Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs: my experience at the Betacowork Coworking

Betacowork is the coworking space created by the Betagroup

When I applied for the EYE programme, that’s what I wrote on my application form: “I hope to meet an experienced entrepreneur who is willing to share his knowledge and expertise with me“. And guess what? I did not meet one experienced entrepreneur, I met thousands of them! And among all them, I had a fantastic mentor: Ramon Suarez.

This was not my first experience as trainee, and I had both wishes and expectations, based on my previous positive or negative experience. But one thing was different from all the previous times: myself! The stunning sense of freedom I felt when I got my university degree was suddenly replaced by a huge question mark, dwelling in my head: “and now?!” . I didn’t know where to start, and I decided to start from the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, attracted by the opportunity to “learn by doing” in a small/medium European enterprise: the coworking space of the BetaGroup, in my case.

After a few months I confess that my choice had been completely unaware. I had no idea of what coworking really was, and I discovered a completely new way of working that I did not imagine before. Hopefully, it looks like a fast growing trend, spreading all over the world. If I ever become an independent worker or an entrepreneur, I will surely be a coworker!

Observing people working has been almost useful as working, and here I had time and chance to do both things, surrounded by people who gave me motivation and incitement. I have sometimes reacted well, some other times badly. I think I didn’t spend one minute wondering what to do…but, on the other hand, I have spent so much time wondering HOW to do something :)

I strongly econurage motivated young people who are willing to learn, work and to open their own coworking space to  apply for an EYE grant and to come to the Betacowork.

I had the chance to work in an environment where you can help your neighbor regardless of what you might get in return. In most cases, you don’t even have to ask for an advice, because it comes spontaneously. And above all, I have never felt like I was talking to somebody who knows more than I do andsoIwillneverbeathislevel. Here I was taught I can be whatever I want, or at least I have all the right to try to. After all, I am surrounded by self-made successful professionals who know perfectly that nobody was born with experience, and this  is what I remind myself when I face any failure or insecurity.

I dealt with so many things that seemed so difficult and far from me at the beginning, both from the professional and the “everyday life” point of view. I learned how to interact and communicate with people, how to manage the difficulty to communicate in other languages, I managed the preparation of a challenging European project, I improved my writing skills, I learned about communication, marketing and social media, I developed a much more clear idea of what it means to have the responsibility of a company. If only I think that some months ago concepts like crowdfunding, incubator, coworking itself (!) were completely unknown to me. Thanks Ramon, Thanks Betacowork!

Saluti dal BetaGroup Coworking Bruxelles (starring Stefania)

About Stefania Scognamiglio

Host and Community Manager of Betacowork Coworking. I organize and promote activities to foster collaboration and synergies among my coworkers. After getting my degree in International relations and European Studies in Italy in 2012, I moved to Brussels to discover the wonderful world of coworking. I am passionate about visual arts, nature, travels and krav maga. I write about coworking and coworkers. Connect with me on Twitter: @kudrjavka, Google+ and Linkedin

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One Response to Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs: my experience at the Betacowork Coworking

  1. Ramón Suárez February 1, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Stefania, it is me that has to thank you :) From the very begining you have been willing to take the challenges I’ve sent your way and you have succeeded in all of them, from improvising a speach in front of 400 people to coordinating the presentation of a big European project. You have been able to fit with our open culture of collaboration and contribute to it. There’s been a lot of learning on your side, and the best thing is that you have been able to do it quickly and to put it in practice. We love doing!