Putting together creative ideas from young people and the work done by dedicated entrepreneurs who are constantly working to improve their business is bound to yield results. Creativity and proactivity—combined with talent and hard work—are a winning combination. Thanks to the project Creative caravan, funded by the EU within IPA Serbia-Bulgaria CBC programme, 20 young creatives from the two countries have had a chance to pay a visit to 10 entrepreneurs, learn more about their businesses, and join forces with them to develop brands, visual identities, and marketing campaigns.
“I can say with certainty that Creative caravan was the best experience I had in the past year. Not only did I meet extraordinary, innovative, young people who shared my interests, but I also stepped out of my comfort zone and discovered new interests and learned that leaving the comfort zone can indeed pay out. I want to thank Creative caravan for this invaluable and unforgettable experience,“ said Aleksandra Pavlović, participant of the programme and a student of Metropolitan University in Niš.
Through the synergy of academic and business community, society can derive multiple benefits. Furthermore, such a synergy can undoubtedly lead to the creation of new business models and innovative practices. The main idea behind Creative caravan is to strengthen entrepreneurial skills among youth in the region through innovations within the education system, based on new, contemporary models of communication.
The programme is designed to offer a direct insight into the world of business for final year students and graduates who have only launched their careers. On the other hand, carriers of small and solidary entrepreneurship, the majority of whom don’t have time to create their visual identity and deal with product placement, need assistance from young people, their skills and creative energy, in order to expand business and boost product placement. It’s a win-win for all of them.
Selected participants have undergone training in business skills where they learned from entrepreneurs how to solve specific business tasks in several aspects: production optimisation, marketing, business innovation, and design. An extremely positive response from both countries—Serbia and Bulgaria—shows how much these young creatives have contributed to business strengthening.
Jovana Milutinović from the company engaged in production of essential oils Promontis from Niš, described the exchange of ideas with young and creative people as a true gift and an excellent opportunity to discover new talents.
“Creative caravan has proven to be extremely beneficial for the development of Promontis. A group of young creatives helped us to come up with better ways to showcase our products on social media and tap into the potential for the promotion of essential oils. As a result, our sales have improved,” Jovana Milutinović says, adding that she hopes successful cooperation with the creatives would continue.
Young people from Serbia and Bulgaria, who gained hands-on experience, underwent training, and attended lectures by experts from both countries, are now better prepared to create innovative business solutions, whereas entrepreneurs successfully improved their business, developed their brands, and obtained sustainable business plans.
Companies that took part in Creative caravan are now being promoted on TV Zona plus. Each episode shows the entire process where creatives meet entrepreneurs and develop solutions to the latter’s business problems together.
Watch an episode.
The rest of the series is available on Young Ambassadors YouTube channel.
Aleksandar Stamenković, project manager of Young Ambassadors—which acted as one of the partners in the project—said that projects they undertake aim to prove that creative industries are changing society for the better and show the potential of young, creative people. Creative caravan is one of those projects.
“The greatest value of this EU programme lies in the potential for cooperation and networking with partners from Bulgaria, that is the creation of network of young, creative people from both countries who are ready to focus their ideas and knowledge on the development of local entrepreneurial ecosystems,” Stamenković noted.
Creative caravan programme is implemented by Young Ambassadors from Niš, Faculty of Economy of Niš, High School Ivan Vazov from Svoge, Bulgaria, and Foundation Kauzi from Sofia, Bulgaria. The project is funded through Interreg IPA CBC Serbia-Bulgaria cross-border cooperation programme. One of the project partners, Young Ambassadors, is co-funded by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Serbia.