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How did you have this idea?
One example of it: as I mentioned before I scheduled meetings to show to everyone that I didnt come to Porto to start any competition, but to add a legal service to Porto as the majority of the landlords were renting the houses on an ilegal way which werent protecting at all the students who lived at their houses. I had this meeting where the board of this association promissed me that they would make their best to make a friendly partnership and then after that 1 thing happened:
- At the Facebook group of this association, they blocked all the announcements from my rooms and they blocked me on that group which made me to have to be creative to make my announcements to achieve the international students. They thought they would stop my project doing this, but in fact they just showed to me how much they feared the fact that my project being legal, all their sidekick dark businesses would be in jeopardy; This just gave me the right motivation to not care about them at all, and to be even more motivated to continue to develop my project.
To not loose much more time talking about how sad and common these episodes were, coming always from the same group of people, who have on their budgets funds, that are paid with money from our government which implies immediately that it is money from people who actually work and pay their taxes to be applied on associations who should help the portuguese culture to develop and to be better understood by the rest of the world. These were my first difficulties. Now its funny because it is people, associations, and institutions, that eventually embraced my project, mainly because you cannot talk about international students accommodation in Porto, without talking about M2Students. We host 2% of the international students in Porto per year, ALL LEGAL,with contracts and legal receipts of their payments being at this moment spreaded through all over the city, as you can see in the map.
Who helped us?
Through these very long 3 years, there were many people who helped me to make this project possible:
Telmo Ferreira, my best friend, who started the company with me, and made our idea and these entire project to become a reality;
Sofia Miró: Who cooperated with M2Students, for 1 year and a half, helping many new projects that seemed impossible to become possible;
Luca Lanotte: one of my best friends, who created our Logo, and who was responsible for the design of the company;
Ilaria Gianola: Responsible for the design at the last year, creating our fliers, and who made our beautiful and difficult map of M2Students;
Fish Surf School: they believed in my project and they made a special unique price for the M2Students residents. We even have a free surf group lesson for our residents, which never happened before in Porto and these were the happy students who got our free lesson:
Partnerships were important?
Yes, along these 3 years, we made a short list of the most important needs of our students and we got the perfect combination of partnerships:
Fish Surf School was the first and keeps being a partnership I respect a lot.
Sabiamente Language School, which gives a 10 per cent discount to our residents at the portuguese language course, and as I could observe, all the students go out of the course knowing how to speak portuguese with a very good level of knowleddge about my mother tongue;
Adega Leonor and Armazém do Chá, who believed that together we could make better and safer parties to the International Students. We do have now the best prices, and references about international students parties;
AIESEC: we have been hosting the AIESEC interns and volunteers along these 3 years, and it was with them that we learned how to host big groups of students, learning to be more efficient every year.
Handpick, is an association who creates cultural activities that amazes all the participants, who learn a lot about the portuguese culture.
Other partnerships have been made, but I just want to mention the ones that are more used by our students, mentioning already that we respect all the partnerships on the same level, even the ones that are not mentioned here.
Are you happy with the results?