Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in language education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Marzia Trotta, Co-Owner of Passepartout, located in Milan, Italy.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We’ve been a school of Italian as a foreign language since 1996. We have been teaching Italian for 26 years, and this has allowed us to create a very effective method for learning the Italian language. In 2020 we developed a totally asynchronous learning platform: www.italiandistancelearning.it
This platform is designed for people willing to learn Italian and to use it: we don’t teach only a few sentences or vocabulary, but we give the tools to build real skills. Either through the platform or through the classes, we do our best to awaken in our students the possibility of acquiring something for the rest of their life.
Tell us about yourself
My business partner, Roberto Cittadini, and I started in 1992 teaching Italian as volunteers for immigrants. We realized that learning the language was the most important instrument for foreign people to get integrated into Italian reality. The foundation of the school in 1996 was a brave decision since we didn’t have a strong financial background. Nevertheless, the school has grown stronger year after year, and we’ve found our way into the Educational sector. What inspires us in our life is to keep in mind that in daily life, you can always do something useful for others by combining business with the human touch.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being teachers and owners of an Educational Institution, our greatest daily pleasure is to see our students mastering the Italian language. We reach these results thanks to our team, a community of people willing to share their expertise and grow in a spirit of mutual respect, tolerance, grace, and good humor.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
There are moments throughout a working lifetime when to keep your business alive and make it thrive, you have to break the daily business routine and align human and financial resources and marketing strategy to a new task to an accomplice, a new target to reach.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Develop and offer something innovative.
- Form a good team of people to share your adventure with.
- Do not ignore difficulties but don’t be overwhelmed by them.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Considering our personal experience, it has been difficult as business owners to acquire and constantly refine the capacity to adapt to a new reality: when you are a business owner, you can’t get stuck in the past!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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