Success Stories

TITLE: Cristina the social communication queen

BACKGROUND: Cristina is aged 33. She started her studies as a literature student in England, whereas she is Spanish. He soon realized that she was made for a wider world than the academic one and decided to try a new experience: she applied as a community manager in Barcelona (Spain). Thanks to her new job, she got to meet many interested people working in the field of communication wishing to start a business to find an alternative to the traditional labour maket. This is how she got the idea of a coworking space putting together the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. Thus she decided to start her own start-up in Madrid, called El Complot.

MENTORING EXPERIENCE: During her first experience as a community manager, Cristina did her first experience of mentoring as a mentee. This allowed her to mature her work project and facilitated the work transition she was planning. She benefited of wise advices from one of her older colleague who guided her through the administrative labyrinth and helped her not to fall in the common traps a young entrepreneur may fall. She took it as a example for her future career and nowadays she became a mentor herself in the framework of her work in El Complot.

TITLE: Alberto Domingo

BACKGROUND: I studied Law at the University of Valencia and I pursued later on different masters on Business Management and Mortgage Law. In 1998, I created my own law firm, Aequus Abogados, in which I specialized in market and jurisdictional law.

MENTORING EXPERIENCE: My mentoring experience has been diverse, although in the most recent times I have focused on mentoring new, want-to-be lawyers who are interested in Data Protection law. I consider mentoring is a positive activity since it allows you to help another person improve in topics you own experience.
This experience has turned out to be really rich not only because of the opportunity to help a new colleague develop in a crucial topic, but also because of the knowledge that you can acquire as mentor in the topic you focus on, as well as in many others. I believe mentoring is a very positive experience that allows a person to see how many opportunities there are to help other people professionally develop thanks to a knowledge you already own.
In conclusion, I believe from my personal experience that mentoring is an enriching experience in which both parts can learn and improve in many areas.

TITLE: Mauro Xesteira. From practice creating companies to the mentoring of entrepreneurial projects

BACKGROUND: At the beginning of my professional career, between 2003 and 2010, I was working in the financial sector as an investment adviser. In 2010 I co-founded Milton Factory LLC, a consultancy firm. At these years I developed online and offline projects, as a consultant, from global companies to startups.

MENTORING EXPERIENCE: In 2011 I started my activity as a mentor, lecturer and trainer in many entrepreneurship and marketing related areas, taking advantage of my experience in entrepreneurship and in the financial fields.
However, it was from the beginning of 2015, when I began my activity as Director and Founder of Capazia (an accelerator for entrepreneurial projects specialized in the vertical of functional diversity and people with special needs), when I focused most of my professional activity in startups mentoring.
Nowadays I’m developing my own entrepreneurial projects and I collaborate, as an associate, with other companies as business development expert.

TITLE: Agnieszka – educated nature defender!

BACKGROUND: Agnieszka is young woman with masters and engineering degree in gardening, specialization: protection of plants and the environment and she completed postgraduate studies in finance & accountancy as well as management in health and safety.

It shows how an ambitious person she is but she has never perceived herself as an office worker. She really likes working in the field, outdoors, but after she completed her studies, she had to work as a seller and she couldn‘t find a job related to her education and interests. Seven years ago, she took the decision to start a business in the field that she really liked. Agnieszka couldn‘t wait when she got a job as regular an employee and she took the risk. She really made an extreme effort to find consortia interested in environmental services. She had to improve her skills and knowledge in the area, and for that reason she graduated from specialist courses. She had to learn how to conduct a business, how to prepare financial and tax documents. Now, she receives mails, telephone calls from people asking to prepare documents, expertise, and analysis. She really developed the firm, and became an expert on regional level. Agnieszka cooperates either with firms or public institutions. The full name of her business is “Biuro Projektowe Eko-Drog Sp. z o.o.“. It is technical design office, operating as Ltd. It`s main activity areas are engineering activities and related technical consultancy. She does investor’s supervision in the field of environmental protection and green as well as natural supervision on linear and nonlinear investment, nature monitoring.

MENTORING EXPERIENCE: Agnieszka had her first experience of mentoring as a mentee. The source of her motivation was the parents’ advice. They often repeated: “Listen to us we are aware of huge challenges standing in front of you, but we feel excited when you can see the development of national roads, where you can protect the environment, birds, reptiles, fishes. When together with you, we can observe deer passing above the road in safely, we feel that you are in the right place. But of course, conducting own business is really hard work and you need to be well organised and keep order, either in your documents or and above all in your mind!” Those were simple words but they work to this day!

TITLE: Dimitra, a young mentor

BACKGROUND: Dimitra is aged 28. She is an economist and she works as an economy and management tutor in a training center. She is an outgoing and young person, always available and happy to help. Also, she likes to consult people in economic subjects as she has a wide range of knowledge. She tries to transmit the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, as she believes that everyone has to exploit their capabilities to create something new. She strongly believes that entrepreneurship is the answer to the Greek financial crisis, so when she spots the entrepreneurial spirit on her mentees, she goes for it!

MENTORING EXPERIENCE: Her first experience of mentoring was with Giannis, a low skilled 40-year old person, who wanted to have his own business; a coffee shop/lab where people would be given the opportunity to experience a wide range of coffee types. He believed that it was difficult to follow his dream as he always had in mind the Greek financial crisis and relevant barriers. Dimitra encouraged him from early on believing in his potential. At first naturally this whole process was just an idea to explore but as time went by Giannis in alliance with Dimitra built and organized the steps to eventually succeed. Given her studies she was able to be a great ally in the initial steps of the business set up and the results are highly satisfying. Giannis, now runs “40 coffee and lab” with great success!

TITLE: Ana Carrau From Journalism to inpirsing women

BACKGROUND: I studied Journalism and my first professional experience was in a business consulting company as the communication manager. I got introduced to the business world in Valencia and it allowed me to have a strategic point of view that permitted me to design my own business idea.

My lack of experience as business manager was compensated by my network of contacts. I was constantly in contact with many business developers that acted as unofficial “mentors”. This was my first contact with business mentoring.

After creating my own business, 5 years ago already, I continued with my communication carrier at the same time. I have always enjoyed helping developing professionals by resolving queries and concerns relating to marketing and communication.

MENTORING EXPERIENCE: With time, my interest in helping professionals has become one of my professional activities.

This helps me not only to develop my skills as a mentor, but also to continually develop my business by networking, discovering new and innovative tools and techniques.

TITLE: From humanities to entrepreneurship: Anaïs

BACKGROUND: I studied History at the university. However, I didn’t want to be a teacher so I had to find a way to better connect with the labour market. This is why, I decided, after my master in History, to do a Bachelor in Business Administration. I always have been interested in new trends and design. So, when I got the opportunity to open a small concept store in Paris, I took it! It has been the best decision I have ever made!

MENTORING EXPERIENCE: I just finished my first mentoring experience with an unemployed senior, Geneviève. Her business idea was not defined yet so we got the chance to clarify her objectives. I helped her to manage her network online and to use tools such as LinkedIn. I really felt that I was useful for Geneviève even if she has the same age as my mum! It is very nice to feel useful and to see that our knowledge can benefit to older people. I would really like to do it again!

TITLE: Quitting my job was my best decision: Mona

BACKGROUND: I studied languages and European studies. I had quite a classical path since the end of my studies : internship and then a first job as a european project manager. I worked in my company for three year ; the job was interesting, the paycheck was ok and I had the best colleagues ever ! However, somehow, I knew that I had to change something. I took the opportunity of a long trip to make my mind: I will quit my job and start an activity as a free-lance. It has been 3 years now and i don’t regret it at all!

MENTORING EXPERIENCE: I never mentored anyone before this experience. I must admit that I was quite nervous because I did not feel confident about my entrepreneurial skills. But it worked like a charm! We had a genuine and friendly relationship based on confidence and trust. Francis, « my » mentee, felt that he could ask all question that he needed and even if I had not all the answers, we were able to look for it together.

TITLE: Meet Daria, the inclusive chef

BACKGROUND: Since I am a kid, I am in love with food. My friends call me « The Walking Belly »! I love trying new tastes. It also means that since my childhood, I love to cook. I do remember these first cooking experiences with my grandma. It was wonderful. I always wanted to be a chef. So, I studied to become one! I started to work in restaurants, my dream became true. Two years ago, I created a restaurant in Paris’ suburb where I hire people with low capabilities. This is wonderful and we have so much to learn from these persons.

MENTORING EXPERIENCE: I never did it before, first time and quite a success I must say! I had a great time with the mentee. I think she learnt quite a lot and I enjoyed passing my knowledge. I felt like all the obstacles I had to overcome were finally useful! I could provide advices and guidance that helped her a lot. We are still in touch and I hope it will last!

TITLE: Free-lance journalist, Raphaël

BACKGROUND: I studied plenty of stuffs: administration, sociology and political sciences. I am interested in everything; I guess I am the curious type. It was complicated to find a career that could bring me to focus on a topic and then on a really different one. I made an internship in a famous newspaper when I got an epiphany: I will be a journalist. But I didn’t want to be hired by a newspaper because I wanted to keep my intellectual independence. So I decided to work as an independent journalist.

MENTORING EXPERIENCE: It was my first experience and I really enjoyed the human nature of this relationship. I felt a common benefit of our exchanges.

TITLE: Pedro Reig the entrepreneurial sociologist

BACKGROUND: I come from a family of 3rd generation entrepreneurs in the textile and sports trade sector. Although I grew up among counters, my research interest led me to study Sociology and later develop in the area of marketing and consumer behavior through market research. After a short time and after my first job as an employee, I decided to return to Valencia and set up with a partner a market research consultancy to serve companies, municipalities and associations related to trade. Little by little we have been diversifying and “stepping on land” and we are not only a market research consultancy that develops projects for all types of companies and institutions, but also 360º marketing specialized in the retail sector.

MENTORING EXPERIENCE: I decided to bet on the project to introduce fresh air into the company and allow us to contribute a European vision, helping us to develop a benchmark of companies and products similar to ours in other European countries. It is necessary to leave your circle and comfort zone and be able to have a vision of what happens outside your country. That’s why I think the program can serve many types of companies that need to open up more.

TITLE: Javier Perez How to transfer time management and production in a factory of chips and snacks to the agenda management and production of other activities

BACKGROUND: I studied administration and business management and my first professional experience was to help in the family business that was dedicated to the manufacture of chips and snacks, and which was directed by my parents.
In it I learned a trade from below and instilled in me some strong values and the conviction that hard work, but well done, always yields its fruits, and in 90% of the cases, positive. This family business was sold to a much larger food group while the children were finishing their studies.

After finishing my university studies and one year of studies in the United States, I did my university internships and I had several professional experiences and different businesses in which I was trained as a manager and team manager.

And a few years later I founded along with my brother Sergio Perez FRITOPER, which has now become the third manufacturer in its sector nationwide.

MENTORING EXPERIENCE: I was a mentor in the area of productivity in the first edition of “Operación Consolida”, and it turned out to be an enriching experience, both for my mentees as well as for me, as a mentor.