The Luxembourg Poland Chamber of Commerce (LPCC) is a non-profit organization based in Luxembourg which aims to facilitate business relationships between Poland and Luxembourg. One of its flagship projects is the Entrepreneurial Woman Project which was started in 2014 as a way to empower women entrepreneurs and help them turn business ideas into reality.
Image Credits: Artur Sosna
The project that has already seen over 250 participants, takes place entirely in English, is open to women of all nationalities and is getting ready for its 8th edition this year. It has the support of the Ministry of Economy, the Luxembourgish embassy in Poland, as well as the Polish embassy in Luxembourg and consists of a series of workshops through which participants are introduced to both legislative and practical business issues essential to starting a business.
Due to its focus on the Grand Duchy, the program is a great fit for any woman, from Luxembourg or abroad, who wishes to start a business in Luxembourg.
We connected with Artur Sosna, president of the LPCC, who told us all about the program, the kind of coaching it includes and why it is a great opportunity for women who wish to set up their own business here.
The program selects around 30 women from the pool of applicants who are then split into two groups of 15. This keeps the groups small and makes it easier for participants, even the timid ones, to interact with each other as well as the coaches.
The project enjoys support from a long list of organizations and professionals who are experts in their field and the list includes names such as business law firm Arendt & Medernach, tax advisory firm ATOZ, Anne Morel from law firm BSP and Daniel Torres Milano from The House of Entrepreneurship, among others. These organizations and experts share their time and coach participants in their areas of expertise. The project covers a wide range of topics, right from Idea Generation to Intellectual Property, Tax Obligations and Social Media Marketing.
When asked more about that, Artur explained, “The workshops and topics have been designed keeping in mind that participants must be able to look at these topics from a local perspective and how best to apply them here in Luxembourg. For example, taxation laws can be very specific to where a business is located, and it is important that someone who understands the local system is able to break it down into simple terms for the participants.”
“There are many examples of participants in the project who have successfully set up their businesses in Luxembourg.”
Improving the programme
It looks like the team at LPCC is also constantly looking for ways to add more value for its participants. When asked about how the project has evolved over the years, Artur shared that each year they improve the program based on the feedback and experience of participants from previous editions. This year for example, they have added two topics – Sales and Fundraising – both especially important for someone planning to start a business. In 2019, they offered participants 3 hours of personal coaching in addition to the group workshops they all attended together. Talk about adding value!
There are many examples of participants in the project who have successfully set up their businesses in Luxembourg. Ride More founded by Jola Czuba (participant from 2020), Diosfit founded by Sofie Verstraeten (2019), MAVA Universe started by founder Vaiva Simonaviciute (the winner in 2019), DogStays which was started by Supriya Sodhi the winner of the 2018 edition, Aleksandra Kanicki who started Pologne Conseil (also from the 2019 edition) and Way2Go which was set up by founder Marta Andrzejewska, who is now a business and life coach and was part of the first ever edition of the project.
“A great support system for any entrepreneur!”
A network of businesswomen
While their learning from the program is important, perhaps the most intangible yet valuable thing participating women gain from the project is a network of fellow entrepreneurs. Thanks to the project, these future businesswomen can start the ‘often-scary’ journey of being a new entrepreneur with friends! Friends who also want to start a business, who have attended workshops together, who have have dissected their business ideas together and friends who understand. A great support system for any entrepreneur!
If this isn’t enough incentive, the project ends with a final competition wherein participants have a chance to pitch their projects to the rest of the group which votes for 3 winners. The winners can win cash prizes offered by the sponsors and in 2020 these ranged from €1000 to €3000.
Ready to sign up? The orientation event for this latest 8th edition of the project is planned for the 30th of June and the ladies who have already been accepted into the project will get a chance to meet other participants before the project starts and meet the team at LPCC too. If you haven’t registered yet, worry not! The project is still accepting applications and all you need to do is get in touch with the team either before or at the event.