Project Ment | MEnt 2nd Edition kicks off in Belgium & Germany
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MEnt 2nd Edition kicks off in Belgium & Germany

After Kiron Open Higher Education´s first edition in Berlin and Brussels, the MEnt program kicked off again in February, connecting like minded entrepreneurs-to-be bringing their business ideas to life. 30 participants took part in two days full of interactive workshops to develop their ideas, the vision for their businesses and the MEnt Community in each city. The entrepreneurial ideas taking part vary from ‘traditional’ sectors like food industry (producing food or setting up a restaurant) to creative fields such as design, architecture, digital services, marketing and photography.

The budding entrepreneurs flexed their brains over a series of hands-on exercises designed to challenge their assumptions, putting their business ideas to the test and enjoyed valuable feedback on how to take their ideas to the next level.

Some highlights were:

In Brussels, after getting started doing several getting to know activities, Oscar Gutierrez passionate entrepreneur and MEnt Alumni 2017 kicked off sharing an motivational speech to get participants in the right mood to start working. Anna Thomlinson, business and acceleration expert, KBC startit community manager and mentor gave an inspiring session about how to master the canvas business model. During the afternoon session, the group spend pitching their ideas to strangers in the street to validate and test business ideas efficiently. Afterwards, Fatima Hammouqah, Business Development Expert shared her experience on how to create value, reach the target customer and build go-to-market strategies challenging participants with actionable exercises. Monika Hoegen, Media Coach shared her extensive knowledge on how to communicate their business idea as news and made participants brainstorming about their needs to further kick-start their business idea.

In Berlin, the MEnt Kick-off workshop was based on the LEGO Serious Play methodology aiming at helping people and teams to realize their vision and goals. Participants were introduced to it in an initial tower building exercise – some had never played with LEGO before yet built impressive constructions. Things really got interesting when everyone set out to build their vision for their business with lots and lots of colorful blocks and pieces. The results were as varied as the business ideas and the people behind them. The group then went on to build their vision for the ideal MEnt Community and sharing what they would be able to contribute to this community in the coming months. We left the workshops inspired and excited about how the business ideas and the MEnt community will develop in Berlin.

The two days have been an enriching learning experience. Thank you for this unique experience, your active participation, support, enthusiasm, all the impressive stories & ideas shared.

Based on the ideas of empowerment, peer-learning and non-formal education, migrant and newcomer entrepreneur’s capacities and skills will be strengthened within the MEnt Program to successfully launch their entrepreneurial projects and become multipliers and agents of change in their communities.

MEnt is an incubation and mentorship driven program designed to encourage participants to start and build a viable business. Financed by the European Commission (AMIF), MEnt offers participating entrepreneurs a series of networking and mentorship opportunities, numerous workshop and community activities.