What would be your two-minute elevator pitch?
My business is all about the love of coffee: I run a “bar” specialised in coffee. I focus on providing a quality product to my customers.
List three factors that make Brussels’ entrepreneurship landscape unique.
- Progress: I’ve travelled abroad a lot, and can see that Brussels is growing. There’s still so many areas in which the city can expand on, and opportunities to seize.
- Pedestrianisation: this urban disposition is quite good for businesses like mine. People come by foot, time for themselves and are at ease. It’s convenient for a coffee shop!
- Architecture: Brussels is a very special city in contrast to some other famous cities that I find homogeneous and slick. Our urban landscape is full of different architectures and is unlike any other place. I often hear people admire the uniqueness of Brussels’ architecture.
Be ready to face reality.
What are the three biggest challenges you faced when starting up your business?
- The tardiness of the urbanism service. I had to pay rent for a space even though it was on hold for months, waiting for an answer that’s not even a guaranteed yes. It was the biggest struggle, honestly. I had to find a way to make do with the situation, keep on going and stay hopeful.
- Figuring when to start my business. There are always plenty of details to work on and improve, but I had to fix a date and take the leap.
- I found it very tough to adjust to a totally new profession, having come from the very different background of IT. So opening a coffeeshop was a major, radical turn for me.
How did you benefit from hub.brussels’ expertise in the conception of your business?
When I contacted hub.brussels, I’d say about two thirds of my business plans was completed – but I still needed help with refining my financial plan. They studied my demands for tools and specific objects, and provided great support.
List three pieces of advice you would give to the budding entrepreneur?
- Be bold and stay daring.
- Maintain a strong motivation, you’ll need it.
- Be ready to face reality.