‘What skills do tomorrow’s entrepreneurs need?’, was the question that we posed to the youth of Europe for this year’s edition of the SME Youth Essay Competition.
Today, Promoting Enterprise is excited to present this year’s winner, Oksana Vedmidska from Ukraine! Oksana first impressed the Youth Essay Competition jury with her passionate essay and then went on to blow the audience away with her ideas at the SME Assembly 2017. Interested in what impressed the jury? Read her essay here and continue reading to find out more about her and her thoughts about the SME Assembly 2017.
What made you enter the SME Youth Essay Competition?
Firstly, I decided to enter the competition, because entrepreneurship is a topic which is personal for me. Thanks to entrepreneurship, my family was able to survive difficult economic times in Ukraine in the 90s. Secondly, and this is probably because of the fact that my parents are involved in entrepreneurial activities, I myself adore the independence and passion that stands behind your freelance work or your own company.
In addition, this probably has something to do with my genes. I must admit that if one looks at Ukrainians from a historical perspective, they will see that we are used to being owners. This began from being owners of small agricultural plots, where we worked hard to cover the needs of our families. As a result we developed crucial skills like practical thinking, responsibility, independence and the ability to take risks – qualities and skills which are crucial for an entrepreneur. I believe Ukrainians inherited these skills and qualities and that is why we strive to establish our own small businesses/start-ups.
Thirdly, I considered the Youth Essay Competition to be a fantastic opportunity to spread my ideas and talk about problems and solutions concerning entrepreneurship that we face nowadays.
What did you think about the SME Assembly 2017?
The SME Assembly 2017 was characterised by an incredible spirit of innovation and what the future holds. I was very delighted to see that we spoke about digitalisation as one of the keys of entrepreneurial success. Somehow in our ordinary lives we do not notice the importance of this topic and do not discuss opportunities it gives and the risks it involves, but during the Assembly we were really able to recognise the importance of e-governing, e-commerce, data exchange etc. not only for entrepreneurs and customers but for the society as a whole.
Moreover, a highlight of the SME Assembly 2017 was probably social entrepreneurship. I cannot remember any project of the Ideas from Europe which did not have some significance for society. Somehow the final purpose of each start-up was to guarantee benefits to a human-being. To my mind, that is a big step in the business environment, when a person is not simply seen as a customer by a business, but as a human-being with different specialised needs. If I had an investment fund, I would definitely provide venture capital, not only with the purpose to obtain some gains, but also because successful implementation of a social business project would improve the environment our global society lives in, and in which our kids will continue to live.
The theme of this year’s SME Assembly was to ‘Start. Scale. Spread your wings’, what does that mean to you?
From a practical point of view, I would reinterpret it as ‘Develop an idea. Study your potential market niche. Write a business plan. And go for it, no matter what’. In my way of thinking, an entrepreneur is a dreamer, who respects the material bounds of our world. I would take this slogan and use it in schools to inspire teachers to change the old-fashioned science-oriented way we use to teach our children and also in order to motivate kids and adolescents to work on their entrepreneurial skills.
What is next for you? Any exciting plans to share?
Revealing personal plans is like revealing a sweet dream you had last night and since you want to keep the odds on your side you try to keep it secret… 🙂
In reality I am busy with my second degree that I have just started at the University of Applied Science of Darmstadt. So for the next 3 years I plan to study Information Law there. That is probably why all of my time will be devoted to studies, work and discussions concerning development and possibilities of improvement of our society. Anyway, we will see what is in store for me, one thing I know for sure is that there are still so many countries to visit, cultures and languages to learn, and experiences to gather and share, so I will not sit still!
That’s it for the 2017 finalists and winner! If you missed the finalist exclusive interviews be sure to read about Evlampia Karavangeli and Pavle Kostic on the News Portal. Where will these young finalists find themselves next? We will have to wait until 2018 to find out…
>> Winners announced at the end of this post! <<
I’m giving away $1,750 in cash prizes to three small business owners this holiday season! Read on to hear the “why” behind this decision and find out how to enter the Boho Berry Small Business Essay Contest!
As a small business owner, I totally understand the struggles that come along with trying to build the business and life of your dreams. When I started out back in 2015 I had a tiny budget, so I was pinching pennies and DIY-ing everything I could in order to grow my business.
This blog that you’re reading right now? I created it all on my own (through lots of trial and error) without the help of a web designer or web developer.
All of those photos on Instagram? I learned how to take great pics with my iPhone instead of buying a fancy DSLR camera.
Those 150+ videos on YouTube? Those have all been recorded on my iPhone and edited with the free video editing software that came pre-installed on my Mac.
When I say that I DIY-ed everything… I mean everything!
I learned website design, running an online store, bookkeeping, graphic design, social media and email marketing, photography, video editing, and more on a shoestring budget.
Starting and running a small business is no small endeavor, and I want to salute every single one of you out there who are on this entrepreneurial journey. It takes GUTS to go out on your own with a dream and turn it into an income for you and your family.
I have SO much respect for small business owners, and that is why I want to give back to our amazing community this season.
Almost a year ago, I shared a post about how to organize your goals. Within that post, I showed a Trello board that I created with all of my big goals organized into categories, my favorite being the “Pay It Forward” list.
Even though I couldn’t afford it at the time, one of my goals was to support a small business owner to the tune of $1,000.
I can still remember the struggles of being a newcomer to the business world, and how much $1,000 would have meant to me at the time.
One thousand dollars would have meant the world to me, as it could have helped me cover anything from website hosting, to product supplies, to much-needed software to grow my business.
Just last week, my friend Lisa Jacobs hosted an affiliate contest for sales of her Your Best Year 2018 workbook. I was happy to participate because I absolutely LOVE this workbook, and it’s one of the highlights of my year to immerse myself in it’s pages.
The grand prize for the contest was $1,000 (kismet, anyone?), and when I realized that I was in the lead, an idea was born. I decided right then and there that if I won, I would pay it forward.
When the contest concluded and I had secured the top spot, I discussed the idea with Mark (Mr. Boho Berry). As always, he was incredibly supportive, and we came up with the idea to run this essay contest.
I’m beyond excited to see all of the entries over the next couple of weeks. Being successful in business is a long hard road filled with countless hours of passion and grit, and I can’t wait to help not one, but THREE small business owners get a little bit closer to that dream come true.
If you’re a small business owner who could use a little extra help this holiday season, I would LOVE it if you would enter our essay contest.
In addition to the $1,000 grand prize, I’m giving an additional $500 and $250 to the second and third-place winners. Winners will be chosen via a public voting system, so be sure to share your entry with friends, family, and all over social media.
ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS
Thank you SO much for all of your entries! I truly enjoyed reading each and every essay that was submitted over the past two weeks. The voting period is now over, and I’m SO happy to announce the top three small business essay contest winners!
1st Place: ($1,000) Sandra of Wundertastisch
2nd Place: ($500) Fabiana of Sulk Crew Shop
3rd Place: ($250) Christina of Christina77star
Congrats to the winners! I’ll be reaching out to you shortly to deliver your prizes!
Kara Benz is the artist and author behind Boho Berry, where she inspires her readers to lead a more centered, fulfilled, and inspired life. Kara also runs a successful sticker shop on Etsy - Boho Berry Paperie.
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