FEMskill Community

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FEMskill community The aim of the FEMskill community is for entrepreneurs, especially women entrepreneurs, from the AustrianHungarian border region to join, introduce themselves, offer their products and services to each other, and inform each other about business, training and development opportunities related to entrepreneurship.

Join the FEMskill community All Austrian-Hungarian businesses can join the FEMskill community who agrees with and accepts the community’s objectives, membership, and rules of operation. The online platform of the FEMskill Community is available on Facebook under the name FEMskill Community.

Connection and operating rules • Members develop themselves and their businesses through network­ ing, experience sharing, knowledge resources and their own online community platform. • You are allowed to present your business once when you join and then help others with good ideas, know­ ledge, experi­ ence, and devel­ opment opportuni­ ties. • If the busi­ ness’s product or service offer meets the objectives of the FEMskill com­ munity, you can post it on the community forum. • The other person’s opinion is impor­ tant, to keep a positive atmosphere in the community, respect the other person’s point of view!

• Malicious comments, disruptive comments, trolling will result in a ban. •

It is a non-party political group and distances itself from all such and extremist manifestations. •

The FEMskill community can be found online under the group name FEMskill Community on Face­ book, thus facilitating cross-bor­ der commu­ nication.

• In the Face­ book group of the FEMskill community, use #femskillcommunity and other hashtags according to the rules! • The languages of the FEMskill com­ munity are English, German and Hungarian.

Join the FEMskill Community!

Challenges and experience solutions learned from the FEMskill project in the life of a female entrepreneur The following is a summary of the focal points of the challenges facing women start-up entrepreneurs, based on the experiences of the project and the views of the participants. Lack of entrepreneurial strategy • • • • • •

noble idea does not = enterprise lack of structure, lack of planning lack of a real entrepreneurial approach difficulties in financial planning learning to be profit-oriented trendy entrepreneurship versus real value creation

Lack of entrepreneurial self-awareness • over-commitment • presence • internal processes (who am I, what is good for me) • demandingness versus modesty • limiting beliefs, self-awareness • family support • supportive husband Lack of focus • focus holding problem • profiling in the fields of activity • lack of systemic approach Lack of conscious self-management • challenges of visibility • building a network of contracts

The problem of engagement (woman, mother, entrepreneur) • supportive husband/family - giving too much help solving/ paying instead • unsupportive husband/family - lack of support to take up entrepreneurial role • alternating roles of woman-mother-”servant”-entrepre­ neur and the existence of conformity constraints



Entrepreneurial mentor’s guidelines, life and entrepreneurial experiences, mentor’s stories (failures and successes).

Training on specific topics (professional, business development).

Analysis, re-thinking, re-designing, and strategizing of the basic idea and scope of the business to meet the challenges of a changing market.

Cooperation with other entrepreneurs, communities and networks.

Business cooperation with other mentors. Creating a joint product or service.

Networking and active participation in online and in-person entrepreneurial communities.

Exploiting the opportunities of the online world for your business. Consciously embracing, strengthening and developing the role of entrepreneurship.

Summary of the FEMskill entrepreneurship mentoring programme experienced based on the experience of the project in Hungary and Austria

Austrian experiences What are the barriers in the entrepreneurial mentoring process? • Some mentees are difficult to reach due to overload (role conflict wo­ man/mother/household). This role conflict has been made more difficult by working from home due to Covid’s legal obligation. • The business idea needs to be rethought - little focus, poorly calculated, little time budgeted. More planning was needed.

The unpredictable factor - the impact of the Covid situation on the start-up and the entrepreneur in the FEMskill entrepreneur mentoring process: • Replanning needed • Finding focus - agreeing and reviewing achievable goals. • Change of attitude – pay attention from the mentee’s point of view • Not to set too high expectations. • Consultation with mentees time consuming. • Making mentored available to me. • Finding a good rhythm in collaboration.

Hungarian experiences Challenges for start-ups according to FEMskill mentees (not ranked) • Setting up a strategy to achieve your business goals.

municating with them.

• Capital to start and sustain the business.

• Building collaborations, re­ lationships with other entrepre­ neurs.

• Sustainability - adapting to circum­ stances.

• Self-knowledge to help embrace entrepreneurship.

• Innovation - responding quickly to market changes.

• Continuous professional develop­ ment as an entrepreneur to keep up with challenges.

• Market expansion, adapting to new challenges in the market. • Customer acquisition/market acquisition issues. • Demand creation. • Introduction of automation due to changing consumer habits. • Expanding to grow - recruitment issues.

• Time management. • Reconciliation with family. • Me-time, in the life of the entrepre­ neur. • Existence of trust re­ lationships.

• Competitor versus partner versus customer establishing and com­

How has entrepreneurship mentoring helped you to become an entrepreneur? • Practicing self-knowledge, learning to say „NO”, and translating the idea of „I am good” into self-knowledge processes. • Partnership, respect from the entrepreneurial mentor and other business colla­ borations, as well as communication from the family, will also help and strengthen the entrepreneurial role of the novice woman entrepreneur. • Entrepreneurship awareness: „I know who I am, what I want, how I want it.” • Opportunity for continuous development through entrepreneurial mentoring, training, supervision, collaboration and building business relationships.

FEMskill’s support community has played a key role throughout the project to en­ sure that the start-up entrepreneurs are able to sustain their entrepreneurial lifestyle during the Covid period.

Presentation of FEMskill mentor and mentored Excellence Award Winners

The power of excellence „What took you 10 years might have taken you 5 years with the right guidance.” /Robert Greene

The following is a description of the requirements for the FEMskill Mentor of Excellence Award, which the participating entrepreneurs, together with the project partners, have set up during the project.

FEMskill Mentor of Excellence Award requirements The entrepreneurial mentor has and/or seeks to acquire and practice entrepreneur­ ial competences, such as: broad business experience; business development expe­ rience; communication skills (communicating and sharing); business contacts; life experience (a combination of lived age and events). The mentor is motivated at the start of the project and helps to maintain the motiva­ tion of the mentee throughout the project. His/her motivation results in openness, attention to needs, taking time to collaborate (also with other mentors). She provides professional support and is characterized by a desire for a win-win situation. The mentor accepts and prefers that the mentee is a woman. It provides a safety net and the mentor’s personal experience helps the mentee to become an entrepreneur. It supports the mentee as a person and as an entrepreneur in achieving her goals, learning and development. The mentor does this on a voluntary basis.

The winners of the FEMskill Mentor Excellence Awards

Austria Sonja Javorics

entrepreneurial mentor Activity life and social counselling www.lebensberatung-javorics.at

Her Motto „Viele kleine Teilchen ergeben ein großes Ganzes.“ Fordítás „Many small particles make a big whole“

„Ich denke meine Mentee ist zufrieden und macht großartige Fortschritte. Meine Mentee nimmt meine Unterstützung gerne an. Ich konnte mit ihr gut arbeiten. Laut dem positiven Feedback meiner Mentee, glaube ich, dass ich in meiner Rolle effektiv war.“ „I think my mentor is pleased and has made great strides forward. My mentor is happy to have my support. I was able to work well with him. Based on the positive feedback from my mentor, I think I have been effective in my role.”

Sonja Javorics is mentored in the FEMskill project by Jasmine Stipits, who wrote this about her: “Die Mentorin ist gut vorbereitet und ihre Methoden waren für mich perfekt.“ „The mentor was well prepared, and her methods were perfect for me.“

Hungary The Hungarian project partners of the FEMskill project have decided to award the FEMskill Mentor Excellence Award to each of the Hungarian entrepreneurial men­ tors who volunteer in the project for their more than a year of persistent and effective entrepreneurial mentoring.

FEMskill Mentor Excellence Award winners and their businesses Eszter Cseriné Hatoss, www.cseripinceszet.hu Zsuzsanna Etlné Fehér, www.colourcoaching.hu Szilvia Farkas, FB Kreatív-Otthon Pannonhalma Judit Karakai, www.variawood.hu Ildikó Kránitzné Rikker, www.diszuvegplaza.hu Vilmos Marczali, www.reklamunio.hu Tamás Molnár, www.pannako.hu Ágnes Varju-Katona, www.creative-coaching.hu

FEMskill Mentored Excellence Award In the FEMskill project, one mentee from both Austria and Hungary was selected as the winner, based on the following criteria. • He/she is open, motivated, and proactive. • Committed, the mentor is committed to learning and development. • Empowered in his/her role as an entrepreneur and has demonstrated business development. • Seeks entrepreneurial collaboration with other mentors or mentees. • Respects, values, and interacts with their entrepreneurial mentor. • Reliability, adherence to deadlines and active participation in the mentoring process. • Takes an active role in the FEMskill community.

Austria Ester Passoni mentee

Activity advertising design, web design, illustration www.ackoni.at

Ester Passoni’s entrepreneurial mentor: Anna Schumann (www.annaschumann.at)

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift... that’s why they call it present” Eleanor Roosevelt

„Ich habe das Gefühl, dass ich in diesem Jahr viel praktisches Wissen erworben habe. Meine Mentorin ist sehr bemüht und sie gibt mir nach wie vor sehr viele Tipps. Ich bin sehr froh, dass ich als Mentee im Programm teilnehmen durfte. „I feel that I have gained a lot of practical knowledge this year. My mentor took a lot of effort to give me a lot of tips. I am happy to have been a mentor in this program.”

Hungary Judit Fekete mentee

Judit Fekete’s entrepreneurial mentor is Tamás Molnár (www.pannako.hu)

Activity virtual assistance and event management www.feketejuditonline.hu „What you can dream, you can achieve!”

„I got what I wanted. A safety net, an expe­ rienced businessman to ask questions of. I’ve improved a lot, my approach to things has changed, which has given me confidence and strength. I feel I have found myself.”

FEMskill Mentoring Pair Excellence Award Ongoing and good communication is essential in an ideal mentor-mentee relationship, because honest and open communication is the foundation of the mentor-mentee relationship. Feedback in both directions is important. Trust and confidentiality are essential, as sharing business secrets in confidence can be important for making things concrete. Mutual respect should be seen as the basis of the relationship, whereby the parties listen to accept and respect each other’s opinions. The ideal mentor-mentee relationship is more of a partnership than a subordinate and superior relationship, not a master and disciple relationship, but a mutual exchange of ideas and connection, in which the mentor provides guidance and opportunities, which the mentee receives with an open heart and an open mind, honoring the experience and knowledge that the mentor is passing on. Basic sympathy and discussion of a common goal are inevitable, but so are deadlines and reliability. It is also important to recognize that each mentor pair and each relationship is unique and specific, so while following the core values, the process of collaboration between mentor and mentee can be unique.

Keywords trust, respect, sympathy, common purpose, communication, cooperation

Subjective aspects

Objective aspects

• The existence and implementation of a willingness to cooperate. • Partnership and co-responsibility. • Humility and faith in each other. • Trust and reciprocity. • Being physically present and attentive to the process. • Formulating a common purpose. • Both parties to be open and motivated, proactive. • To be inspired by each other. • Honesty (with each other and with themselves - bringing in outside help (supervisor) if there is a problem). • Use common communication channels. • Ability to respect time frames. • Enjoy working together, the role of humor in the process. • Safety net, the mentor’s personal experience helping to overcome any fears the mentee may have. • Strengthening both parties as entrepreneurs.

• Commitment - the mentored per­ son commits to learning and devel­ opment, and the mentor supports them. • Business plan review - for crisis situations, crisis situations, devel­ oping extra elements. • Sharing of relationship capital. • Where the mentor has progressed from where he/she is in the goals set, how far he/she has achieved the goals set. • Attraction management - help to develop a specific product or service. • Strengthening entrepreneurship and business development.

Austria On the Austrian side, the FEMskill Mentor Pair of Excellence Award was awarded by the project partners to a mixed mentor pair with an Austrian entrepreneur mentor and a Hungarian mentee. This mixed mentor pair is both a result and a product of bilateral cooperation in the project, showing that cross-border entrepreneurship is possible even in a difficult period for Covid, if the start-up entrepreneur is in the right industry and has the right support in the person of an entrepreneurial mentor. Du­ ring this time, Barbara Goda was mentored by Anja Haider-Wallner, who also started her business in Austria with the supportive guidance of mentor Anja Haider-Wallner.


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Activity business consulting, web design, gastronomy www.anjahaiderwallner.at; www.freu-raum.at „Verwirkliche dir dein optimales Berufsleben!“ „Make the most of your professional life!”

„Ich bin zufrieden. Teilweise, da durch die Regierungsmaßnahmen, die Durchfü­ hrung nicht immer möglich war. Ich habe meine Kompetenzen erweitert und habe von meiner Mentee viel gelernt. Ich bin offener und kann besser zuhören. Ich konnte meine Mentee unterstützen. Sie ist hochmotiviert.“ ‚I am satisfied. Due the government’s action, implementation was not always possible in part. I have increased my competences and learned a lot from my mentee. I am more open and I able to listen better. I was able to support my mentee. Barbara is very motivated.”



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Activity photography www.goda-photography.com Believe so firmly in what you want that you have no choice but to make it happen! „Glaub so fest an das, was du willst, dass du keine andere Wahl hast, als es zu verwirklichen!”

„Ich habe viele meiner Ziele erreicht und arbeite fleißig an meine Nächs­ ten. Ich habe anfangs Schwierigkeiten und Hemmungen, wenn es darum ging, dass ich Deutsch spreche. Mittlerweile fühle ich mich sicherer. Ich habe eine sehr engagierte Mentorin.“ ‚I have achieved several of my goals and I am still working hard on the next one. Initially I experienced it as a difficulty and a barrier to speak German, but since then I feel more confident. I have a very dedicated mentor.”


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Activity wine making, marketing www.cseripinceszet.hu

„I was already very happy with the selection, the task was tangible for me, I could see it from the outside, I admired his knowledge with respect. I have become a regular con­ sumer of his product. I am proud, I feel the achievement is a common child. The most important things are her credibility, her qua­ lification, and her knowledge, which prove her credibility and qualify her as a profession. She is open, she has taken my advice, there is no question of her commitment, because this is her life. Her attitude is unquestionably positive.”

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Activity Spice and herb cultivation, processing www.sudarbirtok.hu

There is only one knowledge, the rest is just a patchwork: the earth below you, the sky is above you, the ladder is inside you” Sándor Weöres

„I had the best mentor for me, we work in a similar field, so she was able to help me a lot more than others could have because of her professional background. She was always there when I needed her, gave constructive criticism of me and my business, gave me lots of ideas and guided me through every step of my development. My mentor and I have developed a mutual respect: she respects me as a mother and family reunion, and I respect her as an entrepreneur, an innovator who is always able to innovate and push the boundaries. We complement each other well and have learned a lot from each other over the past year. I think we are both open to a possible future collaboration.”

Feedback on FEMskill entrepreneurship mentoring „For me, the mentoring process was a learning period. As an absolute beginner entrepreneur, the positive guide set by the mentor and the continuous safety net provided by her were the biggest help for me.” Dr. Edit Anna Kokas, mentee “It has been a very exciting process, to see that there has been visible progress from meeting to meeting. I learned a lot. It was also good for my confidence and self-belief to be able to represent my business with the right determination and confidence. My feelings and experiences are fully positive. My mentor brought a change in approach to my business: structured thinking using different models and methods.” Dr. Márta Kővári Horváth, mentee

“Congratulations to all the mentors, they have come a very nice way. I wish them to be persistent in making their dream come true. Believe me, being an entrepreneur is not always fun and games, but that’s the way it should be. I wish they could learn from their failures and difficulties, as these are the milestones, they can make the most of. Sometimes stop for a moment, take a breath, look around and take stock, give thanks for yourself, for what you have achieved. Be patient with yourself. The grass is not always greener on the other side, have faith in yourself and your abilities. I am very proud of everyone. I am grateful to Rita Potápi and Sándor Borbély for the energy and work they put into the project. Thank you for being a part of the process, thank you for giving me a chance even though the fact that I felt uncertain about my faith in the beginning. I hope I have delivered what you expected of me. I am grateful to my mentor I have improved a lot through you. Thank you for letting me get to know you and for walking this sometimes fun, sometimes bumpy, and winding road with me. Thank you so much for everything.” Ágnes Varju-Katona, entrepreneurial mentor

Advice for Start-up entrepreneurs • Find an experienced entrepreneur to mentor! Ask him or her to be your mentor! • Be open and listen carefully to his or her experiences! • Mentors help you grow faster and avoid common mistakes. Use mentors’ knowledge and take their guidance! • It’s always your decision, because you are in charge of your business! • Be grateful for the guidance you receive! Thank your mentor for their time and patience.

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