In the spotlight: Some inspiring women entrepreneurs from Belgium
Let’s take a look at how women entrepreneurship is being promoted in Belgium. Given its comparatively modest size, both in terms of population and geography, Belgium is considered to be incredibly successful. And, Belgium’s success story could be assessed to be the result of various factors like – its geographic position (at the heart of Europe), a highly educated, diligent workforce and the good fortune to be the epi-centre of the European Union. Whatever the conditions may be, Belgium is a country that has a lot to offer any business looking to expand globally.
But, the reality is that it is often harder for women to succeed in business. And, a study pointed out three main obstacles: maintaining a balance between private and professional life; difficulty in finding clients, and difficulty pricing their services at their true value. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis also added to the issues.
But, on a positive note, this situation has forced them to review their business models and adapt to the new reality. Some tools developed to survive during the pandemic include – diversifying and digitalizing their services, training and acquiring new skills. Finally, it is felt that today, there is a place for a women’s network in the business landscape.
Presenting some enterprising women entrepreneurs from Belgium.
> Leslie Cottenjé, Co-founder & CEO, Hello Customer
As the CEO of Hello Customer – a VC-backed venture that helps companies internationally with real understanding, acting upon customer feedback – she is seen as a true thought leader within her domain. Active on social media, she mainly shares and posts about – customer experience and customer centricity.
> Karen Boers, Co-founder & CEO, BeCode.org
Backed by a track record of over 10 years in the Belgian entrepreneurial community, Karen Boers, Co-founder and CEO of BeCode.org has been supporting and guiding young entrepreneurial talent. With Startups.be she created the country’s most significant startup community. Then with a group of business leaders she launched BeCentral in 2017; BeCentral is one of the biggest digital transformation hubs in the capital of Belgium. Currently she is the Co-founder and CEO of BeCode.org, a for- good organization that teaches relevant digital skills to underserved communities. She is very prominent in Social Entrepreneurship.
> Saskia Van Uffelen, Manager Digital & BeTheChange Agoria – Digital Skills Leader Belgium Boosting Digital Skills and Jobs for everybody ! Author , Keynote speaker, Non Executive
Boardmember, Inspirational Coach
Saskia Van Uffelen is a leader in Belgian’s vibrant digital business community. As a true Digital Champion for Belgium since 2012, she is passionate about leading and managing digital transformation within multinational businesses. She was CEO of a number of industry-defining companies such as Bull and Ericsson. Quite significantly, she knows what she is talking about offline and online! She constantly shares interesting content about all-things ‘digital transformation’.
> Sophie Vandebroek, Founder & Owner, Strategic Vision Ventures, LLC
Sophie Vandebroek has been very active in the international top tech scene throughout her professional life. She has been involved in an infinite flow of c-level positions and leadership roles in multinational corporations that have co-defined the way we live. Currently she is combining an inaugural scholarship at the esteemed Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bunch of board positions.
> Bieke Van Gorp, Co-founder & CBDO, FibriCheck
Bieke Van Gorp is very much involved in the national and international healthcarespace, as the Co-founder & CBDO of FibriCheck, a health tech company that developed an innovative solution to detect cardiac arrhythmia. She is indeed big on health, and she posts information on digital health and how FibriCheck is adding value within the space.
> Aline Muylaert, Co-founder & Commercial Director, CitizenLab
Together with her team, Aline Muylaert is on a unique mission – to reshape the way we run our communities by giving the virtual floor to citizens. Chosen as one of the Forbes 30 under 30 for Europe, she enjoys international recognition too.
CitizenLab is a community engagement platform to reach out to more citizens, set up and manage efficient participation, and drive better policy decisions. Their mission is to build stronger democracies by making public decision-making more inclusive, participatory, and responsive.