Mind Your Business 2.0 aimed to promote entrepreneurship among the participants who took part in the activities on offer. By providing access to new possibilities and a wide range of opportunities, the event encouraged sustainable economic enterprise to aspiring and current entrepreneurs. In addition, we provided youths from Maastricht and surrounding areas the skills they need to explore their creative potential and to translate their ideas into reality.
A few reasons made MYB unique as a platform for nurturing entrepreneurial potential. The specific focus on the Maastricht region for instance and its exposure to an international community allowed us to connect local and international. This invariably provided the youth with new views and experiences that are useful to them in a globalising world. Furthermore, the action oriented approach to executing Smile To The Future’s mandate of promoting intergenerational skills transfer was another unique aspect of the MYB Summit. Since participants were connected to experts, entrepreneurs and individuals with unique experiences a quality service was thus delivered to them with no obstacles regarding age, culture, social and economic status. The youth also obtained hard and soft skills from valuable future connections like making presentations, pitches, writing a business plan, and (return on) investments. In sum, Smile To The Future delivers this annual event to the current and aspiring entrepreneurs from the Maastricht region by providing services that will enable them to translate their ideas into action.
MYB 2015 exceeded our expectations in many ways. First, the feedback from our participants was mostly positive with most of them expressing a clear demand for the services we offered and the need for the event to be followed up with frequent contact. In addition, our aim of making the event intergenerational and international was very successful as shown by the commitment to the activities and how much easier it was to work with the participants. Effects of the differences in age and culture could hardly be seen as individuals openly exchanged ideas and collaborated on tasks with relative ease. If anything, it actually contributed to a rich atmosphere, which was a balance between informal and educational and simultaneously fun! It is partly due to these successes that Smile To The Future is currently planning a more direct approach to sustainable economic enterprise under the “Starters Valley” project in Maastricht. More on the Starters Valley will follow in coming correspondence.