Benefiting from the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Programme, Bianca Stânea developed the business plan of her company VITRINA from an idea focusing on the local Romanian cultural sector to a business plan addressing the whole Eastern European scene, reinforcing its impact and value. Bianca spent six months in Portugal learning how to design and re-design her business idea from an experienced entrepreneur, Radu Cristian Sticlea, running a cultural hub – OKNA – Espaço Cultural.
Bianca is a new entrepreneur that has several years of experience in the cultural sector, mainly theatre productions and artistic project management. She found out about the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme from other participants who shared with her their extremely positive feedback on their EYE exchanges. Bianca strongly believes now that the programme is one of the greatest opportunities for a new or would-be entrepreneur who wants to start a business. Being part of a European programme, closely following an already established cultural hub, as in her case, and gaining high-quality information and learning experience are the main benefits any young entrepreneur should seek through the EYE exchanges.
The exchange was a rewarding bilateral one. On one side, Bianca participated in all the projects of OKNA – Espaço Cultural, learning about cultural management and bringing her own input and experience. The key moments were organizing several exhibitions of the artists in residence, cataloguing all the artwork that was exhibited in the space, participating with artwork in a collective exhibition for the anniversary of the cultural space and getting involved in the production of the BEAST International Film Festival. On the other side, Radu mentored Bianca in turning her business plan from idea to practice. Together, they created a database of artists that would be interested to participate with their works in VITRINA, they drafted an official agreement between VITRINA and the artists and even agreed upon the idea that VITRINA would benefit from having a physical store inside of OKNA.
Reflecting on the most important benefits that she took out of the exchange, Bianca mentions:
- Extension of contact network in the Eastern European and Portuguese cultural scene;
- Partnership for the development of the VITRINA website;
- Development of communication skills (social media management, press releases, media engagement, etc.);
- Improvement of design skills and using Adobe Suite;
- Future cooperation between OKNA and VITRINA – VITRINA will have a physical store inside of OKNA and a dedicated section on the OKNA website and social media outlets.
Also, Bianca says that the exchange was helpful on several levels, including innovation, internationalization, and accessing new markets. During the six-month exchange, her initial business plan benefited from international feedback, which helped with its improvement, and with transforming it into a business idea addressing the whole Eastern European scene.
„The exchange was very productive and helped better understand insights of running a cultural business. Together with Radu, I managed to improve my business plan and make it more feasible and relevant. I met amazing artists and cultural managers that broadened my horizons as a future entrepreneur.” (Bianca Stânea)
„Working with Bianca was a great experience for me as a cultural entrepreneur and for OKNA. We benefited from her knowledge and her adaptability and created a long-term partnership with her business, VITRINA. I am grateful for this connection and am looking forward to our future collaboration.” (Radu Cristian Sticlea)