social entrepreneurs fighting

climate change

Luka Minić, English educator, translator, freelance writer, tourist guide, and entrepreneu, Montenegro

This article was first published in 2019 in the Entrepreneurial Mindset Network eZINE Volume 4 no 3

Luka Minić is an English educator, translator, freelance writer, tourist guide, and entrepreneur. Based in Montenegro, he is a firm believer in, and an enthusiast for, the power of the entrepreneurial mindset.

In this interview, Luka explains how he first became interested in entrepreneurship and how a pre-accelerator programme helped him to develop his innovative idea for an enterprise to create societal change.

How did you first become interested in entrepreneurship?

I have always wanted to become someone who provides solutions, due to seeing the enormous number of things that don’t work properly!

I have always enjoyed being creative in my personal realm of books, writing, and theatre (a cozy room with a library and a TV).  In my career, despite many job opportunities, the moment came when I decided I no longer wanted to work for a minimum wage. A crucial opportunity was waiting around the corner…

Image credit: Dejan Radulović

What was this new opportunity?

At the end of 2019 I saw a public application for young entrepreneurs and innovators. In the blink of an eye my application followed and I waited. 

First, there was the intelligence test, then presenting ideas. Out of 50 ideas, 25 were supposed to be in the final round. My first idea did not fit what they were looking for but I was ready to adapt and to learn.  I knew I wanted to learn more about how to write a business plan,  When I was finally accepted, I felt reborn.  Every day was suddenly filled with motivation and a constant desire for improvement. 

What is Earth Soldiers?

It is an eco summer camp based in Montenegro.  We want to practically educate children on the alternatives in the fight against climate change. The plan is to open the camp next year, expand it after some time and possibly start a franchise throughout Europe. More than that, we hope to grow the summer camp into a sustainable farm.  Agriculture is an industry that needs to improve its sustainability. 

What do you hope to achieve?

We aim to educate youth on climate solutions and involve them in entrepreneurship, by creating things out of recycled material and then selling those products. Our long term goal is to reduce CO2 and methane emissions, to produce organic food and store clean energy from solar panels.

What was your experience of the EIT Jumpstarter pre-accelerator programme?

It was really beneficial. Great mentors, useful advice, constant talk and mentoring.  Everything was online but it was fun, really functional and stimulating. You get to hear so many ideas, do various tasks regarding your own idea and get feedback all the time. You learn a lot!

What is next for Earth Soldiers?

We are slowly gaining manpower, as well as external partners.  We have applied to the RISE program, which supports social entrepreneurs.  At the same time, we are preparing presentations to show to our Ministry of Education and Sustainable Development in the hope of getting funding and support.

What advice would you give somebody thinking about trying to become an entrepreneur?

If you are ready for a continuous effort and improvement, able to overcome disappointments and can be persistent, then go for it! 

It is an everyday struggle, but also a ceaseless growth. Don’t expect results over night, it’s not going to happen. It takes time and resources, but in the end you are doing something truly unique and valuable. 

And read the book ‘’Entrepreneurial Mindset” by Paul Coyle. It stimulates your current mindset and expands it, making it resourceful and inventive. ◼️