Entrepreneurship: More than two dozen women have just completed a six-part seminar on building their own business.
Photo: LaLa La Photo
They have a myriad of ideas: import windows, advice on fashion, help decorate apartments, conduct art workshops. Luxembourg’s businesswomen-to-be have just finished the second edition of the Entrepreneurial Women Project aimed at introducing the future entrepreneurs to legal and tax frameworks, funding, HR and marketing--all crucial when setting up a company.
There were 27 participants in this edition of the course, all interested in becoming independent and opening their own business. All the women find the course peerless when it comes to unleashing one’s full potential. “I came here with no concrete idea of what I would like to do,” Malgorzata Wroblewska, now working in telecommunications, said on 14 November. “Over the span of six Saturday meetings I started to understand my strengths, brainstorm with the fellow participants and I have understood that I could sell jewellery, which now I only design and create for myself”.
“I don’t feel alone in the universe anymore. I have met great women who would also like to do something on their own, but simply don’t know where to start. It is very encouraging”, commented Kinga Kolouszek, an artist who plans to organise art workshops and already has found two clients among the course participants. “I gained more confidence in going through bureaucratic struggles and I am now more down to earth, which is good when you have to write a business plan”.
The different sections of the course focus on putting things into perspective and helping understand what it entails to set up a business. “I have found especially useful the legal and the soft skills modules”, said Elisabeth Cardona, now an employee in financial services, who would like to set up a real estate company.
The participants stressed their special interest in the marketing and networking lessons as finding customers in Luxembourg is different to what they had knows from their home countries.
“I already had my interior design company in Warsaw before moving to Luxembourg, but even though I know my offer, I have credentials, setting up shop here is different,” said Kinga Schubert. “I have understood the importance of networking, rather than classic B2C promotion that I adapted back in Poland”.
Gaining practical knowledge, confidence
Even though not all participants signed up having a concrete idea for their business, since day one they were repeatedly asked to present themselves and their ideas in front of the group. “You could see how we gained confidence in ourselves and presented the ideas with more courage each week. What is great is that you get an immediate feedback from the group and you can adapt your project accordingly”, noted Victoria Thompson, now an office manager who would like to open a guesthouse.
When asked about the elements they found missing in the course, the ladies all agree that it would be great to analyse real-life case studies, to understand the steps and potential pitfalls in practice.