The Entrepreneurial Business Book Club, or EBBC, started as a personal passion project 2016. At the time, Colin Verhaegen, simply wanted to bring together like-minded friends and colleagues keen to expand their knowledge and perspectives. Thus, EBBC Brussels was born. Three years later, the club has hosted over a hundred meet-ups across eight different cities. We had the pleasure of talking to Colin Verhaegen, the founder of EBBC, and Aurélien Konan who very recently launched the EBBC Luxembourg chapter along with Vasileios Petropoulos.
by: Joséphine Anselin
photo: Kaori Anna Jolliffe
featured: Aurélien Konan
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What is the Entrepreneurial Business Book Club is?
The easiest way to explain what EBBC is, is to start by saying what it isn’t. EBBC isn’t just a book club, it isn’t just a seminar and it also isn’t just a networking event. Instead, it’s a unique blend of these three things.
EBBC is a community of people who are into self-development and want to learn and grow in their personal and professional lives. It’s for people who see books as a cornerstone of gaining knowledge but who also see the value in coming together to discuss interesting topics, challenge one another, learn from each other and make new connections.
Do you have to be an entrepreneur to join EBBC?
Not at all. The name can be a bit misleading but EBBC isn’t just for entrepreneurs or founders. In fact, it is targeted at people with an entrepreneurial mindset. EBBC community members are not the types of people who just sit and wait for things to happen. Instead, they proactively seek out opportunities and are intentional about their career and life choices.
What would you say are the main benefits of being a part of EBBC?
The main benefits of attending EBBC meetings are the new perspectives members gain from discussing books with different individuals and the insights they can get on how to turn this theoretical knowledge into practice. This can directly influence the lives and careers of the attendees.
There are also a number of indirect benefits. EBBC meetings are a great way to make connections and find new opportunities. There are numerous examples of EBBC members founding companies together, hiring each other and becoming life-long friends.
“EBBC isn’t just a book club, it isn’t just a seminar and it also isn’t just a networking event. Instead, it’s a unique blend of these three things.”
What types of books do you discuss?
We discuss books on a wide range of business, entrepreneurship and personal development related topics. We even touch base on broader topics like history, psychology and technology. To give you an idea, the books discussed in the first two EBBC Luxembourg meetings were The Power of Habit and Thinking Fast and Slow.
What is the structure of a typical EBBC meeting?
The structure of our meetings is what makes EBBC quite unique as a “book club”. The sessions combine elements that you would typically find in book club meetings, seminars and networking events. EBBC’s motto is “Activate (y)our Knowledge” and that is achieved by very interactive sessions based on peer-to-peer learning.
A typical EBBC meeting starts with some time for networking, followed by an intro from one of the core team members, and then what we call the ‘book pitch’. The book pitch is an opportunity for one of the EBBC members to propose three books. After the attendees have casted their vote, it then becomes the responsibility of that EBBC member to hold a session about the chosen book in the future. This book selection approach empowers EBBC members to be in full control of the agenda.
After the book pitch, we move onto the interactive part of the session during which we discuss the book of the month. The focus here is not on summarising the content of the book but is on challenging each other on our learning from the book.
The meeting ends with a ‘free stage’, which is an opportunity for anyone to share an announcement, a request or an idea with the group.
“The Luxembourg EBBC meeting take place on the third Tuesday of each month at the Paladium Co-Working space.”
Do you need to be a member to join an EBBC meeting?
Being a member is not compulsory; people can join sessions on a one-off basis. However, we do really encourage attendees to become members. One of our main goal with EBBC is to build a community of people who are truly committed to their self-development journey. An annual membership encourages people to be consistent, which we believe is an essential component of effective personal development.
When does the Luxembourg EBBC meeting take place?
The Luxembourg EBBC meeting take place on the third Tuesday of each month at the Paladium Co-Working space. You can find all the information about upcoming meetings on the EBBC Luxembourg Facebook page.
What is the long-term vision for EBBC?
The ambition is to grow EBBC beyond a passion project and to build a global community with chapters in every major city around the world.
If this article has inspired you to start an EBBC chapter in your own city, do not hesitate to get in touch with Colin Verhaegen!