Posted by: Erudito Category: Hottest news Comments: 0

Business Project Presentation: What Can We Offer to Lithuania?

What does Lithuania and Lithuanian culture mean to you? What kind of business product or service related to our country would you like to create? The students from “Erudito” licėjus in Kaunas and Vilnius might provide you with some ideas. They showcased their entrepreneurial skills during the presentation of their first business project, “Sustainable Development and Lithuania: Our Collective Well-being in Our Hands.”

Last Friday, the halls of “Erudito” licėjus in Kaunas and Vilnius were buzzing with excitement as over 100 teams presented their business projects. Everyone was nervous and well-prepared: the teams and their presenters (each with their own roles and responsibilities), teachers, parents (some of them were selected as judges to evaluate the projects), and the evaluation committee (comprising teachers, parents, and guests from “Lietuva Junior Achievement,” who also evaluated the students’ business projects).

For six weeks, the students worked on developing a product or service, honing their entrepreneurial, critical thinking, and collaboration skills. The evaluation committee assessed various aspects of the project presentations, including visual and graphic elements, the problem the business idea addresses, the solution and competitive advantage, market analysis, presentation duration, preparedness, language proficiency, how the service will work (including its prototype), pricing and cost structure, product or service delivery to customers (advertising and distribution), and teamwork. The entire lyceum community came to listen to the presentations and personally evaluate the potential new businesses.

The Specifics of Lithuanian Business

Projects were related to the sustainable development of the Lithuanian market, so most of the products or services were in one way or another connected to Lithuania. Lithuanian identity could be felt even in the names: “6 broliai” (6 brothers) explained that it used to be a common way to refer to a close friend; “Gilė” not only received recognition for its sustainable development idea but, we believe, also for its beautiful Lithuanian name; “Lietuviškas laivas” (Lithuanian ship) won the best presentation (the team built a model of the future ship from Lego bricks). The creators of the concept of the social restaurant “Žiloji pypkė” (The Green Stove) (recognized in the socially responsible business category), which is committed to employing the elderly, explained that seniors are our experience and roots, and they need to be respected and helped. There were more initiatives and ideas related to the social aspect and socially responsible business, such as the “Grietinės” team offering a service called “Cemetery Maintenance.” It has nothing to do with Halloween but everything to do with preserving memory (and thus, Lithuanian heritage): young people would not only tidy up the graves of those who cannot do it themselves or for relatives who have left for other countries, but also light a candle and say a prayer for the deceased. “Eco Lawn” would come and mow the grass for the elderly in their homes or summer cottages, while the “Laktozės ugdytojai” (Lactose Educators) offered to come to people’s homes and wash their cars or clean the interior with eco-friendly cleaning products for almost nothing! Most of the future businesses were willing to allocate a portion of their profits to various community and charity organizations. Others presented themselves as non-profit small businesses (for example, “Emitt,” offering a platform for the sale of used school supplies, had suggestions to open a used toy store, upcycle clothing to create new garments and accessories, etc.), and some work almost as volunteer initiatives (Eco Lawn would offer grass-cutting services for half the price, and the other half would go to selected funds; the “Kalėdų” (Christmas) social project “Vaikystės pasakos” (Childhood Stories) aimed not to make a profit but to genuinely address social issues, etc.).

Sustainability and eco-friendliness were another relevant and popular topic. “Medvilnės fermeriai” (Cotton Farmers) pointed out that the market for sustainable technologies is expected to grow to 2.1 trillion dollars by 2025, and they proposed the “Greentech Learning Hub,” a sustainable education social enterprise. You could also ride a “Barbie Bikes” bicycle and help the environment (an idea with the most profit potential). The authors of “Very Bag” received recognition for their socially responsible business that featured eco-friendly fabric bags with hand-drawn illustrations depicting emotional states. An increasing number of teams are incorporating artificial intelligence (e.g., the creators of the “Brain Train” app) and other technologies into their projects. However, the title for the most innovative idea went to the “Kemba” team, who found a way to divert children’s attention away from computers…

It’s challenging to count how many teams offered catering services, cafes, and bakeries. To stand out, “Obuoliukai” (Little Apples) is even preparing to customize their music in the air. If you buy more confectionery items from their “Musical Bake” food truck, you can add your favorite song to the playlist (buy for 5 euros – one song, 10 euros – two songs, and so on). By the way, their brownies are just fantastic! (And that’s probably unrelated to the award for the best presentation, lol). For those arriving later (including the author of the text), the colorful “Skonis po skonio” (Taste After Taste) pancakes were all gone, the organic lemonade had been consumed, the drinks trolley was empty, and the “Eru” gyro glasses were gone. “6 broliai,” selling their homemade “Tinginys” (a Lithuanian dessert), baked bread and cocoa, worried that the homemade “Tinginys” had melted and lost its appearance, but not its taste and its initial mission to “brighten and delight”! And that didn’t stop them from receiving the award for the best solution with the least cost (and earning a lot of sympathy for the taste of “Tinginys”).

For those rushing to the end of the presentation, the only option was to lick the sides of the environmentally-friendly hand-made tomato sauce container “SpaceO.” It takes six hours to prepare the sauce from homegrown tomatoes and earned an award for the most entrepreneurial business idea. As for the “Druskos burbuliukai” (Salt Bubbles), recognized for having the most eco-friendly business idea, their cosmetics products vanished like soap bubbles, and only a few scrub granules remained. And everything is Lithuanian, made from local materials or handmade.

Business requires both courage and a positive attitude

Everyone knows how important entrepreneurial education is at “Erudito” licėjus, so this project presentation is a significant event, a celebration for the entire community (teachers passionately applauded their students when they came to collect their diplomas!). “Entrepreneurship is one of the strategic directions of education at “Erudito” licėjus, and lessons in entrepreneurship are just as important as mathematics or the Lithuanian language,” said economics and entrepreneurship teacher Kristina Celiešiūtė, who led the awards ceremony for Kaunas “Erudito” licėjus’ project fair. In September, seventh-grade national and international students at “Erudito” licėjus learned about entrepreneurship at a digital innovation and entrepreneurship camp – the skills and experience gained in these contextual entrepreneurship and technology lessons with participants in the Lithuania Junior Achievement program were invaluable when creating their projects.

In the opinion of Dr. Nerijus Pačėsa, the founder and director of “Erudito” licėjus, entrepreneurship education is not just about developing the competencies of a businessperson: “It is a universal skill, relevant not only to those who want and can create and develop a business, but to all those who want to realize themselves, discover new opportunities, and create economic or social value.” Therefore, entrepreneurship is the ability to turn one’s idea into a result that creates value for society, as illustrated and proven by the primary class students at “Erudito” licėjus with their projects. In his lecture to students in grades 5-8 (“Entrepreneurship: Innate or Acquired?”), the director emphasized the qualities required for entrepreneurship (and often nurtured), such as courage, passion, vision, risk-taking, perseverance, positivity, and creativity. He emphasized the “3i” rule – ideas, initiative, and implementation. Entrepreneurship is not possible without leadership, organization, teamwork, and initiative. “Entrepreneurial people are not afraid to experiment, make mistakes, take risks, and tread the unbeaten path; they turn mistakes into opportunities and innovations,” said Dr. Pačėsa, extending his best wishes to the students of “Erudito” licėjus. These wishes were also echoed by Brian Ph. Brackrog, the director of international programs, who gave a lecture on entrepreneurship to international students.

Moments from the event can be found in the photo album on Facebook and Instagram Stories.