Today on Promoting Enterprise we are catching up with 2016 Youth Essay Competition finalist Frici Barabas! The Youth Essay Competition is an opportunity for the youth of Europe and COSME partner countries to have their say on pressing issues in the area of entrepreneurship in Europe. Previous editions have asked the following questions:
- 2016: “What can the EU do to encourage more young people to become entrepreneurs?”
- 2017: “What skills do tomorrow’s entrepreneurs need?”
What will be the question for the 2018 edition? Stay tuned to the Promoting Enterprise News Portal and be sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to find out as soon as the next edition is live! For more information on the competition have a look here.
When Frici entered the competition two years ago he was a budding entrepreneur with a t-shirt business, and his online venture ‘digital lifestyle’. So what has he been doing since then? Read on to find out!
What have you been doing since being a finalist in the Youth Essay Competition in 2016?
Since being a finalist I have been working as a freelancer in the online marketing and social media marketing space. My work has taken me global and I have worked with companies from Dubai, the US, India and Europe, specifically Hungary and Romania.
In addition to this I have also published more courses on Udemy and Skillshare, mostly on the topics of social media marketing, specifically Instagram marketing. I decided to focus on these topics because Instagram started to get big and become important in 2016, right when I began working as a freelancer. It seemed logical to focus on the platform that was growing and getting the most attention.
Do you have any exciting projects that you would like to share?
At the moment I have been focusing on my startup, which is a social media marketing agency in Romania. Over the past year I have started to help NGOs and local SMEs here in Romania with social media management and social media marketing, and would like to expand on my work and build a company.
Whilst this work has been really interesting, it has certainly come with its challenges. Here in Eastern Europe scepticism around social media is still pretty prevalent, meaning that businesses are not necessarily willing to pay for it. Due to this scepticism it can be pretty difficult to sell as a service as it is difficult to convince owners to invest in developing their social media profiles.
However, this is slowly beginning to change as small businesses realise that they need to do something with their Instagram and Facebook pages, and that they need expert outsiders to help with this. A good example which showed just how powerful social media can be was when the St. George startup week
was being organised. The event is a global celebration of startups and entrepreneurship, which originally had an expected number of 50 attendees. This became 200 attendees which in a small city of 40 000 people, where the local language is Romanian-Hungarian, is especially impressive for an English language event.
In general my work with NGOs has been much easier, as they normally need less convincing and see the value of social media. It also helps that their budgets come from elsewhere, namely local or European funds.
Based on your experiences since 2016, do you have any new advice for young entrepreneurs, or people thinking about starting out on their own?
The most important thing is to think about helping people with your products or services and not ‘the money you could make’, so start working and doing!
The moment I realised this was when I saw that working in social media in Eastern Europe represents a great opportunity. The market is still relatively open as traditional media still dominates most communication channels. Social media is not as hyped but it is growing, meaning that currently there is little competition and plenty of opportunities to take advantage of.
I have been approached by entrepreneurs who simply wanted to partner with me for the financial gains, and who wanted to make use of my expertise. I turned them down because I want to look past the just the financial gains and look at how I can use my expertise and passion to develop the sector and help SMEs with their social media communications.
Any additional information you would like to add?
I am currently looking for partners in Europe and in the industry in general to continue my work and gain experience. It would be great to find people specialised in certain social media platforms, or who are looking for help with online tools, and to partner up with. I’m open to collaboration!