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As the days get shorter and colder and the summer finally makes way for autumn, WBII is bursting with plans and ideas for networking, developing our businesses and learning from each other. Some of these plans and ideas come from the WBII Board, such as the collaboration with Rise and Lead 2019, the autumn borrel and Christmas lunch (see below), but many come from us, you, the members.

Because that's the strength of WBII - women entrepreneurs helping and inspiring others to grow and develop their businesses. Just take a look at the Member Events and Notices section further down to see the events our members are organising, showcasing their businesses and inviting you to join.

I hope you enjoy this WISE and find in it inspiration to help your business grow.

September network event on 26 September

How to Grow and Engage Your Business Audience: from Blog to Brand to Book with Mariam Navaid Ottimofiore

Mariam OttimafioreIn this interactive and informative session, economist turned expat author, blogger and entrepreneur Mariam Ottimofiore will share insights, learnings and how-to steps on building and growing an engaged audience for your business.

Register now!

Location: Carlton Ambassador Hotel, The Hague
Doors open: 19:00
Presentation starts: 19:30 and plenty of time to network afterwards.

WBII special collaboration with Rise and Lead 2019

Sustainability and Wealth Creation
Join us at the 2nd annual Rise & Lead Summit and positively contribute to the advancement of women in leadership. Explore how we can collectively close the wealth gap and build a more prosperous world for families, companies and communities.

Register with the special WBII discount code.

WBII office borrel

Embrace autumn!
Due to the huge success of the last 2 borrels earlier this year, we are holding another on the 4 October to celebrate our successes and share our woes since the summer days have left us. All are welcome!

Date: Friday, 4 October
Time: 4.00 – 6.00pm
Location: Nassauplein 20
Price: FREE! But please register so that we know how many to cater for.

WBII needs your help!

As a voluntary organisation we need your help to organise and run the many events we hold and participate in.

There are two upcoming events for which we'd love your input:

The first event is the annual i am not a tourist fair in Amsterdam

The country’s biggest fair for the international community living, working & studying in the Netherlands.

WBII is participating with our stand and we are looking for volunteers to help.
Contact our Fair Coordinator: Darina Veen, mob. 06 104 98856.

Date: Sunday 6 October 2019
Location: the beautiful Beurs van Berlage - Amsterdam
Get your free ticket!

The second event is even closer to home - the WBII Festive Lunch

We are busy organising this fantastic lunch for you all to celebrate the season and your 2019 successes.

We are looking for H E L P with the planning so do get in touch if you want to support this fantastic event.

Save the date: 12 December 2019.

Member highlight

This month Alyeda Santos will take 10 minutes to tell us about her Jikiden reiki station.
Will you be next?

Ready to be give a 10-minute pitch about your business?

Send an email to the WBII board at

Charlene's Bubble

‘Princesses Day’
Welcome back to all!  I’m already unpacking the wool sweaters, and it’s hard to believe that just a few weeks ago, the weather was so hot that we could barely move. How refreshing, though, it is to come back to work after a break, and I hope that you had a wonderful summer.
September in the Netherlands is also a time of both cooling down (in temperatures) and heating up (in activity)! Traditionally the third Tuesday in September is known as Prinsjesdag (Princes’ Day) in The Hague. Among many activities, the highpoints are the beautiful procession of the Golden Carriage with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, followed by the important annual ‘Speech from the Throne’ in the Ridderzaal, outlining government initiatives and the budget for the coming year.
As a lead-up to this important day, every year the Dutch Women’s Council – NVR – holds its own ‘Princesses Day’ (Princessendag) to reflect on important topics facing women in the Netherlands. On Monday, September 9, WEP Vice Chairman Dymphna Elsink and I attended this event at the Nieuwspoort meeting rooms of the Dutch Parliament, where the chosen subject on the agenda was Women’s Entrepreneurship. Dutch government officials were also in the audience; listening, taking notes and sometimes speaking, and the presentations, panel discussion and Q&A were fascinating. The ideas discussed will be presented to the Dutch government and I would like to give you a preview and share some of the points that were raised.
Keynote speaker was Jacqueline Zuidweg of Zuidweg & Partners whose main job is to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that are having financial problems. In her presentation, she discussed mainly the financial aspects of entrepreneurship and how people who get into financial problems don’t get the proper advice soon enough. While many of her clients have serious financial difficulties, it was interesting to learn that women make up only ±15% of her work!  She suggests that you should have a ‘Plan B’ in case your entrepreneurial venture doesn’t succeed. She also suggested that you give yourself a certain period – for example one year – to develop your business and see if it works. If it doesn’t you can fall back on your ‘Plan B’.
Some of the interesting statistics that Jacqueline cited include:
  • 47% of women (compared to 22% of men) choose entrepreneurship as a way of combining work and family life.
  • There are 1.5 million ZZPers (sole traders) in the Netherlands, of whom 36% are women.
  • The total number of starters in 2018 was 168,000, but the number of women starters dropped by 2%.
  • Cities in the Netherlands are required by law to provide services to SMEs facing financial difficulties, however there are only a few cities doing this. Because of this, ZZPers may get deeper and deeper into financial difficulties.

Dymphna and I were so pleased to meet Femke Vankooten (centre), newly elected Independent Member of Parliament, who is very interested in supporting women entrepreneurs. We all believe that more has to be done, in particular to ensure sick leave, unemployment benefits, minimum hourly rate and pensions, that will enable more women to consider entrepreneurship as a viable choice for their future careers.

The NVR has made a special attempt to reach out to women from all backgrounds and to include them in the NVR. Nenita la Rose, Chairwoman of the NVR (on right with microphone), and Councilor (PvdA) for Diversity, Care and Youth Care, Adult Education & Civic Integration, Poverty Policy & Debt Assistance in the City of Amsterdam - who also spoke at one of our recent Festive Lunches - is instrumental in this regard. The day was complete with it’s own beautiful throne, and special thanks were given to the organizers.
As WBII is a member of the NVR, Dympha and I congratulate the NVR on this excellent initiative, and will also stay in touch with them and with Femke to provide more information on the importance women’s entrepreneurship in the Netherlands, in particular for international women.

Member events and notices

Women of Truth Conference

Heleniq ArgyouHeleniq Argyrou is holding the YinAlithea Women of Truth Conference on leadership and femininity in Limassol, Cyprus, this weekend. Heleniq has 2 spaces for sharing accommodation in her Silverhouse sanctuary (€50 per night incl. vegan breakfast). There is also a special discount for lunch for all WBII members.

Tickets cost €119 for both days and can be purchased on Eventzilla. Or you can promote your business for €247 per table, 3 tables left. If you book please also email Heleniq at to confirm your lunch option.

Saturday-Sunday 14-15 September
10:00 - 17.30
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Limassol Cyprus

Feng Shui workshop

Darina Veen is organising a Workshop Feng Shui and Essential Oils
Arranging your home to change your life

The way our home is arranged has bigger influence on our well-being than we are aware of.

Join Darina in this workshop as she reveals the amazing possibilities of transformation when you use Feng Shui wisdom to make simple, yet beautiful changes in your home and life.

Saturday 28 September
15.00 – 17.00
Location: Cosy Cosas, Haagweg 92, Rijswijk

Several events at Embracing Horizons

Jet Sichterman of Embracing Horizons is organising a number of events this month at her practice on Koninginnegracht 101 in The Hague.
  • 11 September at 19:00 Learning to Learn - How can you support your child to ensure they can perform to the best to their abilities?
  • 13 September at 10:30 Coffee morning: Social Skills for International Children - What can you do to support your children in their social and emotional development in an international context?
  • 25 September at 16:30 Social Skills 4 Kids (ages 9-11) - Free introductory meeting to this 7-week course aimed at helping children acquire a variety of social and emotional skills.
  • 2 October at 19:00 Assertive Parenting for Toddlers - Discover how you can be an assertive parent by setting clear limits with your child.

Upcoming Business & Networking Events

11 September - Haagsche Business Club, Netwerkbijeenkomst - The Hague
12 September - BitterBallenBorrel - Amsterdam
17 September - AABC, September Business Network Event - Amsterdam
23-27 September - Haags Ondernemers Huis, Ondernemers Bootcamp - The Hague
24 September - BitterBallenBorrel - The Hague
27 September - Haags Ondernemers Huis, Coffee Pitch - The Hague

With appreciation to our Sponsors:



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