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Entrepreneurial Insights: Founder of Neighbour Magazine Shares Her Story

The internet is overflowing with motivational quotes, advice, tips and tricks for entrepreneurs. Rightly so, given that there are 582 million entrepreneurs in the world today!

While business textbooks and courses can train and educate, by far the most powerful insights, in our opinion, come from the stories of fellow entrepreneurs sharing their passions, plans and experiences. Every entrepreneurial adventure is unique, and every story is ripe with the potential to motivate, inspire and help you side-step the bumps others have encountered along the way.

One such inspiring entrepreneur is Kasia Krzyzanowski, a passionate and motivated nature-lover, and the founder of Neighbour Magazine.

Left to right: Lisa Tsumakova (social media manager), Kasia Krzyzanowski (founder)

The Grand Duchy and its surrounding regions are home to many initiatives admirably working towards making our world a more sustainable place. Unfortunately, many of these inspiring projects and places are relatively unknown to the general population.

Neighbour Magazine is a print and digital magazine that shines a light on these projects and the people behind them, with the aim to not only educate its readers, but also to inspire them to incorporate sustainable living into their own lives.

Kasia believes that creating awareness around local initiatives and solutions can play an impactful role in combatting the environmental crisis that we face and can help steer us towards a more sustainable future.

Somewhere in between running her business, pursuing a degree in ecology, writing for the magazine and parenting her two children, Kasia found the time to tell us a bit about her entrepreneurial journey and her experience with coworking in Luxembourg.

Hello Kasia, thanks for doing this interview with us!

Thanks for inviting me!

Neighbour Magazine is such an inspiring undertaking. Tell us a bit about it and how you came up with the concept?

As an expat in Luxembourg, I felt that there were a lot of interesting things going on in the area of sustainable development and sustainable living, but that many projects were quite hidden from the general public. With the growing interest in living more sustainably, I wanted to be able to showcase these small but inspiring projects dotted all around the region, while reaching an English-speaking audience. This led to the creation of Neighbour Magazine, a quarterly print and digital publication focused on Luxembourg and the Greater Region. The first issue came out this November!

How many people currently work at Neighbour Magazine, and what kind of working space do you primarily use?

Besides me and a newly hired intern, everyone who works on the magazine is a freelancer, from the photographers, writers and designers, to the social media manager. Everyone works from home or from their respective studios, but for meetings we go to a coworking space.

Many say the entrepreneurial journey can be tough for a number of reasons. What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced when launching and building up Neighbour Magazine?

Although I have been a freelance writer for a number of years and also have some web design experience, the process of putting together a physical magazine was new to me, and there was (and still is) a lot to learn, from planning out and printing the magazine, to running an online shop and finding retailers. Starting a business, a SARL-S in this case, also has many different administrative, accounting, and legal requirements compared to simply being a freelancer, and it’s important to do each step correctly.

What are some of the tactics that you use to overcome these challenges?

I have been enjoying learning while doing but have outsourced some areas to experts from the start, including the accounting and social media marketing. Speaking with other entrepreneurs has also been really helpful, from getting recommendations on useful tools to learning from their experiences with administrative procedures.

What would you say has been one of your most memorable moments on your entrepreneurial journey thus far?

The best experience I’ve had so far was the launch party for the magazine, a week after the first print issue came out. After months of hard work, it was amazing to finally see the physical magazine in the hands of the readers, contributors, and interviewees, and to get so much support and positive feedback from everyone!

What sparked you to book a coworking space the first time?

I’ve been a fan of coworking spaces from the moment I first heard of the concept many years ago. When I arrived in Luxembourg from Toronto 12 years ago, they didn’t really exist here, but now there are so many to choose from! I first used a coworking space to host meetings for a non-profit project, and as a freelancer I use them to have a place to work in the city as well as to meet with clients or collaborators.

Have you experienced any particular benefits or positive effects of working in a coworking space that you did not expect before you started using them?

Anytime I go to a coworking space, it’s almost guaranteed that I’ll meet someone new and learn about a new project or concept, even if I wasn’t expecting to.

As an entrepreneur who makes use of coworking spaces, what are some of the key benefits that you find in coworking solutions versus a traditional office? And versus working from home?

The key benefits for me are flexibility, affordability, and the social aspect – being around creative, entrepreneurial people who are excited about their work. Though I love working from home, I have young and energetic kids so I definitely need to escape to a coworking space when I have a lot to get done!

One of my favourite things about working at a shared workspace is the flexibility it offers to have a place to work in a convenient location with everything you need, when you need it.

There are studies that show that coworking solutions can have an impact on productivity, creativity and motivation. In your personal experience, have you found this to be true?

As you are working alongside others who are busy launching and developing new projects, I think you can’t help but feel more motivated!

Most people would probably agree that networking can be very important when building a business. Do you think this is more true or less true for Luxembourg in particular?

Having a great network is absolutely key in Luxembourg. Everything is word-of-mouth here. But I personally dislike networking just for the sake of it. When it happens in a natural way, where you really connect with others based on shared interests and values, that’s where it can really lead to new and exciting projects.

Have you had the opportunity to meet other interesting people during your time working at coworking spaces? Has this had any particular impact for your business, or for you on a personal level?

Chatting with people at coworking spaces has often led to new connections and opened new doors. It’s also great to meet others going through a similar experience of starting up a business or freelancing and being able to learn from them or support them by sharing advice or connections.

With the recent shifts in the working world, how do you see companies responding to the demand by employees for hybrid working solutions?

Many companies have entirely closed their offices and now offer fully remote jobs, while others only expect employees to come to the office a day or two per week. Concepts like hot-desking have moved into traditional offices, while at the same time remote employees may choose to work from a coworking space rather than from home, with their employers often covering the membership fees.

What kind of opportunities does this open up for Neighbour Magazine?

The growth in the number of coworking spaces around Luxembourg has allowed me to work and hold meetings at different locations throughout the start-up phase of the business, without having to invest in a fixed office location. Although I do plan to rent a small office or fixed desk in the coming months, I still see myself using coworking spaces when the need arises, especially when I have meetings in other parts of the country.

If you met a new entrepreneur building a business and had to provide them with one tip, what would that be?

I’d recommend taking part in a business development programme, such as Nyuko Impuls, which can really help you to develop your business concept while also getting regular feedback from others.

Finally, what is next for Neighbour Magazine?

2022 will see four issues launched, the growth of the core team, many new retail partners added around the country, and exciting new partnerships and events.

Thank you for your valuable input, Kasia. We believe many people can learn from inspirational entrepreneurs like you. All the best on the road ahead with Neighbour Magazine!

If you haven’t yet, check out Neighbour Magazine’s website and get your hands on Issue 1! We are inspired by the mission that Kasia is on, and we’re sure you will be too.

In the meantime, if any of the benefits of coworking spaces Kasia mentioned speak to your needs, why not book a work space through the Deskover platform and see how it can empower you on whatever journey you may be on!

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