Online Masterclass “Entrepreneurs in the Lead” by Elske Doets

Circle of Sustainable Europe and Holland House Brussels in collaboration for Online Masterclass ‘Entrepreneurs in the Lead’ by Elske Doets

The Corona period has provided many alternative forms of work in recent months, the digital age is currently accelerating. This is exactly why Holland House Brussels (HHB) and Circle of Sustainable Europe (CoSE) has joined their forces to digitally support Elske Doets Founder of the Young Lady Business Academy (YLBA) with an Online Masterclass using Zoom. In fact, it wouldn’t be a surprise if ‘Zoom’ becomes the word of the year 2020, as it also has become a verb to many people working from home. This was also noticeable on Wednesday, September 2nd 2020 during the Masterclass titled ‘Entrepreneurs in the Lead’.


The terminology of “Zoom” had a completely different meaning a few years ago, nowadays with the Corona pandemic, it’s impossible to imagine not to know about Zoom. Due to social distancing, face-masks, and other measurements, many entrepreneurs in business discover other ways of working, and many are using Zoom almost every week, and maybe even every day. It is better to try to use these digital alternatives rather than to ignore them altogether and lose the opportunity to share valuable knowledge via videocall. This was demonstrated during the Masterclass by Elske Doets founder of the Young Lady Business Academy (YLBA) and former Businesswoman 2017.

“We need more bottom-up leaders”

-Elske Doets

The Young Lady Business Academy stands for lifting the self-confidence and self-awareness of young, ambitious women in the Netherlands to a higher level. In addition to the passionate ladies of YLBA, Niels Schreuder Chairman of Holland House Brussels (HHB), Dirk-Jan Keijser Chairman of Stichting Burger, Ton van de Ven CEO of the National Networking Company, and Raymond Janssen from Media Training for Politicians were digitally present to share their stories, discuss, and lead the Q&A digital session after the Masterclass. This also triggered a discussion on topics such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, and personal leadership in times of constant change.


“Change takes time, but time is running out”
-Annelijn Rüsing

Some ladies of the Young Lady Business Academy were allowed to share their stories during the Online Masterclass, ambassadresses: Annelijn Colijn, Stephanie Smarius, and Judith Verhoijsen told their opinions and experiences about not only sustainability, entrepreneurship, and personal leadership, but also the challenges our children and future generations are going to face. It was clear that women play a powerful role in business in times of change, as it should. Bringing bottom-up leaders to the surface of society is therefore of great importance because every community needs leaders. But how do you involve future generations in problems that are new and challenging?

“Try to listen to young farmers, because we are the future of the agricultural sector”
-Judith Verhoijsen.

During the Online Masterclass, it also became clear that if it doesn’t work our it is important to do things differently than you are used to at first. Change requires a different way of working, dare to draw outside the lines when it comes down to it, and have certain actions carried out differently. Stories from people from different layers of society can help inspire young people to dare to do, and think differently this way.

“I’ve learned to make my idea my reality, that’s why I’m here”
-Stephanie Smarius

According to Raymond Janssen, sharing stories means being authentic with each other in a way that people take control of their own story: ‘You don’t do this by having a ready-made-up story, but rather by grasping the characteristics of the contemporary situation, he emphasized; ‘The story has to be combined with the right conversation techniques, following relevant sources, and recording true events.’ In this way he also trains politicians to deal effectively with the media: ‘the goal is that you to take control of your conversations efficiently having the right outcome and thus become stronger communicatively as well’.

“We need to share authentic stories based upon efficient conversational techniques”

-Raymond Janssen

Also, Ton van de Ven of the National Networking Company had an important addition in regards to sustainable living and our current digital transition: ‘we all use the word ‘thank you’ but we don’t really know where it comes from’ according to Ton van de Ven, we need to become more aware and grateful with what we already have and not always consume more. In this way, we change our mindset into a positive and above all sustainable entrepreneurial life.

“We use the words ‘thank you’ but do not understand what is actually means”

-Ton van de Ven

In November other Online Masterclasses will be organized by Circle of Sustainable Europe in partnership with Holland House Brussels (HHB). Stay tuned for more educational, inspirational, and entertaining content!