Over the weekend, Hub Dot and other local groups organised “European Entrepreneurs” in Luxembourg, a three-day summit aimed at connecting people, networking, and exchanging ideas and stories.
Photo: LaLa La Photo
The event kicked off on Friday 17 November with an evening reception hosted at the new EY offices in Kirchberg. Approximately 200 people, mostly women, attended the event, which aimed to break down the usual “networking” stereotypes, and focused on “storytelling” rather than the customary business card.
Simona Barbieri, who resides in London, came up with the concept of Hub Dot 5 years ago whilst talking with some fellow female entrepreneurs around her kitchen table. “Hub Dot is not about labels,” she explained on Friday:
“You pick a colored dot that represents why you are at the event. For instance, those with yellow stickers have an idea they want to share, whilst green dots are looking for inspiration. Our aim is to put these people together and start a conversation. A new way of connecting is born. Something we now call ‘alchemy’.”
On Friday evening, 10 entrepreneurs from different countries had a minute each to share their unique stories with attendees. Speakers ranged from Linda Bos, co-founder of Lët’z go local, who gave an entertaining poem to summarise her creative vision, to Agusmia, a student at the University of Luxembourg who is looking for help to create and sustain a “food surplus network” to highlight food waste.
“The majority of Hub Dot events are aimed at connecting women, but of course everyone is welcome,” Benedetti explained. “Hub Dot is kind of a like an Italian ‘piazza’ where everyone can share something; be it an idea, an experience, a story, whatever their colored dot indicates.”
The group is undoubtedly a fresh concept in networking, but how easy is it really for budding entrepreneurs with a great idea to start a business in Luxembourg?
Corinne Cahen, the DP minister of family and integration, commented in her opening remarks that organisations like Hub Dot, “put an entrepreneurial spirit into Luxembourg.” After all, the country’s new tagline is “Luxembourg, let’s make it happen!”
However, several young entrepreneurs present at the event said that without existing capital or financial backing, it was virtually impossible to start a business, no matter how innovative the idea might be.
“The Luxembourg government does not provide funding for most startups and receiving credit from the banks has been increasingly difficult since the financial crisis,” one budding entrepreneur told Delano. “If you or your family has money, there might be a possibility, but the costs [including social security contributions] are too costly for most people.”