– Describe briefly what the business idea is based on.
The main goal of SAFE-PACK is to eliminate from the market artificial materials used for packing shipments, including bubble wrap and polystyrene. The first product created was a packaging for the safe transport of glass bottles. It is a product made entirely of cardboard that is not afraid of even the most insensitive couriers. Currently, at the customer’s request, another product is being developed, which will be an ecological thermal insulation packaging.
– What was your situation before joining the program?
From an early age, I knew that I wanted to follow the path of an entrepreneur, but I did not know which side to start with. In July 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the dismissal of the entire Polish sales team from a certain company. Unfortunately, it so happened that I was among the “lucky ones”. When you stop participating in the corporate rat race, time slows down for a moment and you have time to think. It was the moment for me when I made the decision to start realizing myself as an entrepreneur, not just think about it. I have had several business projects described in my notes over the past years that never saw the light of day. So, I started looking for a form of start-up financing for one of them. I searched the internet for information on grants and registered with the Employment Agency so that I could apply for a start-up grant. I used to visit the website of the Office every day, waiting for information about calls for proposals for subsidies, and finally an announcement of calls appeared on the website, but not for a subsidy but for the YES program! From Youth Business Poland.
At this point, I can honestly say: “Fortunately, the application for funding did not appear earlier than the call from YBP”, because I do not know how my adventure with entrepreneurship would have turned out, if I had started with funding with such a disorganized knowledge and project.
-What are the main benefits of joining the program in your opinion? What did you get?
Participation in the program gave me a huge dose of motivation to act, a lot of knowledge and support in my decision to open a company. It was valuable for me that each workshop was run by business practitioners. People who, in the first place, could boast a large baggage of business experience, not just diplomas. Each of the speakers opened new gates to wise business and gave me the opportunity to organize my idea to such an extent that with each subsequent workshop my project developed with me.
The presence of other participants in the program was an amazing kick to act for me. Each of us had our own business idea, but we motivated each other nonetheless. Ingenuity and creativity, beating from others, had a huge positive impact on my work.
Thanks to YBP and the mentor, I was able to consciously write a complete and extensive grant application from the UP, which was positively considered. The contacts I acquired and the opportunity to discuss a specific case or my doubts with someone experienced was and is invaluable. It turned out that there are many people like me who are taking this first step in business and that every problem has to be overcome! You just need to shop around for a solution.
– What are your plans for the future?
I would like to constantly develop as an entrepreneur, scale my business and expand my offer with new products. I hope that SAFE-PACK will contribute to reducing the amount of hard-to-decompose rubbish lying in landfills. More and more e-commerce companies will understand how important it is for the packaging in which they send their product to the customer to be environmentally friendly, because it is this that goes to the garbage first.
I will immodestly add that this is not the only business project that I would like to develop, so I wish that after achieving my goals in the current company, I will be able to get involved in another project that is already on my mind.
– Was anything groundbreaking during the workshop?
The whole workshop gave me a lot, but when I think about breakthrough moments, my cooperation with a mentor comes to mind.
After the workshops, I was still working on improving my project, and moreover, I was able to receive mentoring, which, as it turned out, was crucial for me.
When a longtime director of large companies, running his business, shares the excitement about your project, supports you in action and approaches each topic individually, you start to believe in yourself and your idea like never before.
It was the mentor who pushed me forward in terms of sales and customer relations.
I realized that I need to start building a relationship with the customer, even if I do not have a finished product in stock, and that it is not the product or the perfect business plan that builds the company, but the person who runs it.