Startup Balkans

Mini-project: Entrepreneur of the Week

This is the story about the “Entrepreneur of the Week”, social media mini-project, told by our dear colleague Enxhi Dyrmishi.

Summer months are always a bit slow, especially August. Nothing is happening, and everyone is enjoying their time off. But, the Swiss EP Albania team decided to do something different this summer and shake things up a bit. This is the story about the “Entrepreneur of the Week” project, told by our dear colleague Enxhi Dyrmishi.

The “Entrepreneur of the Week” project has always been on my mind. Since the beginning of my work at Swiss EP Albania, I have wanted to promote local entrepreneurs who are doing something relevant in Albania and beyond. I sensed that, with the pandemic and throughout the summer, people needed inspiration and a boost of energy. They lacked someone to look up to. So, together with my colleague and Swiss EP Albania Program Officer, Blendina Cara, I decided to bring this project to life.

The first decision that we had to make was – how long would the project last? And we decided to feature 10 entrepreneurs in 10 weeks. Why 10? Well, when you think about a number that is attractive enough to put it in a blog title (e.g., 10 ideas of how to decorate your new house), number 10 comes naturally. And we decided to keep it time-framed because we wanted the project to have a natural course – to flourish and get all the attention from our followers organically.

Our idea was to ask a few similar questions to each entrepreneur and then publish it. And it was quite difficult to decide how many questions to ask. At first, we didn’t know how many questions to address to our entrepreneurs. How many questions would it be okay for our followers to read and not get bored? Finally, we decided to go with 3 different questions. 3 answers are just enough, and they are easy to follow.
An example of the “Entrepreneur of the Week” visual

Once we set the frame – 10 entrepreneurs in 10 weeks are answering 3 similar questions, we had to establish criteria for selecting entrepreneurs that we will feature. Our first criteria were: entrepreneurs must be connected to one of our partner organizations (Women Founders Network Albania, Uplift, Destil Creative Hub, Innospace, or Coolab). Our next criteria were: entrepreneurs must make meaningful changes in the Albanian ecosystem.

Our next step was to get in touch with entrepreneurs. Since most of them are on our contact list, it was not really hard to reach them. They were delighted to help and be part of the project, so they gladly helped me with the interviews. Out of all the people we invited to be a part of this mini-project, only one person missed replying on time, so we had to let him go.

To make everything look nice and attractive, I used Photoshop. I designed posters where each of 10 entrepreneurs were presented. I was looking for the right way to express my creativity and make something that looks professional, and at the same time, that makes our entrepreneurs look fantastic. I knew that sharing someone’s photo on Facebook or Instagram would make the post more likable, so I decided to play around with that idea. Finally, I placed a quality photo of the entrepreneur in the middle of the poster and all the other information around it. The first poster is a quick presentation of the entrepreneur, and the other 3 are questions and their answers.

Once I completed the visuals, I posted them online. Leading social media channels for Swiss EP Albania are Facebook and Instagram, so I used them. Our Instagram page works quite well, and here we gained the most prominent attention with the “Entrepreneur of the week” project. Besides Instagram and Facebook, I also used my personal LinkedIn page to share the visuals. To my surprise, there was a lot of reaction from my network and the entrepreneurs’ networks. Some of the entrepreneurs who are very active on LinkedIn created quite a buzz sharing their answers. At the same time, enormous engagement from their networks brought Swiss EP Albania into focus. And this is how we ended up promoting others and being promoted all over social media space.

The “Entrepreneur of the Week” was an amazing and quite refreshing project. It was well structured, launched at the right time and place. My advice to anyone willing to try doing the same is to prepare the questions and answers long before planning to post them. We all know that entrepreneurs are very busy, and they tend to shift their attention toward their business and forget to send their answers in time. So, be prepared and always have another entrepreneur in stock in case someone falls off.

In the end, I want to say that I enjoyed working on this mini-project very much, and I am already working on a new idea. I am looking forward to another refreshing and creative excursion of this type.

Stay tuned and keep an eye on Swiss EP Albania social media channels. As you heard, new creative surprises are coming soon 🙂

Ivana Sabo