Female Ventures in Amsterdam: Building a network of female professionals
By Mina Nacheva – Freelance Journalist & Content Marketeer
Connecting female professionals and fostering meaningful relationships among them is at the heart of Female Ventures’ mission. On November 21, the organization hosted its kick-off event in Amsterdam, and gave the stage to two inspiring ladies – Nadja Muller-den Blijker, founder and CEO of iThrive, and Eveline Klumpers, founder of Katalysis – to share their entrepreneurial stories with (mostly) fellow business women. This was the first of many such events in Amsterdam to come.
The team behind Female Ventures, perhaps unsurprisingly so, is an all-female one, too. Wanda Stevens is one of its newest additions.
A long-time Philips employee and a successful marketing professional, Wanda is the Amsterdam City Coordinator for Female Ventures, and works alongside five other volunteers. Her motivation to join the team was mostly intrinsic.
“I have a network on a professional level, but I wanted to support creating a community that comes together at meet-ups to connect and get inspired,” Wanda says. “With Female Ventures, I can help set up a network of working women in Amsterdam, who are looking to communicate openly, learn from each other, and grow as professionals.”
To do so, she and her team will be organizing bimonthly events, and each time, they will be asking two inspiring women to step into the spotlight and talk about their entrepreneurial journeys. While the main focus is on the speakers’ business achievements, it is also about them sharing a business challenge they are currently facing.
Talking about the successes and challenges in order to help each other grow as female business women is key to the mission of Female Ventures. “The setting of our events allows for a conversation,” Wanda says. “It makes it possible for the speakers to be open with the audience and discuss professional matters in a more informal environment.”
At a predominantly female event, they get to be open and share their stories. “It’s simply a different atmosphere,” Wanda says. “And that’s important.”
For now and for the near future, Wanda and her Amsterdam team, as well as the local teams in Rotterdam, Delft and Utrecht, will be focused on raising awareness of the organization and the events and growing its reach in the cities.
“We will be holding our events every two months, and with them, we want to attract a diverse group of female professionals – from entrepreneurs and startup founders, to corporate employees; from students and young professionals, to experienced working women,” Wanda says.
At the end of the day, being an open and inclusive network is exactly what Female Ventures aims to be. “We don’t want to be an exclusive, closed group of people. We want to be a community that is easy to access at any time.”