European Youth Media Days 2016

How to create your own start up? Eight pieces of advice every young entrepreneur can use

Text by Orsolya Lehotai, Hungary

Have you ever thought about becoming your own boss? Do you write down business ideas on post its that you probably never execute? Today is the day to change it. Featuring the advice from young entrepreneurial geniuses, we bring you the eight most important tips to follow:


First research, check the market and find the gaps in the system. Then stand up and fight for your ideas.


Looking at all the young entrepreneurs under the age of 33 and how they impact the society is

wonderful. You can really feel the energy and enthusiasm coming from these young people to

reach and develop something. They are super creative, innovative and they know how to handle

technologies, but the main problems they have to face relate to having a good business plan,

getting funding and finding investors. It differs from one start up to another when it comes to

eventually finding funding. It also seems rewardable to get promotions at the very beginning and

take part in competitions such as the European Youth Award to show their ideas.

– Birgit Kolb, Project manager, European Youth Award, Austria


Never undermine the importance of passion.

Running an NGO or any kind of social entrepreneurship should be the love of your life. Besides

passion you strongly have to believe in that what you do actually makes an impact in the society

and thus you need to reach your target groups and deepen the network of your organisation.

At the very beginning funding is the most challenging border that you need to solve. Never stop

growing and never stop sitting down for a moment to reflect on yourself and your previous steps to

be able to figure out what to do next.

– Ana Alibegova, Director of Program Development, Association for Education Mladiinfo International, Macedonia


If people connect together, they can make big changes.

I work on a start up relating sustainable fashion and design. Fashion industry from the outside

seems very beautiful but from the inside it is very cruel and I want to make changes in this and that

is where my passion is coming from. We are facing lots of environmental problems and I wanted to

– and eventually did – find my little space to make a social impact and do business well. You

shouldn’t ask yourself what you want to be or how you want to be but you should ask yourself what

kind of problem you can actually solve and get investors to make it profitable. Don’t be afraid to

share your new ideas with other people for fear that they’d steal them, because people are lazy. So

open up, share your thoughts, don’t hold ideas back, listen and you will for sure get back feedback

and win something eventually.

– Fenne Plaisier, Business: Suit Me, The Netherlands


The most difficult step to start a start up is to actually start it.

We do tourism guided by homeless people. The challenges were the lack of knowledge and the

legal environment concerning this idea. The society did not understand the idea of social

entrepreneurship and it was extremely difficult to explain what we wanted to do, and that we are a

business and we have a social goal as well. You need to have a clear plan that you want to

achieve within a certain time and work on it. The idea itself is not enough at all.

– Tereza Jureckova, Pragulic, The Czech Republic


Be brave. If you never try you will never know how it goes. 

We deal with legal technique, publishing and special help for young people who haven`t published

any research paper yet and give them the opportunity to publish it for free. We also provide a free

legal platform to get free legal advise in the field of social protection and traffic safety. It is really

challenging to find the funding and and start the idea. We first offered three services for free then

started charging for some. That is how we made some money at the beginning. It is also difficult to

find the people who are committed enough to work for your organisation. Step zero is to try and

also gain some experience by joining other organisations as well.

– Dušica Birovljević, Founder and Director, Nomcentar, Serbia


The biggest challenge is to get things done. 

We produce new products out of industrial waste to save waste material from disposal and make it

useful. I used to make a small jewellery collection from traffic sign waste. My motivation was to

think big because if you can design jewellery out of this kind of waste then you can do the same

with other kinds of waste and create great products. In this kind of design, the process actually

takes months or even years from the first sketch on paper to the implementation of production that

can be sold in the EU market as well. It is tough to become an entrepreneur and to understand the

process of business especially if you don’t come with this educational background. Do you have an

idea? Good. Do it, now.

– Jindrich Fialka, Founder and CEO, Contiqua, The Czech Republic


You have to want and have passion for something special that is also needed by the world.

We work on how to use social media to target certain groups of people and reach certain goals

relating to different and special business needs. For this you need to understand the technicalities

and the algorithms behind Facebook, and it is really demanding. This is what we scientifically

explored before and this knowledge is now given to companies as well. Whenever a company

buys an hour of consultancy, they also pay a free consultancy hour for an NGO. The idea behind it

was that if a corporation gets this knowledge to become more successful, then NGOs, social start

ups, or entrepreneurs that try to make this world a better place need to have the same kind of

access. What was super challenging at the very beginning is how to evaluate the service and

realise what can I actually offer to companies from a business and monetary point of view. You

need to want something that is the passion for something that you know is special, and also

needed by the world. Unfortunately something that you are happy about and like is not necessary

something that people need. Sit down, think about what makes you happy, think about what can

make other people happy and consider if it is needed by the world.

– Matthias Haas, CEO and Curator SuperSocial, TEDx, Vienna


Without talking to people and being persistent you won`t succeed. 

We founded GovFaces,which is a social media startup for politics in Switzerland. The market gap

was that we realised that actually there is no space for politicians and citizens to normally and

effectively interact with each other, because according to the experience it doesn't really happen

on Facebook or Twitter. At the start I had to step so much out of my comfort zone that I learned a

lot about business and legal environment. The initial challenge was to make it convenient for both

politicians and citizens to join without actually having politicians and citizens beforehand at the

beginning to prove the worth of our startup. Step zero is to be open for talking to people and to be

willing to be persistent for your own idea. At the beginning of the road you think you have the best

idea but it is actually not true. The truth is that a lot of people have great ideas but without being

persistent enough you won’t succeed on this rocky road full of ups and downs.

– Tudor Mihailescu, Co-Founder, GovFaces, Geneva



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