models, which will help me work with kids in my company in the future. I have a better understanding of how to lead a company, also from the economic and financial point of view. With the help of the experienced host entrepreneur, I learned a lot about marketing strategies, about how to make a plan and strategy for training services and how to prepare a business plan for organizations.

The best part of my participation in the EYE programme was that I worked with various professionals who will be involved in various of my projects in the future, even after the exchange is over. In collaboration with the HE and the whole team, we made a plan of training services in the field of education, where various professionals were invited to their centre. I always had the possibility to contact them and attend the training.

My experience was exceptional, and I recommend it to young – not so experienced – entrepreneurs who would like to learn something new and connect with entrepreneurs and professionals outside of their country.

Concluding Remarks

Ana Korošec (NE): “I think that Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a perfect programme where you could obtain new knowledge and gain experience for a better quality of your work or to develop your company. It is also an opportunity to go abroad and learn how the experts are dealing with the different challenges. I learned a lot about how to be creative and find solutions in unexpected situations.”

Noelia Villarino Miño (HE): “Although we were facing a lot of challenges during the time of Ana’s exchange, we were glad to have her as a part of our team. She brought fresh ideas and gave us insight into solutions which are common in her country. We see the possibility of future collaboration, which would be in our interest. She was a valuable member of our team and we hope we will have another opportunity for collaboration in these kinds of projects.”