Elena Julve, new entrepreneur to join EmprendeBelux

Elena Julve, or LexTynGou if we refer to her artistic name, has recently joined the Chamber through the programme EmprendeBelux, an initiative that aims at supporting Spanish entrepreneurs in Belgium and Luxembourg.

Elena took her first steps as an artist in Belgium, becoming a versatile artist combining different painting techniques in her works. She has already taken part in several exhibitions in Belgium and her objective is now to continue participating in different events that will allow her to broaden her network and become renowned in this sector.

The Chamber has designed a work plan to support this ambitious entrepreneur. In particular, the Chamber is working in the design of a website where she will publish her works and parallelly the organization will also help her identifying exhibitions where Elena can publish her collections in which she is currently working.

We kindly invite you to read the full interview.

Meeting of the Committee of Forums

On December 4, was organized at the Chamber’s headquarters in Brussels a meeting of the Forums Committee, a working group whose purpose is the proposal, organization and follow-up of the events organized by the Chamber.

During the meeting, which was led by Pablo López Álvarez (FTI Consulting), was made a review of the latest events organized by the “business circle” gallery and new initiatives were proposed to be developed in the coming months, both locally and with the institutions of the European Union.

About the Commissions of the Chamber

The Commissions are integrated by some of the members as well as by the person in charge of the area in question in the Chamber.

These work groups have numerous functions: in-depth studies of proposals, problems, projects and activities. Through them, the members influence the day to day of the Chamber in order to adapt the activities of the Chamber to the needs of the members.

At any time, a member may request the president of a Commission to join it or request the Secretary General to create a new group.

Lunch-conference: “Coaching as a tool to empower Leadership”

On the 22nd November, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a lunch-conference about “The coaching as a tool to promote leadership”. The objective of the workshop given by the personal and business coach Marta Cela, was to offer guidelines to lead and to inspire work teams, to help to develop their potential and to improve their skills to make better results.

During the conference, the assistants had the opportunity to stand out, via the coaching, some of the most basic and fundamental skills of the leadership as: the effective communication, conflict management, the motivation and clear objectives.

The conference had both, theoretical and practical content, allowing the maximum interaction between the attendees.

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg awards Company of the Year to Grupo Social ONCE

On November 6, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg awarded the Grupo Social ONCE, in its V edition, the Company of the Year Award 2018 in an act which took place in the residence of the Embassy of Spain in Brussels. Through this award, the Chamber annually awards the promotion of trade and business development in Belgium and Luxembourg.

With this award, the Chamber wanted to recognize the Grupo Social ONCE for its unique business model in the world and for its leadership at an international level. Its active participation in Brussels within various business and disability organizations at European level, shows its commitment to the integration process. This award aims to contribute to closer business relationships of the Grupo Social ONCE through the provision of goods and services to companies from Belgium and Luxembourg markets.

In addition, its constructive and ambitious contribution to the community legislative process, seeking the right balance between business and social dimension and its partnership with the European Commission through the Operational Program for the Training and Employment of People with Disabilities – it has been an example of good practices for two decades-, have also been reasons for this concession.

The ceremony began with the words of the Ambassador of Spain in Belgium and President of Honor of the Chamber, Beatriz Larrotcha who said that this award was a right decision: “Grupo Social ONCE is more than a company, it is a cooperation between institutions and companies (…) the ONCE is the image we want to show abroad, for this reason it is an honor to give them this award “.

The president of the Chamber, Juan Rodríguez-Villa, joined in the congratulations of the ambassador and described the ONCE foundation as a “revolutionary movement” that has achieved a progressive improvement in social advances and levels of inclusion: “It is a modest award, which recognizes the merits of the Spanish company. Grupo Social ONCE works for social normalization and inclusion, for them it is easy to recognize the feeling of pride”.

Pride that also shared the Minister of Economy and Business, Nadia Calviño, who has a strong link with the foundation and who was responsible for delivering the award. “The ONCE foundation is a unique model for eight decades. It is a model that shows its commitment to Europe and its collaboration with the European Commission (…). This award is granted for its contribution to Marca España. I only have two words, admiration and gratitude”.

The president of the Grupo Social ONCE, Miguel Carballeda, accepted the award. During his speech he wanted to remember his years as a seller of ONCE coupons and thanked the award on behalf of all his colleagues at the foundation: “Who would have told me that after selling coupons for 10 years, I would be here today collecting this award on behalf of my colleagues. (…) We (Grupo Social ONCE) have to remain the best company, to be a reference for citizenship, for all those people who come daily to our 20.000 coupon sellers”. In addition, he took the opportunity to remember that the ONCE is the world’s first employer of the disabled and the fourth employer in Spain.

The event ended with a cocktail that all the guests attended. The Chamber thanks the Embassy of Spain in Belgium and all the participating companies for their contribution so that the event has been a success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dag van Spanje

On October 20, the Chamber organized, in collaboration with the Spanish Office of Tourism in Belgium, the Day of Spain (Dag van Spanje) in the central Groenplaats of Antwerp.

Through this unprecedented day in Antwerp, Spain was presented as a tourist destination (it is the third most visited country by Belgians on holidays), and the gastronomic and leisure offer that surrounds it. On the other hand, it highlighted the leading companies and the innovation that exists in our country and employment and training opportunities.

The regions of Murcia, Aragón, Ibiza, Mallorca, Galicia, Castilla y León, Navarra y Tenerife
were present during the day in a space dedicated to the tourism promotion of Spain. Representatives of the eight destinations made their cultural and tourist offer known to the Belgian public, providing detailed information on the different travel options. Also, the participants were able to discover the hotel offer of the Iberostar company and the airports of Antwerp and Ostend-Bruges, who informed about the possibilities of traveling to Spain from Belgium.

The main sponsor of the event, TUI tour operator, presented a wide range of activities in its space, including a virtual reality proposal, a cycling competition and informative positions of the airline.

Spanish sport was also represented thanks to the participation of LaLiga and the Circuit de Catalunya. At their stands, the attendees could experience, respectively, becoming one day professional soccer players and Formula 1 drivers, in addition to following the live broadcast of LaLiga matches that day. Both adults and children enjoyed both experiences.

Interested in working or studying in Spain? They also had their space in the Eures area, portal for professional mobility, the Ministry of Education and the agency for language immersions in Spain Olespañol.

In the gastronomic area, Freixenet participated, the Vista la Tienda import store and Las Mañas restaurant. The participants could enjoy a day in which they felt, tasted and explored the Spanish culinary richness through typical Spanish dishes such as paella, red peppers or patatas bravas.

 

The little ones also had their space in the Day of Spain. In the area dedicated to their entertainment, they enjoyed playing the Camino de Santiago, taking photos with Don Quixote or participating in a face painting workshop. With the game, energized by the Association of the Camino de Santiago de Flandes, they felt like pilgrims for a few hours, completing their credentials and answering questions about Spain.

Next to this area, the parents were able to discover how to make their trip easier thanks to Easybabytrip, a Spanish startup that offered the public equipment for traveling with children.

The day was completed with a permanent cultural program.

The artist Carolina Tafalla made reflect on the perception of friendship through the situational happening “Amigo”. At the same time, the well-known muralist Miguel Ángel Belinchón, Belin, hypnotized by painting live a post-neo-contemporary canvas that he ended at the end of the day.

They were joined by musical performances. La Peña Al Ándalus, started strongly at noon with a flamenco show. Then La Negra Albina and her performance not only made for a good time, but also impressed the audience with her Cumbia Psychotropic-Funk style. In the afternoon, Pepa Niebla delighted the audience with her international jazz. The day culminated with the performance of Alex Torres, DJ who managed to create a more relaxed atmosphere with his electro style.

More than 15,000 attendees visited The Day of Spain (Dag van Spanje) throughout the day valued it very positively, and the participants were very satisfied with the results of the event. The Chamber and the Spanish Tourism Office thank the Embassy of Spain in Belgium and all the participating companies for their contribution to make the event a success.


 

Meeting of the Board of Directors

On October 23, a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Chamber took place. During the meeting, the new Economic and Commercial Counselor and Vice President of Honor of the Chamber, Ms. Maria Palanca Reh, had the opportunity to appear among the members of the Board of Directors.

Then the Secretary General, María Catalán, presented the Strategic Plan of the Chamber for the period 2019 – 2022, and reported on upcoming events and activities scheduled by the Chamber.

It is planned to organize an Extraordinary General Meeting at the end of the year, in which the budget for the financial year 2019 will be presented.

Success of the ninth edition of the “Workshop on social media management for business and european projects”

The past 25 and 26 October, the Official Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Belgium and Luxembourg, organized the ninth edition of the “Workshop on social media management for business and European projects”. The course given by the community manager and coach Philippe Schiffler aims to increase the presence of companies in social networks.

During the first day, Schiffler explained the role played by the community manager in the company and the importance it has acquired in recent years. After that, he explained some very useful strategies to get more benefit of different social networks such as Twitter, Linkedin or Pinterest, among many others.

During the second day, he presented some digital tools that currently help companies to have greater visibility and followers in the network, many of which were unknown to attendees. Evenbrite, Pushbullet or Fiverr were some of the exposed.

He also explained different utilities of social networks and well-known websites such as Facebook, YouTube or Google+. Webs that are known by the majority, but that hide some characteristics unknown by most of us.

Schiffler also wanted to highlight the importance that has been acquired in recent months by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), created last May by the European Parliament and that gives greater transparency to companies on security issues. He also mentioned the fines that may be paid by companies if they do not comply with the regulation, which ranges about 20 million euros.

As in the previous editions, there were many attendees. During these two days all of them had the opportunity to learn about different tools, such as the ones mentioned above, which will undoubtedly help companies to have a better image on the net.

Schiffler was receptive when responding to the questions of the attendees, many of whom carry the social networks of European companies. Some of them even encouraged to express their doubts. In this way, the attendees received advice on how to improve and increase the participation of the public in the social networks of their companies.

 

First meeting with Spanish entrepreneurs in Belgium

More than 15 entrepreneurs showcased their projects and business in Belgium. The Chamber took the opportunity to present EmprendeBelux, a new programme oriented to support Spanish entrepreneurs in the country and to guide them when launching their company and /or in the consolidation of their businesses.

This new programme of the Chamber aims at consolidating the lines of support to Spanish entrepreneurs in Belgium providing them with advice on how to start their business and at the same time offer a better visibility to help them broaden their network.

The attendees had the opportunity to share their visions about the programme and exchange their experience about starting a business in Belgium.

General Assembly Meeting 2018

Last 28th of June, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg celebrated its General Assembly Meeting, which took place at the Instituto Cervantes headquarters in Brussels. The meeting was attended by Ms. Cecilia Yuste, Ambassador of Spain in Belgium and Honorary President of the Chamber, and several members of the Chamber.

 Juan Ródriguez- Villa Matons, President of the Chamber, welcomed all the attendees. He also exposed the gains achieved so far as well as the new targets and challenges that the Chamber will be this coming years.

At the same time, Juan Rodríguez- Villa reminded those presents the service vocation of the Chamber with the Spaniards living abroad.

After this introduction made by our president, the word was given to María Catalán, Secretary General of the Chamber.

María set the agenda of the Assembly and afterwards presented the Chamber activities report done during the last year, including courses, events, programs, and paying special attention to the Erasmus For Young Entrepreneurs program, to the Chamber job website and to the Commercial activities.

The services offered by the Chamber were reminded to the attendees. Besides, the expenditure and revenues figures, the income statement and account balance were detailly explained. After the approval of last financial year annual accounts as well as of the Board of Directors management, the Assembly gave in the last point of the agenda: the voting of the new spokesperson vacancies.

Once they all had been presented to the Audience, the Assembly proceeded to vote, resulting on the election for a new three- year term of the following members:

  • BBVA, represented by Javier Arias, Group Head European Affairs
  • ArcelorMittal, represented by Asier Marquina, EU Institutional Affairs Manager
  • Everis Belgium, represented by Óscar Abril, Partner
  • José Luis Rodríguez Álvarez, in a personal capacity
  • Meteora, represented by José Gracia Barba, President
  • Racine, represented by Bert Dehandschutter, Lawyer
  • Santander Consumer Bank, represented by Manuel Menéndez Barrero, CEO- Managing Director
  • Sergio de Miguel Jesser, in a personal capacity.

The Ambassador, Ms. Cecilia Yuste thanked the work done by the Spanish companies and the chamber in the promotion of the commercial and cultural activity of Spain in Belgium. Once again, she showed the commitment of the Embassy and the willing to keep on working next with the Chamber in those activities that help to promote the image of our country abroad.

To close the Assembly, the attendees were greeted with a cocktail offered by Mediterránea, a member company.

All the documentation relative to the 2017 General Ordinary Assembly will be at all the members’ disposal through the Chamber’s Intranet.

Meeting of the Board of Directors

On May 31st, a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Chamber took place in Brussels.

The Board of Directors approved the annual accounts for the year 2017 for its presentation at the General Assembly Meeting that will take place on June 28th in Brussels.

Also, new projects and activities to be developed in the coming months were presented.