The workshop “Be Inspired and Brave” took place for 2 days (22 and 24 of February, 2022). It was organized by Panevėžys Labor Market Training Center together with the project “Bell to start Business” partners. Some of the event participants had the opportunity to participate live, others joined remotely.
On the first day of the event, the participants were presented with the publication “Business Book”. There are 30 inspiring business start-up stories from three countries in it. The book’s story heroes started their businesses in their 50+ years. 2 entrepreneurs from Panevėžys district: Janina Krikštaponienė, who founded the well-known “Snail Farm” and Jolanta Silgienė, who produces jelly cakes reminiscent of works of art, also agreed to share their stories of starting a business.
Janina said that although the climate in Lithuania is quite cold for snails, excellent results can be achieved by applying appropriate breeding technologies. The woman who works on the farm with her husband claimed that this activity is not only a business, but also a passion that had developed into other related fields of activity. Janina conducts educational excursions on her farm, where she presents the subtleties of snail farming, invites to tasting evenings (on the farm you can buy ready-to-eat snail sets), as well as produces souvenirs of snails – magnets, tea bag holders for cups, etc.
Jolanta makes jelly cakes, one-bite snacks and various desserts. The woman works at home – the kitchen has a separate space for making orders. Customers are most fascinated by cakes with a variety of flowers. The confectioner works with syringes with needles of different thicknesses – jelly of different colors and flavors is gradually allowed into the prepared jelly base. There are many people, who want to learn this technology. So when she is asked if mastering courses can be another branch of her business, the woman smiles: “It could be so”.
After the first part of the business presentation, Lithuanian participants of the event went to Raguva. We visited Marytė Virbickienė, who is founder of the film museum, and Zenonas Bataitis, who produces works of art from stone. Mrs. Marytė, who is 83 years old, is lively, cheerful and eager to tell visitors the history of cinema, the subtleties of the use of cinema equipment at that time and the most interesting events. She asks all guests to sign in the book. The active woman is delighted that more than 1,100 people have visited her museum. Zenonas, who lives in Marytė’s neighborhood, got interested in stones only when he retired – he wanted to engage in activities that brighten the days. Thus the works born adorn not only the yard of the creative man, but also the town square. Zenonas accepts individual orders for products and welcomes those who come to see his outdoor expositions.
Although the first day of the seminar was very active and passed quickly, both the organizers and participants of the event enjoyed the stories shared, the sincere advice of those who dared to take on new things at the age of silver.
Latvians who wanted to deepen their entrepreneurial skills and gain knowledge in business decision-making strategies could also take part in the event. Belarusian participants joined to the event remotely. Valentinas Masilionis, Director of the Panevėžys Labor Market Training Center, congratulated the participants and expressed the hope that the last event of this project, which is planned in April in Latvia, will be attended live by all project partners.
At the beginning of the event, the participants from Lithuania and Latvia got acquainted with the “Coaching game” led by Giedrė Norkūnė, the trainer of “Points of You”. After the “ice-breaking” task, the participants got into science: they were divided into teams and solved different simulation business situations, which were evaluated by the jury and commented on by expert Marius Krupoviesas. Although there were many situations to be solved, the event passed very quickly – even after its end, the participants shared their impressions and asked when the next seminar will be held.
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