Wednesday, September 24, 2014

START - Art of the Start Grundtvig Partnership Meeting Three in Leeuwarden


The Third meeting of the Art of the START project took place in the beautiful city of Leeuwarden, situated in Friesland, the Netherlands 10TH- 12TH September.
Partners from the U.K, Spain, Greece, the Czech Republic and our hosts in Leeuwarden attended the project meeting which is designed to bring together active and retired and business people and entrepreneurs with younger generations to share their knowledge and experience through motivational tasks, and or workshops.

This particular project meeting focussed on Mentors, How to choose a mentor, the process of matching a mentor with a Mentee and the role of the mentor in supporting them. Help Direct (Age UK) bought along with them two volunteers that currently volunteered with them that had expressed an interest in being among the two first Mentors to go through the process. They attended the meeting to gain more knowledge as to what would be expected of them. Both volunteers had previously held positions in business where they had supported others, this meant that they were both ideal candidates to be Mentors and to share

A handbook was devised in a previous project meeting by our partners in the Czech Republic which discussed the above topics, this is currently being translated into all of the partner countries languages, for all to use. Our hosts in Leeuwarden had organised our meetings, which were mostly held on boats! Being the Netherlands and the amount of canals surrounding the city this was the most appropriate type of venue.

Our partners from Leeuwarden had developed a Canvas Business model one of which we were all given. This is a tool that a mentor could use when discussing with their mentee such topics as:

Ø  Customer segments- Who are their current customers? Who do they want their customers to be? How can you attract more?

Ø  Customer relationships-What type of relationship do you have with your customers? Could you improve them?

Ø  Channels- Through which channels do you currently promote your business, what new ideas can you think of where you can promote your business?.

Ø  Revenue streams- How do your Customers currently pay, does this work for them? Are there any other methods they could pay by?

Ø  Value proposition-What is the value of your business, how do others perceive your value?

Ø  Key resources- What business resources do you have- People, contacts?

Ø  Key activities-What are your key activities, can you innovate, what else could you do?

Ø  Key partners-Who are your partners, who could you partner with?

Ø  Cost structure-What costs do you have? Could there be any cost savings?

 Ingrid explaining the Canvas Business model
 
 
Innovation activity using the Canvas Business model
We used one of our Dutch partner’s business’s ‘Greenjoy’ to carry out our innovation activity as a basis to see how the Business canvas model works.  Greenjoy is a boat rental company designed to sail yourself, they are  innovative  because unlike any others in Leeuwarden they are electric sailing boats and are 100% green, quiet and friendly to the environment, they are quick and easy to book-usually done by the internet or over your phone. Prices are very competitive, starting at €10-15 per hour.
 

We carried out the activity on board one of the Green joy boats- our host Ritske said that ‘If you want to innovate you have to come out of your normal surroundings to do it, this helps clear the mind and allows a free flow of new ideas and communication’. At the end of the activity each group presented back to our hosts a selection of ideas that could if wished be taken up to assist the further expansion of the business.

The next START meeting will be held in Ostrava, the Czech Republic in February where both mentors and mentees will come together to try out some of the ideas from previous meetings.
Louise Thompson - LMC

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