Networking - more than simply sharing business cards!
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Message from the editor

Earlier this year the WBII board held the first of what was to prove to be a successful addition to the WBII events calendar: the Friday 'borrel' - drink, reception, gathering - however you want to translate it, the decision clearly met a need for members to get together in an informal setting for a drink, a nibble and a chat. No announcements, no agenda, just a relaxing way to end the week with like-minded entrepreneurial women.

For me, this epitomises what the WBII is all about: it's not just a business club where we all discuss our profit margins and hand out our business cards. It's also a place where we can talk about the other things that keep us busy, where we can find inspiration and where we can share our ideas, thoughts and plans.

So if you, like me, couldn't make it to the last 'borrel' on 3 October, let's hope we won't have to wait too long for the next one.
The WBII Friday 'borrel'
I hope you enjoy reading this WISE and that it, like the 'borrel' brings you inspiration!

October network event on 31 October

Something out of Nothing - The story of building a Flourishing Network with Sara Kemppainen

Sara Kemppainen, founder of Women in Innovation and Leadership (WIL), will share her story on how she and her team managed to build a flourishing network from scratch.

Her story will hone in on two aspects that became critical in founding and leading an enterprise; ‘Resourcing the enterprise’ and Effective Networking’.

Join us at the WBII event at 7:30pm and hear how Sara negotiated a free office space for the network, and how her systematic follow back strategies saved her from missing a once in a lifetime opportunity in Japan.

And a new WBII website in the making!

If you needed even more reason to join us on 31 October - we are currently developing a new WBII website and want to include members in the feature photograph representing WBII. 

Come to the meeting in October to find out more....

Register now!

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

Did you miss the September networking event?

Mariam Ottimofiore giving her presentation

Not to worry - WBII member Moran Greenwald of Data for Charge, wrote this great review of Mariam Ottimofiore's presentation on how to grow your business.

Message from Mariam
Those of us who were present to hear Mariam's presentation were, like Moran, very impressed. As this message from Mariam indicates, she too enjoyed meeting and interacting with us

'Thank you to everyone who attended my talk on the 26th of September at the WBII networking event on 'From Blog to Brand to Book - How to grow an engaged business audience'. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and interacting with everyone of you and hearing more about your business, plans and ideas, and discussing solutions to various challenges. 

If I can be a of further help to you in growing your business audience, you can reach out to me via: 

Email (
Website (
LinkedIn (
Facebook (
Instagram (
Twitter (
To order my book, please visit:

Best Regards,

Member 10-minute highlight

This month Alyeda Santos gave a 10-minute introduction to her new project - GAIA Initiative.

Moran Greenwald had this to say about it...

We kicked off the evening with one of the hottest topics these days (yes, pun intended): climate change. Dymphna, our organiser, mentioned the young environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, whose name was on everybody’s lips this week and urged us to support her (and our!) fight in any way we can.
That was a great segway to our first speaker, Aleyda Santos from GAIA initiative. Aleyda, like Greta, believes that we don’t have to wait for the institutions to make a change - we can do it now. The GAIA initiative, a social enterprise that promotes the protection of the environment, focuses on waste management.
Did you know that more than half of the plastic bottles in the Netherlands are not being recycled? And that the only reason for that is that no one collects them?
Well, the GAIA initiative’s first project aims to change that through recycling plans, plastic collection services and incentive awards. The Initiative is looking for partnerships, collaborations and funding, so please let Aleyda know if you have any leads! It was a fascinating introduction and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this initiative.

Will you be next to give a 10-minute presentation?

Take the plunge and tell us all about your business. For 10 minutes the floor will be yours to share your business and your plans.

Go for it! - Send an email to the WBII board at

Expat fair in Amsterdam

WBII participated at the Expat Fair on 6 October in Amsterdam. What a great day!

Wonderful to see so many women visiting our stand asking for information about our regular networking events and our Start Your Own business seminar. It made us realise thers is a need out there for what we do. 

Many thanks to our Fair Coordinator Darina Veen who organised it and the team of amazing ladies who helped on the stand: Dovile Corrigan, Johanne Bade, Karen Shaw and Kia Thomasberg.

Members Darina en Dovile gave a presentation 'Boosting female talent' which was a big success, too. 

Charlene's Bubble

Did you know?
Next year, we will mark ‘Beijing +25’, which is shorthand for the 25th anniversary signing of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, UN Women’s “Generation Equality: Realizing women’s rights for an equal future”. This signing was a momentous occasion as a result of the campaign and demands for equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end to sexual harassment and violence against women and girls, health care services that respond to their needs, and their equal participation in political life and in decision-making in all areas of life. 
25 years later, in preparation for the General Assembly that will be taking place in March at the UN in New York, the European Institute on Gender Equality (EIGE) - an autonomous body of the European Union established to strengthen gender equality across the EU – recently prepared a presentation for the Beijing+25 meeting preparations on the progress made in the EU. The presentation highlights areas such as the labour market, peaceful and inclusive societies, freedom from gender-based violence, stereotypes and stigma, and many more important topics.

I recently received a copy of the presentation, and would like to share some highlights with you that reflect on how we are doing.
Did you know, for example, that 7.7 million women in Europe, compared to 0.5 million men, are out of the labour market due to care responsibilities?  Or did you ever realized that 9 million women versus 0.6 million men work part time due to care responsibilities? 

We know that as we move up the corporate ladder, there are fewer and fewer women in positions of management and on boards. This has been shown to be due in part to the fact that more women are working part-time, and because of this, they were not able to follow the standard career paths to occupy management positions. Part-time employment also has longer-term effects on women’s pensions, with more women than men living in poverty in their retirement years. The price to pay is high: in the EU, women’s pensions end up being 37% less than men’s.
Peaceful and inclusive societies
Furthermore, did you realize that there is a high rate of poverty among single mothers, Roma, migrants, and women with disabilities in Europe? Half of migrant women are at risk of poverty and are not in employment, and that 1/3rd of all EU households face financial difficulties in affording childcare

Approximately 1/5th of young migrant women are not in educational employment or training programmes. This is a huge loss for these women, their families, and for our societies and economies that needs to be rectified. These and other inequalities in the labour market have been shown to have negative impacts on women’s physical and mental health.
Freedom from gender-based violence, stereotypes and stigma
The #MeToo movement demonstrated the widespread nature of sexual harassment in the workplace, however did you know that, according to the report, women journalists, politicians, and minority rights activists often experience sexist cyber harassment? In addition, the number of beds in women’s shelters is only half of what is required, and here in the Netherlands, women and children in need are more and more being placed in hotels due to lack of available shelter space.
More information
You can download the PowerPoint presentation here. In addition to the Beijing +25 progress review, the EIGE has a wealth of information that might be interest to you. For example, you may also like to study their ‘Gender Sensitive communication tool kit’.
Of prime interest is the release on October 15th of their biannual report on Gender Equality in the European Union (watch this short introductory video).

This report is closely watched by national governments to see how they compare to other EU countries, and if progress is being made. Watch for this report! From this year on, it will be an annual report, each year with a special theme. This year’s topic is Work-life Balance, which is important also for women entrepreneurs.
As international women entrepreneurs, we know firsthand that it’s possible (though not always easy) to start and run our own businesses, thereby developing and contributing our own leadership, skills and know-how, earning a living and participating in our society. It’s important for us also to take a step back now and then and consider how we are doing in the bigger picture, and what more still needs to be done.  We will also be watching with great  interest for the upcoming EU Gender Equality report, as well as what happens next March in the UN regarding Beijing+25!

Once again, we'd like to invite you all, members and non-members, to our festive lunch.

An opportunity to rejoice and celebrate the achievements of the year (business and others) and the bond that unites us and maybe start voicing goals for 2020.

Date: 12 December 2019
Time: 12:00-15:00
Location: Brasserie Zinq at the Hotel School, Brusselselaan 2, The Hague

Please register if you'd like to attend.

Member events and notices


Arranging your home to change your life - workshop and advanced course

In October, Darina Veen is organising a 2 hour workshop and a 4 week course Advanced Feng Shui:
The way houses are arranged has a greater influence on well-being and happiness than we are aware of. Our homes reflects our interests, beliefs, hesitations, our spirit and our passions. Home tells a story about how we feel about ourselves and the world around us.

This workshop and the course will open your eyes to powerful energy fields that can be used to create harmony and love in your home, your head, and your heart.

You will learn to balance your energy, improve your relationships and happiness and heal your living space.

Starting with an introduction to the Feng Shui philosophy, you will then get a room-to-room guidance for using the theory of the five elements and instructions for healing spaces inside and outside.

Workshop Feng Shui & Essential Oils
Saturday 26 October   15.00 – 17.00
4 week course Advanced Feng Shui 
Starting Wednesday 16 October 19.30-21.30
Location: WBII office, Nassauplein 20

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.

  • Wednesday, 30 October at 10:30 Coffee morning: Selective Mutism - How to deal with Selective Mutism (speaking well in some situations but not managing to say a word in others). Jet welcomes you to this coffee morning and will try to answer your questions on this topic.
  • Wednesday, 6 November at 19:00 Multilingual children and international childhood - Language consultant and communication trainer Dr Ute Limacher-Riebold will explore how growing up in an international environment might affect children and what parents, educators and other caregivers can do to support international children.

Upcoming Business & Networking Events

10 October - BitterBallenBorrel - Rotterdam
17 October - Haagse Vrouwenzaken netwerk - The Hague
23 October - American Amsterdam Business Club networking meeting - Amsterdam
29 October - BitterBallenBorrel - The Hague
31 October - Haags Ondernemers Huis ondernemers High Tea - The Hague

With appreciation to our Sponsors:



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