Students establish four pop-up restaurants across Europe
Encouraging entrepreneurship among students is crucial to giving them the confidence to start new companies and boost their chances of success. An Erasmus+ project inspired and guided students to establish pop-up restaurants in four European restaurants.
Four schools took part in the project, each choosing five students and two teachers to attend workshops in Italy, Spain, Finland and Latvia. They were coached by restaurant entrepreneurs who passed on their skills and business experience.
Project coordinator Mina Jalonen recalled that behind the project was this idea to promote entrepreneurship ‘with something new and fun.’ Teachers and coordinators involved had a chance to create new methods for teaching entrepreneurship at vocational education and training schools, while students had an opportunity to dive into the business world by setting up their own restaurants. This way, they also gained knowledge of the different food-related cultures around Europe.
A project participant said:
I learnt that you don’t have to be scared when you do something new with people you don’t know. I also learnt a lot about entrepreneurship and communicating with people from other countries.
Students were tasked with planning the restaurant from the business idea to the menus and staff uniforms, setting up the restaurant, marketing it, running it for two days, looking after clients and then evaluating their experience.
The project increased cooperation between schools and students, helping them to network and potentially work together on business opportunities.
The project has been continued with a new Erasmus+ initiative called ‘Culinary Caravan on the Move’, through which students create street food pop-up restaurants.
Key facts and figures
Project title - Kick off to entrepreneurship with pop up company
Lead organisation - Helmi Liiketalousopisto Oy
Location - Helsinki, Finland
Duration - 2014-2016
EU grant - €183,470
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Photo: © Helmi Liiketalousopisto Oy