Earlier this year, in an effort to reach out more into the community so that WBII could be more closely connected to Dutch organizations that support women’s entrepreneurship, Julie Kennedy and Charlene Lambert made contact with the NVR.
The NVR is the premier organization in The Netherlands that represents women’s issues to the Dutch government, and their offices are located just a short walk from the WBII.
They are: ‘The Voice of Dutch Women”, representing more than 50 women’s organizations on various issues, and more than 1 million women.
The NVR was founded in 1898, and is an umbrella organization of women’s organizations working for women’s empowerment and gender equality. Topics that are put on the government’s agenda by the NVR obtain more weight than if member organizations do so individually. The mission of the NVR is to proactively promote the interests of women in the Netherlands, with a special focus on the themes of economic independence of women and violence against women. It does this by using a variety of activities to influence Dutch politics.
In order to become a member of NVR, WBII first had to build up a file with relevant information regarding our Chamber of Commerce registration, annual reports, our Statutes, the Board Members, etc. The Board also had to make a formal decision to join the NVR. Finally, Julie and Charlene met with several NVR Board Members and assured them of our interest in joining. Our application was processed, and at the Annual General Meeting held on Thursday, November 24, following a presentation about WBII that I made to the member organizations, our application was unanimously approved.
What does NVR membership give to WBII?
- First, we want to be more closely connected to the Dutch community, and the NVR is a respected organization representing women’s issues, and in particular, the relevant economic issues that women entrepreneurs face. Through the NVR, we can also help to raise the profile of women’s entrepreneurship.
- Second, as a member of NVR, we are automatically recognized as a Dutch organization, while at the same time being open to international and expat members.
- Third, we want to make use of the network for all WBII members to spread the word about what we are doing and seek out support and contacts.
- Fourth as a women’s organization in the Netherlands, we want to support the work of the NVR. We may at some point want to see a change in government policy relevant to women’s entrepreneurship, and our membership in NVR will support these efforts.We have already been able to make use of the NVR membership to promote the recent conference that WBII supported (organized by WEP and DG NEAR — the European Commission Directorate -General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations – at Europe House). We are proud to be a member of the NVR, and look forward to participating in this stimulating and well-respected organization, for the benefit of WBII and our members.