Briefly describe your path as an entrepreneur since you started the university. What did you do in these almost 3/4 years?
When I first joined EA, I had no clue about what business I wanted to start or want I wanted to do. In the 1st year, I initiated and joined several projects that attracted me, at first, at least. Looking back, I realise that I was actually looking to discover myself, my passions and the field in which I could have the greatest impact.
In the 2nd year, I got involved in the wellness industry and I worked as a personal trainer, as one of my goals was to open a fitness centre. Afterwards, I came to the conclusion that this was only a hobby for me and trying to monetise it would be a mistake.
At the end of the 2nd year, I joined Fabrica de Experimente as a co-founder. This was a social business that focused on delivering learning experiences for the little change-maker within every kid through science kits. I spent almost two years in this project and developed several skills such as public speaking and collaboration, but decided to exit because I felt I had to start a project of my own, a project that suited my overall vision. And this is when Rawmantic was “born”.
In the 4th year, I started working really hard on launching Rawmantic: one of the first raw-vegan “bakeries” in Bucharest. We design and create raw-vegan, guilt-free desserts for the ones that always have a sweet tooth but do not want to eat something unhealthy. Our mission is simple: to make a difference in people’s health through plant-based desserts.
What milestones have you reached in the last 3/4 years? Please describe each of them individually and include relevant numbers.
I managed to close 2 big B2B contracts for Fabrica de Experimente which involved selling 700+ science kits to two Romanian multinationals and made science fun for more children.
Won an entrepreneurial competition organised by Telekom Romania and received 6000 EUR & a budget of 10.000 EUR for advertising.
Introduced the science kits in every Carturesti shop in Romania. This increased our visibility and brand awareness.
Grew Rawmantic from a business that only had 10 orders per month to one that has around 175-200 on average. This is something, considering that we are only two co-founders and have no employees. We will end this year with a revenue of 35.000 EUR.It all started in a small kitchen and now we have our own lab in a central area in Bucharest and recurring customers that love and promote our products. For us, this was a great milestone, because it is the final proof that a business is doing something good: customers talk about it without being rewarded or incentivised.
One of the greatest achievements that I had with Rawmantic involves introducing our products, namely healthy snacks, protein bites and small cookies in some of the coolest cafes in Bucharest. The partnerships will begin in January ’21.
What is the ROI (return on investment) when it comes to the cost of the university? Was it worth it? Why?
A different me. A Miruna 2.0. I am a totally different person now compared to what I was like when I joined EA 4 years ago. Miruna 1.0, the shy, scared, not-so-talkative girl “grew” into a strong, determined, gritty woman that is no longer afraid to go after whatever she wants in life, personally or professionally. I became aware of who I am and what I can achieve. I think this is one of the greatest things that this university taught me: to be fearless and pursue the most challenging and risky paths. Not only do they not scare me anymore, I enjoy the thrill of always doing something new and learning constantly.
I used to take time and write down my objectives for month, quarter or year. And they sounded pretty much like:
“Reach …. EUR in sales this quarter” or “Launch 3 new products until the 1st of January”. As crucial and valuable they are, on one hand, as useless, if not supported by some behavioural traits or real-life skills. Everyone can set overarching, audacious goals. But it takes patience, hard-work, grit, perseverance and passion to make it through and actually achieve them. Therefore, EA showed me the importance of being self-aware and completely blunt with yourself. So: aim high, but make sure you have a solid “foundation” that will enable you to get there.
I honestly consider that EA was worth every single penny. I am surrounded of smart, hard-working individuals, real change-makers. I have the necessary skills to achieve everything I set my mind to. I met some of the greatest people here; and these relationships will remain for life.
How did the colleagues, experts or university staff influence your development as an entrepreneur?
I think that every single one of them said or did the right thing at the right time. Words and actions matter tremendously for me. They pushed me to improve constantly until I reached this version of myself. A version that I am actually proud of. At least for now. They believed in me when I thought I could not achieve something. And it really made a difference.
If you were to do it again, what would you do differently?
I would definitely start sooner. I would risk more. Take more initiatives and definitely learn to ask better questions. I would not join a project out of fear that I cannot handle starting one of my own. I would focus more on building a startup, rather than having the highest GPA. In the end, it is all about what you do and what actions you take.
What piece of advice would you have for a young student looking for the ideal university/interested in studying business?
You might not know what you want to do with your life. Do not worry- most of us don’t. And it’s fine, as long as you keep asking yourself that question and once you feel you have the right answer, don’t ever stop chasing that job, career or path. No one will do it for you. If you are looking for the ideal university, look no further. If you are a 24/24 hustler and feel passionate about having your own startup and building something on your own, do yourself a favour and join The Entrepreneurship Academy. Along with your colleagues and teachers, you will write on of the most beautiful chapters of your life. 🙂