The Erasmus for young entrepreneurs, a great help for the HORECA sector

Anke De Mulder and Sebastian Malieni are two entrepreneurs who started collaborating through the Erasmus program for young entrepreneurs in July 2020. On that date, the first Covid wave had already passed and the HORECA sector had the possibility to reopen in Belgium. However, a few months later, bars and restaurants were closed again, and they had to adapt their activities to this new situation 

Anke De Mulder registered in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs program with the Chamber in May of the same year. She was looking forward to sharing her experiences and knowledge with the new generations of young entrepreneurs and explore possibilities to enlarge her professional network at the European level. 

When we first interviewed her, she told us about her vegetarian restaurant, Shyam, located in Brussels and the new services and products that she was trying to develop. A few weeks later, thanks to the platform of the program, she got in contact with Sebastian Malieni, an enthusiast new entrepreneur from Spain interested in learning by doing about HORECA company managementHe told us that his interest was to go extend his knowledge of the food business.  

A few months after the start of their exchange, the sanitary situation changed. Anke had to adapt her business to the new situation, and she and Sebastian had to also modify the activities they had planned to develop. Despite this setback, they were very motivated to continue collaborating. They worked exclusively for takaway orders, behind closed doors, and complying with all the necessary regulations.  

“Our office is a kitchen, andon a normal day, of course, we cook, but we also focus on organizational issues, orders, procedures, etc.” Additionally, they told us that they did not see the need to stop collaborating. It is precisely at this time that he (Sebastian) is being of great help”, Anke told us.  

According to Sebastian, “for better or for worse, it has been a great experience for me to participate in the exchange in times of pandemic, since I have learned how to overcome complicated situations in the best possible way.” 

Now that the exchange is over, neither of them sees an end to their relationship. They will stay in touch and Sebastian confirmed to us that since his next step is to open his own business, he will continue to be in contact with Anke in case he needs any advice. 


Click here to discover more about the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs. 

Contact us to register in the program by sending an email to  

Pedro Sánchez presents the award granted by FEDECOM to the company SEAT

The Federation of Spanish Official Chambers of Commerce in Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania (FEDECOM), of which the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg it is a member, presented its annual award to SEAT on Monday December 14th in Paris.

With this recognition, FEDECOM distinguishes every year a Spanish company that stands out for its commercial activity and international profile in one of the Federation’s member countries.

The ceremony, which took place at the Residence of the Spanish Ambassador in France, counted on the presence of Pedro Sánchez, President of the Spanish Government. Sánchez presented the award in a ceremony, highlighting SEAT’s projection as a recognised Spanish brand worldwide, an example of an export company that serves as a model for so many other companies, their commitment to sustainability and innovation, their resilience and capacity to reinvent, its alignment with European values and its commitment to the Spanish chamber system.

SEAT is the leading Spanish industrial investor in R&D and the leading export company in the Spanish manufacturing industry with an export volume of 9 billion euros in 2019. Its constant innovation and transformation over the past 70 years have marked its path to become a reference for mobility.

The President of the Government presented the FEDECOM Prize to the Director General of SEAT France, Robert Breschkow. Robert Breschkow underlined the satisfaction of “being recognised for promoting trade, the business development and our contribution to the good name of Spain and Spanish companies abroad”. Breschkow added that “we have been, are and will be a company that wants to generate wealth, share prosperity and offer the best mobility solutions to make life easier for people”.

FEDECOM President Eduardo Barrachina also spoke at the award ceremony held at the Spanish Embassy in Paris. Among other things, Barrachina said that “SEAT is industrial heritage and economic history of Spain”, adding that “SEAT has a place in the memory and emotional universe of the Spanish, precisely because their cars have accompanied our prosperity”.

Barrachina has highlighted the extraordinary relationship between the Government (through the of State for Trade), the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and the Chambers of Commerce abroad, of which SEAT is a major and very important player. Furthermore, the President of FEDECOM took the opportunity to remind those present of the future projects in what the Federation is working on: the digitalisation of these institutions to bring the network of Chambers closer to all its users, the development of a map of services to collaborate with the Public Administration and improvement in communication and visibility to enhance the value of the work that is carried out by the institution does.

The FEDECOM Prize award ceremony was attended by about 40 guests, including personalities and representatives of Spanish companies in France.

Cacesa chosen as Company of the Year 2020

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg recognizes, in the VI Edition of its “Company of the Year” awards, the great trajectory of Cacesa and its relevance in the international and European market and especially in the Belgian one.

With this award, the Chamber of Commerce rewards the international presence of a company with more than 30 years of history, with operations in the 5 continents and with one of the most advanced messaging systems in the market. Cacesa has known how to adapt, at all times, to the needs of the market and its customers and has demonstrated leadership and competitiveness within its sector. In Belgium, the company has been able to accredit its quality and state-of-the-art technology for the massive and agile data processing and information exchange with customers, suppliers and customs authorities, deriving an image of excellence for the benefit of the Spanish industry.

The Spanish company is 75% owned by Iberia, which, since 2011, has been part of IAG, one of the world’s largest airline groups. It is a logistics operator specializing in transporting goods by air, land and sea with 6 complementary areas of services ranging from customs management to transport for e-commerce, a sector in which Cacesa has grown dramatically in recent years thanks to its collaboration with major online shopping platforms and the increase of this industry since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2019 they began their international expansion to other countries of the European Union and established at Liège Airport its third logistics hub for the reception and processing of e-commerce goods, logistics centre that this year has seen a large increase in the volume of parcel services. The advanced technological tools that they have developed internally, as well as their know-how, are their spearheads and have allowed them to advance into other markets, such as the one that is opening after Brexit. This has been the reason for the opening of the new delegation in Mouscron (Wallonia), to carry out the e-commerce customs activity between the European Union and the United Kingdom from the 1st of January. Without a doubt, for Cacesa, Belgium is the most important country after its Spanish parent company and its objective is to continue advancing in new activities and investments to be developed in the country throughout the following years.

Virtual breakfast-debate with Carles Esteva, Deputy Director General of DG Competition at the European Commission

Last Thursday, October 22nd, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized its first event within the framework of the Work Commission “Competencia España”, with the purpose to address specific issues of competition law and policy that may affect the member companies of the Chamber. The virtual breakfast-debate included the attendance of Carles Esteva, Deputy Director General of the DG Competition at the European Commission.

Juan Rodriguez-Villa and Pablo López Álvarez, respectively President and Vice-President of the Chamber, gave a welcome speech and thanked the attendees for their support to the Chamber’s working group “Competencia España“.


Miguel Troncoso,  managing partner of Gómez-Acebo & Pombo in Brussels and Chairman of the Commission, introduced Carles Esteva and reviewed his extensive professional career and thanked him for his participation in this first event of the Commission.

Esteva explained the challenges currently faced by the Commission and its projects, and outlined the main existing State aids. During the question time, the attendees were able to express their doubts and comments on numerous issues of interest.

These meetings are intended to be a platform for discussion in “neutral territory” between companies, lawyers and consultants associated with the Chamber with officials from the DG Competition, the CNMC and members of the Spanish and European judiciary.

The Chamber presented the EYE programme at the University of Antwerp

On the 22nd of October, the Chamber presented the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme to 24 masters students of the University of Antwerp.

The objective of this online session was on one hand, to discuss with the students about entrepreneurship and what does to be an entrepreneur mean. And on the other hand, to help them develop their business model canvas.

The students also had the possibility to present their business ideas to the project manager of the Chamber, Soraya Bravo, who gave them individualized recommendations to improve their business plans.

The result of this session will be known in December 2020, when the students will present their business projects in a pitching session. The project manager of the Chamber will attend the final presentation as an advisor for the students.

The Chamber thanks invitation to the University of Antwerp, and to Lieve Vangehuchten, Head of Spanish Business and Professional Communication at the Institute of Academic and Professional Communication (IPAC) of the University of Antwerp and looks forward to continue collaborating with them to promote entrepreneurship among university students.

If you would like to know more about the program Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, please contact: Soraya Bravo