Fifteen years of a business club is no small feat!
Michel Grevesse-Sovet: It’s very important and I can see how far we’ve come. We have become the largest business club in the country, in terms of members and activities. There are now 1,500 member companies and the number is growing all the time. We are a business club where people inspire and are inspired. A club where you learn, where you meet and where you develop your business. We have grown considerably thanks to a wide, original and creative range of events and our Academy, which provides ongoing training for our members.
In addition, our Business Club is linked to the most widely read economic and financial media in the region. I would like to take advantage of this anniversary to warmly thank our members and my team for their trust during these first 15 years, but also and above all for all that they have brought us as inspiration, ideas and developments. 15 years is a long time... and a good basis for further development. I like to think of our club as a ‘knowledge hub.’ In general, what is important to me is sharing. When you have 100 events a year, there is a considerable amount of knowledge that is said and shared, knowledge that is the source of initiatives, creativity, development of activities, training...
An Academy is a rather unexpected name for a business club, isn’t it?
The Academy is an integral part of the Paperjam+Delano Business Club offer. Soft skills, hard skills, different formats such as workshops, advanced training, webinars, there is something for every member. HRMs [human resources managers] are particularly interested in this part of our offer because they find it one of the means to retain their employees. We are not an old-fashioned club, on the contrary, we are forward-looking. We accompany the present and prepare for the future by tackling innovative topics. We are at the service of our members.
The younger generation is particularly interested in further education. Our Academy offers 200 courses per year.
What does that mean in concrete terms?
We try to have an offer that exceeds their expectations, in different sectors, especially the most buoyant sectors of the country’s economic activity, notably finance, entrepreneurship, small and medium-sized enterprises--with an offer adapted for companies with less than 50 employees, but also an offer for smaller companies, with less than 10 employees, with subjects that interest them, training that helps them to develop. In short, the Paperjam+Delano Business Club is a package of events, activities and training that help the business world.
The Academy and the training are serious and accredited...
Absolutely, it is a state-approved training centre and as such we issue a certificate of attendance at the end of each training course, which gives the member company the opportunity to apply for state subsidies. Today, training is more than ever a means of retaining talent. The younger generation is particularly interested in further training. Our Academy offers 200 courses per year. Next year, we will innovate again and develop new, more specific modules to complete our offer and remain one of the leaders in continuing education on the Luxembourg market.
Could you explain once again what a company’s membership in the club entitles it to?
Yes, of course. At the Paperjam+Delano Business Club, you get inspired, you learn and you network. Not all members use their membership in the same way. If you want to network, you come to the 100 club events each year. From the monthly 10x6, which brings together 600 people, to roundtables that attract 250 people, such as the recent one on private banking, or smaller events, such as tastings, the new Thank-God-It’s-Friday lunches or breakfasts to welcome new members.
People come to the Paperjam+Delano Business Club for inspiration, to meet other members and to develop their business, and they come for regular training. Most of the trainings are integrated in the membership, but some trainings can also be organised on demand. Our members are also generous. For example, we reserve 5% of our event places for students, teachers, jobseekers and applicants for international protection. We want to bring in students so that they can approach the professional world in a different event setting. For refugees, it is a great opportunity to be included in society, to find their next jobs, to build a network.
With Luxembourg for Finance, this year we will have the first Finance Awards to reward the people who work in the financial sector on a daily basis and in all its components.
Do you have anything special planned for the 15th anniversary?
To celebrate our 15th anniversary, we have decided to do something that may seem unusual at first, but which is very responsible: as we already organise 100 events per year with the Paperjam+Delano Business Club, we are not going to organise a big party, but rather we are going to relieve the professional agenda of our members, by offering them this evening without a club event! They will have to create the event themselves. We are giving them time to get together with family, friends, other members, for personal initiatives. We asked them to sign up on our calendar to participate in this project and to post on the evening of the 15th anniversary of the Paperjam+Delano Business Club, on 14 June, pictures of what they are doing--for example, if they decided to go to dinner with refugees or people from a completely different community, why not a volunteer activity--and to post their pictures on Linkedin with the hashtag #DeclutterMyAgenda.
100 events in 2023 and how many in 2024?
In our 10x6 this year we invited our ministers. We appreciate the exchanges between the political and business worlds. We benefit from talking to each other, listening to each other and ‘doing things together.’ We hope they will continue to attend our events regularly next year. We also organise roundtables, conferences and awards. With Luxembourg for Finance, this year we will have the first Finance Awards, to reward the people who work on a daily basis in the financial sector and in all its components.
Since it is an election year, we also organised political roundtables to give our members the opportunity to meet the candidates and understand the parties’ programmes in different areas such as housing, the economy, finance... We believe that we had this role to play this year, since politics and the economy are closely linked. We even organised a streaming of our roundtables to widen the audience.
And for 2024, do you already have some information to share?
We are listening to our members, we take into account their opinion to develop new themes to program the next season. We try to be always ahead of the game. From the beginning of July, we will be able to present a preview of next season's programme, the complete programme, with events, new formats, new trainings. We are going to strongly develop the offer for the financial sector. We are also going to talk about artificial intelligence for the various sectors of the economy. We will have local leaders, but sometimes also foreign leaders to draw inspiration from their methods, to see if they are applicable in Luxembourg. A whole programme…
This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.