Final transnational project meeting of the project “United colors of young European businessmen” in Madeira, Portugal, 18th January – 20th January 2023

Madeira – a sub-tropical volcanic island 500 kilometers off the coast of Morocco and settled long ago by Portuguese explorers – was the final destination of our project “United Colors of Young European Businessmen”(2020-1-ESO1-KA227-SCH-095202).

Two main business activities of islanders are tourism and food production (from the sea and from the plantations). The Portuguese host suggested to get a close look at both with our own eyes. So, our first visit was to Cabo Girão, a place with an incredible view of the ocean, and if I remember correctly, then also the highest cliff of Europe. Then we were off to a fishing village Câmara de Lobos– a nice quaint settlement with colorful boats and the main income being scabbard – a fish that can only be caught at night. During the daytime, as we were told, the fishermen relax and get a glass of a local drink called poncha, made with lemons, honey or sugar, and aguardente. Our last visit was to Curral das Freiras – another area in the middle of the mountains with a breathtaking view. As an Estonian it always amazes me how people have managed to pave roads through huge mountains and live – basically – in the middle of nowhere, yet still enjoying all the luxuries of city life and if not even a better view than the mainlanders.

After an exciting day full of sightseeing and meeting the hardworking locals, we were finally able to sit down and discuss the ins and outs of our final report. We have still some tasks to do and all partners agreed that we are in line with our project’s objectives and will complete it as initially planned. What an exciting experience full of new knowledge about entrepreneurship and business plans it has been since our first TPM in Salobreña in Spain, for students and teachers alike!

Next day, after riding up in a cable car and visiting Monte Palace Gardens, we had the incredible chance to ride down the mountain in a wickerwork car (Toboggan), which to us, Estonians, seemed like a sleighride, just without the snow. Apparently, this traditional method of travelling down the mountain in basket sledges dates back to the early 19th century where they were used as a means of transport by the local residents who wanted to travel quickly from the village of Monte to the city of Funchal. About 20 to 30 drivers were dispatched at a time and gave tourists (old and young!) a very memorable experience. Another unique way of employment! Alas, the cherry on top was the last activity of the day – a visit to the local Monte elementary school, where we were greeted by singing and dancing children wearing traditional Madeiran costumes. This tear-jerking moment will be engraved in our memories forever. During the extraordinary reception, new partnership plans were made and many aspects of the Erasmus+ opportunities discussed.

During the last day we had the chance to visit another school – Campanario school, with a spectacular view of the sea and hallways painted with depictions starting from the Big Bang and finishing with the present time. We were welcomed in an art class where we could communicate with the local students and try out different techniques of drawing. I, for example, drew a Madeiran lizard using the stippling method. Although the students could not speak English very well, they cleverly used their tablets and Google translate to ask how I can draw so well. I just laughed and told them skills come with age. After a nice refreshing walk with our dear P.E. teacher Elisabete, we went to Centro Social Paroquial do Carmo – a great example of social entrepreneurship – an institution funded by the church to provide basic food, health and hygiene opportunities for the less fortunate and elderly people, who do not have much to do at home. We learned a lot how social entrepreneurship started from a humble idea to provide social healthcare for people with lesser opportunities, and then expanded into an enterprise which creates value for the whole community.

Madeira island is small in size but huge at heart. It was such a wonder to see an island with spectacular views and nature, and how they have used these aspects to generate their main income from tourism.

Entrepreneurship at its finest!

Written by Berit

41cdea07-9fc7-4a23-a26d-20f0901dc45a 444ffbbd-7236-4080-8dc9-e5f68a0ad2e9 320925730_1491566174706044_3211412556858756908_n 321293061_767696300892351_9205175276558162816_n 321306356_721636399361004_1328253206318579695_n 321689068_552253880171880_321374887456593238_n 326945523_740982040588577_6385193327194813842_n 329035309_1987915184885869_8540631255098856073_n 329133344_572809511410035_4856848334481827783_n 329139217_1362281711205598_7785458353498447967_n 329203536_517357937201053_6090830833653943725_n 329235746_914119323104641_61271932004257596_n 329285438_746852940369244_1247944858041478596_n 329290191_725342489184214_2884789184691394203_n 329312973_873364740562665_6729769367279048536_n 329337481_1575497869619571_5806679321618814257_n 329341566_630829185512838_7776305271941992219_n 329343044_1315967795631032_619903056037435675_n 329347595_2818576028276374_4732962015367173993_n 329352502_741363277267274_6760717785558626997_n 329353943_1458495594959972_6600425755711161085_n 329365293_679469077197307_6671821224880837374_n 329376274_1671292226661792_5802548667845332920_n AC609610-3314-44E3-879A-7A75ABFBF263 D51BF3BA-B00D-4C46-9CB1-18D2A8EEA284 DE09C806-973D-4ACE-93B3-415EE60D1787 IMG_7786%20%282%29