Entrepreneur Exchange Overseas Programme
In 2017, I participated in a programme which facilitates the exchange of skills and ideas of entrepreneurs working in different countries around Europe. The idea is where you work alongside people in other similar creative fields and gain inspiration and grow from eachother’s experiences and skillset.
The project I chose to participate in was with Argo Navis, spending a month in Galicia in Northern Spain. Argo Navis is a project started by six young people from Bueu who decided to create an innovative youth entrepreneurship platform that encourages engagement and collaboration. Their team consists of experts in many different creative fields such as photography, graphic design, and architecture; together they use interdisciplinary activities to promote a cultural agenda of local and sustainable development. Their space is facing the sea-front and this is a strong inspiration to their work. Every month Argo Navis uses these activities to engage the local community in creative and collaborative events covering important topics such as: giving meaning to life, sketching your own future, facing challenges and being creative. To achieve this goal, they needed an entrepreneur willing to cooperate and contribute, as well as to spread and internationalize the initiative. Their main motivation towards the exchange in the framework is to gain knowledge, skills and an entrepreneurial attitude allowing all of us to found and develop together our own personal projects, initiatives and ideas in a collaborative way that will be operating transnationally in Europe.
They are passionate about working with the local community and the opportunity to invent and implement creative ideas that deliver incredible cultural and social impact, and as a result build a better future. Bueu is a village in the metropolitan area of Rías Baixas on the southwestern coast of Galicia, Spain. Despite its northern location on the Atlantic Ocean seashore and its incredible landscape, the recent economic meltdown in Spain has badly affected the town and its people. According to data collected by Spain, over half a million young people (called “expatriate”) have left the country in order to find better job conditions in Europe. This is especially prevalent in Bueu, where the local economy, which is mostly based on tourism and maritime resources, does not offer a potential future to its many young graduates.
Nevertheless, the opportunities are there. New ways of working, based on social and collaborative principles, closely linked with local development, have started to appear globally as a way of starting something new. Argo Navis is a way of showing everyone that exploring creative methods for promoting young entrepreneurship based on a social commitment can foster economic development in a more inclusive, fair, and sustainable manner.
During the month, we worked on a number of projects, including a summer social media campaign (in English, Spanish and Galician) to further highlight and spread the word of the Argo Navis initiative and a winter campaign to promote an upcoming competition. It was a really enjoyable experience learning about Galician culture, working alongside passionate and creative people and seeing things from a new perspective. The people are very warm and welcoming and strongly associate with the Celtic culture in their music and warmth. They are very passionate, creative and well-educated people and extremely proud of their Galician roots.
Please see is a video we worked on during the month (best listened to with sound), some images of the work I created during the experience (photography taken by their photographer Alba Sotelo). Find out more about Argo Navis here.