From the UK to Germany – New entrepreneur learning her trade

Carly is a New Entrepreneur ( ) taking part in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme and is in Berlin cooperating with The Reader ( ), a small business based in Germany.

From Carly’s own words:

At the beginning of the year I founded BLYNKT, which is a multi-platform media organisation. The aim of BLYNKT is to tell stories and to start conversations, connecting people across the globe. To achieve this aim, BLYNKT is on various social media platforms, has a weekly podcast and a quarterly academic and literary journal. In the future I also plan to create events and a publishing arm.
As the media and publishing industries are changing very quickly to keep up with advances in technology I applied to the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme to receive some guidance from a successful entrepreneur in the media/literary/events field.

I was very lucky indeed to be paired with Victoria Gosling. Not only is she a successful writer but she also runs a very successful and growing company called The Reader Berlin. The Reader Berlin has several components to it which crossover with the aims of BLYNKT.

The Reader has many components but the three core parts of the company are as follows:Firstly, The Reader is an author services company offering manuscript assessment, mentoring and editing services. Next, is what The Reader Berlin is most popularly known for – providing high quality, affordable writing workshops both in Berlin and internationally (which range from 1 day to 7 weeks in length). Finally, The Reader Berlin runs regular events such as The Sunday Salon in which high profile writers give talks which is accompanied by live music and a writing competition. These events allow the community who engage with the Reader to come together in a less formal setting. The event is usually released as a podcast shortly after the event to engage clients who don’t reside in Berlin.

These activities are all things that I can learn from and utilise them for my own organisation.

The first month was a steep learning curve, but one I very much enjoyed. I started with Victoria on the 2nd May, the spring is a very busy time for her. The spring/summer Berlin-based daytime and evening courses were about to begin, along with two weekend workshops in Belgium and Sweden and one weekend workshop in Berlin. In addition to this the annual short story competition was launched which required promotion. This is all on top of the regular day to day marketing and client relations work that the Reader does so I really hit the ground running!

Despite this being such a busy time, Victoria has been very generous, taking the time to answer my questions and explain how core parts of the business work. The activities I undertook this month gave me a greater insight into identifying other businesses and groups who have the potential to become allies and understanding how these partnerships can be mutually beneficial.

I have also learned a great deal about the importance of PR in a small business. Not only is running a competition useful in terms of potential new clients but it also offers opportunities to make connections with other publications, facebook and meetup groups, websites and radio stations which furthers the brand as well as increasing the potential for new clients.

I have begun to apply this new knowledge to BLYNKT and it has already led to an increase in followers on social media as well as enquiries from potential contributors. I look forward to the next month!

Socio-drama on Entrepreneurship in Spain

We are currently working with partners from Finland, The Netherlands, Spain and Turkey on a research project where we try to define characteristics that create successful entrepreneurs, and the reason why some businesses fail.

Defining some trends is not an easy thing but feedback from businesses around Europe who filled in our surveys is helping putting things in perspective.

We are always keen to see more replies to the survey, you can find them here:

This questionnaire looks at business difficulties and businesses that you might know that failed and te reason why:

The aim is that this research will be plugged into the education system, to try to give real examples to students who are budding entrepreneurs whether they realised it or not at the point they get introduced to the stories. Also trying to allow the teacher to spot the real entrepreneurs in their student cohort.

One tool the schools/university could use is something that our Turkish partner from the University of Nevsehir has developed and labelled as socio-drama. Basically a sort of case study that can be played  out by students. The one we looked at recently and questioned students from Castellon in Spain about, looked at the life of a business owner through the decade, from success to failure as well as his wife, son and daughter involvement in the business, all that on the background of an ever changing society in terms of tastes, technology etc.

Something to dig further into in the coming months to see how we can foster entrepreneurship, or at least tease out the entrepreneurs in each of the people involved in the activities.

The students in Castellon were bright and interested and interesting about their future business plan…