Ancuța Berindei is one of the eight entrepreneurs supported by Civitas Foundation, from the Start-up@CENTRU program. Started in 2018, the project is funded with European funds through the Operational Programme Human Capital. The project aims to create a favorable framework for people interested in starting a business to develop entrepreneurship skills and set up a non-agriculture business in the urban area. About the program and about all eight businesses supported by Civitas Foundation, we wrote more here.
For this time, our attention is focused on one of the entrepreneurs from this program, Ancuța, a brave entrepreneur who dared to make a change where there was a need for.
Your business started from a collective need – a playground for the children of Câmpeni (Alba). What motivated you to create such a place?
It all started from my experiences with my little boy in different playgrounds. Those experiences were also backed up by my need to let him stay somewhere where he can be safe and play together with other children.
Câmpeni does not have such a playground and so I become motivated to create one. I want to give children and parents an easy and beautiful life. I want to provide them safety and assure them their child develops intellectually and emotionally, socializes and enjoys recreative and funny activities. All of the above in a safe place, where he can not be in danger. This’s the most important thing.
Besides the playground itself, you want to prove that games are an efficient tool in education. How do you propose to convince the parents that their children can develop social and emotional abilities through games?
The child can learn and practice daily his social and emotional skills by interacting with other children and grown-ups. To assimilate the proper social behaviors, children need a learning context where they can find rules, patience, and understanding from grown-ups.
We organize different interactive and creative games to develop their social and emotional skills. The child plays with others, practices his/her hobbies, invents new games or just follows simple rules. In this way, they learn to recognize and express their own feelings while becoming aware of others emotions. The power of example is the best – the child can see the other’s behavior and starts to communicate better. He starts to stay without the parents and becomes more independent, he learns to initiate and keep a friendship. He learns to share toys and play by the rules – becoming able to respect social rules.
How much inspires you your relationship with your child in developing this business?
It’s inspires me a lot. Actually, he is the reason I started this business. Like any mom, I wanted to spend more time with my child and this business is the right thing to do. When I need to go to the office, I can take my child with me without problems. I arranged a special place for 0-3 years old children where they can create an entire village – they have a slide, a pool with balls, a swing, and a little house. Building together, the grown-ups and children become reliable partners in a funny and educational game. The child is playing and is learning, developing himself/herself and his personality. My role as a parent is to give my child unconditional love, to build a safe place for him where he can grow. Our children learn by example and we are their models.
Piticii Zâmbăreți is an inclusive playground? How do you integrate into the daily activities the children with special needs?
These children need to socialize and collaborate with others every day to integrate better in society. Our people encourage friendship and communication between all the children. The activities have particular themes that develop competitive spirit, teamwork, and confidence in own abilities. These children need to be encouraged to live with other children, to develop common activities in order to gain skills which will help them adapt and integrate easily in society.
During the Start-up@CENTRU program, besides funding, you’ve had courses and mentoring sessions to develop entrepreneurial skills and update the business plan in a business model that can be applied. How important is to have a mentor when you start a business and how does this experience help you?
My mentor was my guardian angel. Is very good to have such an attending when you start a business. Is not that easy at the beginning, especially when you need to overcome many challenges. An experienced person is very welcomed when you do not have the answers to your questions. It is amazing as an entrepreneur to have a person with whom you can talk anything about your business. A mentor gives you advice, helps you to see another perspective of the business and overcome your limits. My mentor is the support of my business, is exactly what I need at that moment. It’s the person who had helped to make the first steps.