Diversity and Innovation in Westland

Talking to Colinda de Beer;

Colinda, can you tell us a bit more about your activities ?

‘I am a business developer for InnovationQuarter,  the regional development agency for the South Holland province in the Netherlands. My focus is facilitate innovation by bringing parties together. I mainly work on the crossover of HighTech and horticulture. I am helping entrepreneurs with  a tech idea or product to connect to the horticulture sector. Or the other way around, where we see the horti industry reaching out to us. As InnovationQuarter we support setting up consortia and get their innovative ideas funded.’

You reached out to Female Ventures, why ?

‘Well it’s clear that there’s a need for more tech oriented and entrepreneurial women in the horti sector.  At the World Horti Center, also called the ‘clubhouse’ of the sector, we started organizing breakfast sessions for ‘ female innovators’. We saw a really positive outcome and a wish of the ladies to set up more of these programs for entrepreneurial women.’

‘Besides that, when speaking with Madelon Knop, Strategic Account Manager & Business Manager for Trade & Investments for the greenhouse horticulture sector of Municipality of Westland, she told me that in family owned horti businesses and in the horticulture sector in general the role of females could be much stronger developed. So Madelon also stresses the need for more diversity.’

How come, Female Ventures ?

‘Well, about a year ago a couple of my female colleagues at InnovationQuarter invited me to join them to a storytelling event of Female Ventures. Ah, nothing for me, these female networking things…  I told them. But they convinced me and I must say immediately after the 1st event I was pretty amazed. And surprised about the content, the stories and the group of young and ambitious women that attended.’

‘So I’m a fan ! And it’s a reason to introduce Female Ventures to the female innovators and early adopters in the horti sector. It’s time for women to take up their role in a male dominated technology sector.’

Special occasion; Female Ventures Rotterdam now On Tour to Naaldwijk ?

‘Yes, my expectations are high and I am sure the 28th of November we will have an interesting program at the World Horticulture Center in Westland.  We have set up the program in close collaboration with the Rotterdam Female Ventures team.  And the evening will be filled with cross generational speakers and more that will for sure inspire all of us.’

And if we are able to bring the Female Ventures atmosphere along that drives our brains and ambitions, I am sure we will be back with more initiatives for female empowerment in the Westland horticulture ecosystem.’

Anything you want to add Colinda ?

‘Yes, good to mention that this event welcomes both females and males, in and outside the horti sector, of all generations, with an entrepreneurial and ambitious drive in their career. I do hope to meet you there.’

Rotterdam, november 2019.



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