“I just became a member of the WBII two months ago and I am more than happy with that step. I am a sustainability consultant and my business is still very young. I truly appreciate the input and feedback I have received from WBII members so far.
The monthly meetings are well prepared and inspiring and I was even lucky enough to meet a new client at my second meeting already. This is far more than I had expected.
Thank you ladies for the professional and pleasant atmosphere. I am really looking forward to all the great things we are going to achieve together!”
– Katharina Andrés
“I am a proud member of the Women’s Business Initiative International.
Having started my own web design and branding business 2.5 years back was exciting. And I was lucky to have come across WBII at almost the same time.
WBII is a diverse group of entrepreneurial, motivated and hard working women and it is always great to network with them. Some of my clients also come from this group. And some of the insights and motivation has helped me add a couple of new streams to my bouquet of services, thereby expanding to SEO and Mobile app development too!
Thank you WBII.”
– Arwa Lokhandwala, Tulip Web Solutions
“Through WBII members’ gentle support and encouragement, I have stepped around my fear of marketing myself and asking to be paid. By presenting my workshop to this safe, welcoming group, I was able to build my confidence enough to then go on to ask to be paid for my work.
These are small feats in the spectrum of entrepreneurship but they are giant steps for me. The WBII is a powerful platform to launch us all towards success.”
– Sue Lawrence
“I would like to thank you all, one by one for giving me one of the best personal and professional experience and for trust.
Most of us experience working alone from home, without any confrontation, point of reference…but you were my team. I found the right support in participating to the monthly meetings, mastermind group meetings, professional development workshops etc.
Everybody should know how valuable is to expose your feelings, exit your confort zone when there is a group of authentic, energetic women like you. Despite we mostly struggle with clients, manage a new business and more, WBII is a place where you can feel alive and kicking!!!”
– Severina Scarnecchia, EU Government Affairs and Communications Consultant
“The WBII has been a wonderful network both personally and professionally. It’s been a place to meet like-minded women and also find new clients.
The monthly network meetings are a “must” on my calendar and I always come away with new ideas and inspiration. The speakers are always knowledgeable and cover a broad range of relevant topics for my business.
Thank you for the opportunity to be part of a great business community.”
– Renee Veldman-Tentori, Zestee Social Media Training
“The WBII is a wonderful networking group for small business owners!”
– Vanessa Prins, Goodman Coaching
“For an entrepreneurial venture to succeed you need to be a part of a community, have a platform, and support to lean on to as you grow your business. WBII gave me that and much more when I launched Laboni in the Netherlands 5 years ago. It’s been an invaluable and inseparable part of my story…”
– Ruchika Handa, Laboni
“My name is Akkie Okma and I am a careers counsellor. It is my challenge to search for your strengths in order to maximise your talents and to broaden your horizons.
I am a proud member of the Women’s Business Initiative. The WBII is an inspiring network of professional business owners. I do get a lot of support and energy out of the group which helps me to further develop my business. It also gives me new clients. The network events are interesting and I always go home enriched and happy. It is a nice group to get connected to.
My favourite quote: ‘Alone you can go faster, but together we can go further.'”
– Akkie Okma, Okma Advies
“Suzy (WBII) gave me an opportunity to showcase my newly published book at one of the network meetings.
Having found network meetings difficult to attend in the past, I was nervous as to how this would turn out, as it was my first presentation in front of people who are experts in their field.
I really had nothing to worry about, as all the women who attended were extremely encouraging and supportive and I personally realised that I actually enjoyed giving the presentation.
Being a member of WBII has been one of the best investments I have made for my business.”
– Vinita Salome, Vinita Salome Photography
“It is such a joy to know that I can always find like minded women who are passionate about their businesses and at the same time give back to the business community through shared experiences and expertise.
The members have a wealth of diversity and as well as meeting new friends and colleagues, I have found an excellent graphic designer who has done my publicity materials.
Thanks WBII and Suzy for her continued enthusiasm.”
– Christine Miljkovic, Inspire Coaching
“The WBII was the answer to all my questions.
I wasn’t sure whether to start my part-time business as a specialist dog trainer for dogs with behaviour problems. I had no idea about how to use simple, low-tech social sites to promote myself and to network. I hadn’t even heard of a business plan and the idea of finding out about the Dutch rules and regulations was simply daunting.
A couple of workshops, informal meetings and emails later, I felt a lot more confident to take on the challenge. I met lots of people in exactly the same situation as me. I received cheap (often completely free) advice and support. I attended quick but powerful workshops that really kick-started my (now intensive) use of social media for marketing.
I am now a full-time entrepreneur and I would never have dared make that step without the practical/condensed knowledge boost the ladies at WBII gave me. I am very very very glad they crossed my path.”
– Laure-Anne Visele, Dog Training Instructor
“By becoming more involved in the activities of the WBII and making full use of my membership, I have benefited enormously. Through networking at the WBII I have made new contacts who can assist me in my business, have met potential candidates for my clients (recruitment), have worked together with other members which have lead to new business opportunities and most importantly, I have made friends.
By attending some of the courses at the WBII I have learned about marketing, goal setting, and how to relax. The lunch-time goal setting sessions I have learned to be more focussed, evaluate my direction, shared my fears with other member participants who are experiencing similar phases and in turn, this has given me the courage to go out and do things I wouldn’t have otherwise considered – because I realised `if they can do it, what’s stopping me’!
As a member of a Business Breakthrough team, we have supported and encouraged each other, exchanged feedback on marketing materials, business ideas and presentation, as well as how to deal with situations, problems – and, we have a good laugh.
By hiring office space at a very competitive rate, I am able to meet my clients in a professional and comfortable setting with all the back-up facilities I need if necessary.”
– Teresa Moynihan, Moynihan HR Consulting
“Starting up for oneself can be rewarding, daunting, exhilarating and so many more things. It can, also be lonely. Being part of the Women’s Business Initiative has allowed me, and my business, to grow in ways no business plan could have anticipated.
From wise and insightful comments from individuals in a whole other field of expertise I have been able to broaden my horizons, refine my message and increase my skills and become certain of the path I am on – as an entrepreneur. I could not have done it alone – and the advice, support and structure of the WBI has allowed this.
Being active at and on behalf of the WBII has meant receiving a wealth of support way beyond the value of what I pay.”
– Deborah Valentine, a hand in The Hague
“The WBII is an essential organisation to all women entrepreneurs. If you want to be taken seriously you need to project a confident and professional image. Invest in your business by investing in a membership with the WBII and use our facilities to their full advantage.
I needed the expertise of a legal adviser, a graphic designer, a photographer, a website designer, a tax adviser, an accountant, a journalist, colleagues, collaborative partners, a professional network… I found them ALL at the WBII. Invest in your business become a member today!”
– Moira Gallagher
“Being a part of the WBII [Board] is not only inspiring but also a way to give back.”
– Dymphna Elsink
“The WBII has been an inspiring and supportive community for me over the years and my business would not be what it is today without the energy, passion and enthusiasm that the WBII encourages in us all. To be able to support other women entrepreneurs along their journey is a privilege”
– Lisa Hall
“As a part time educator at Rijnlands Lyceum Oegstgeest International School, I have the opportunity to pursue my passion of making a difference in little ways. Joining WBII and meeting like-minded entrepreneurs keeps my entrepreneurial spirit alive! It is an honour to be part of the WBII Board. I look forward to working with all members and the Board to expand on the vision created by the founder, Suzy.”
– Nira Satguru
“I am happy and proud to be a member of WBII. Starting my own business it was valuable for my motivation and determination to succeed, to share ideas, expertise, experienced and knowledge with likeminded women of WBII. Being supported by a group of authentic women entrepreneurs, being able to expose my feelings, fears and hesitations; and the same time supporting others in their goals and contributing to the WBII community is so very empowering. I am an active member and a Fair Coordinator. Through my activities with WBII I gained many new contacts and clients and I learned the necessary networking skills in a short time. I am running my own business Feng Shui Interior Design successfully in Delft www.feng-shui-design.nl”
– Darina Veen
“My story. I had worked in Holland for 9 1/2 years, and raised 2 sons. In 2004 I left to work and travel in West Africa and South East Asia, and after 13 years of field missions, I decided I needed to make a change and come closer to my sons in The Hague. Despite my familiarity with The Hague, I was feeling like a fish out of water. Not only did I need to connect with people, but also I had to find a job and create financial stability. Career-wise, I had left a secure job to bring about a career change, and although it was a good opportunity to do it, I did not know how, but I was determined to try. I came across an announcement regarding a ‘Start Your Own Business’ seminar organized by the Women’s Business International Initiative (WBII). I did not know anyone, was being cautious about my expenses, and was wondering if it was worth it to spend the money. However, I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and to go to the seminar. And to this day, I still can say that this money was well invested. The day of the seminar, I meet a bunch of internationals, expat women like me who had lived many years in Holland and who had family-related ties to The Hague as I did. Yet they had something different in that they were here to stay, they were here to thrive in their own light, to occupy their niche in the business world they were creating. Some were very well established in their profession and in Holland. They spoke Dutch fluently, and were experienced with the Dutch system. Basically, they were the light and inspiration I needed to connect with this society I wanted to live in, in spite of my language barriers. And this is how my life as an entrepreneur started: learning from other businesswomen about their knowledge and experience. This triggered my thoughts, and keeps motivating me for a way forward. I won’t forget, for instance when Ute gave us tips on how to use your communication skills to network. I felt so uncomfortable, I felt awkward about talking to somebody I did not know, and yet now, 2 years down the line, I am doing it. I still feel uncomfortable, but I also feel more confident in exchanging information. From Sinead we received a very comprehensive explanation and guidelines on how to register your own business, on the brainstorming we needed to do before establishing our practice, and more. To this date, I keep Sinead’s guidelines always at hand for any clarification. We also had a lawyer who gave us legal advice on how to proceed to protect our name and/or product. And finally, we heard testimonials of success stories, that showed us how despite the hurdles, persistence delivers successful results. As I write this, during the last two days I have been attending entrepreneurial presentations in Amsterdam. I felt proud to be a member of the WBII, proud to be one of these Business Women who dare be themselves, even if sometimes it feels uncomfortable to be out of your comfort zone. However, now I do engage in networking conversation and enjoy it very much. All in all, the WBII network organization, including the Start Your Own Business seminar, is a great place to start from when considering establishing your own business. It has taught me a lot, and hope it will inspire others to become a successful Business Women.”
– Aleyda Santos
“I joined WBII with a student membership. After completing my MBA, I had several jobs, but continued to be a Member, as I always had in the back of my mind to become an independent business consultant and tax administrator. Seeing other women entrepreneurs as role models, my membership gave me the confidence to start my own business. The WBII network meetings provide professional support, knowledge and inspiration. The WBII has brought me business partners and contacts, customers and friendships.”
– Caroline Orthlieb
“Being a member of WBII has helped me to meet and connect with fellow international business women who have inspired and supported me on my journey. As a member of WBII, I was able to promote my business, Ataro Food and Spices, to a larger audience. I also got valuable contacts and felt empowered by other female entrepreneurs, especially during the networking meetings and talks. WBII also helped to promote my business through their website, which provided me with the visibility I needed to succeed.”
– Ebere Akadiri
“Initially, joining the WBII, was about finding a group who could understand my needs and me as a business women and entrepreneur. Being a part of WBII gave me affiliation, colleagues, collaborators, friends and last but not least more customers. WBII has been a place for me to grow, learn and develop professionally and personally, a needed push in a supportive professional environment”
– Anne Bybjerg