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Portraits of a city’s success stories

We team up with, Brussels’ Business Support Agency, and shine a light on 50 of the Region’s start-up success stories driving the capital city’s economic landscape forward. From the eco-conscious manufacturer to the technology-enabled post-production imprint, our 50-strong selection of portraits and interviews plays testament to the Region’s dense and dynamic culture of entrepreneurship.

Le Palais de Balkis

Le Palais de Balkis

Karim Bazah

List three factors that make Brussels’ entrepreneurship landscape unique.

  • Brussels is a cosmopolitan city with a large and rich diversity of inhabitants and consumers.
  • Brussels is divided between rich and poor districts, allowing for a wide variety of economic situations for businesses.
  • Brussels is a bilingual region, which is a positive value but also creates another dimension for the entrepreneur to face.

What are the three biggest challenges you faced when starting up your business?

  • Firstly, I had to find a commercial place for rent. I wanted to start the business in my district of Molenbeek, even if it is a precarious one. Finally, I was able to find a space which belonged to the municipality.
  • Secondly, I had to convince the inhabitants of Molenbeek and its Muslim community of our new concept: an artisanal, bio and halal butchery.
  • Thirdly, I had to deal with all the expenses (taxes, rent, energy, wages, …). Until now, this has been my biggest challenge: how to offer a qualitative and healthy meal for a moderate price in light of my neighbourhood’s economic reality?

Have an innovative and sustainable concept.

How did you benefit from’ expertise in the conception of your business?

I received help and advice from their Retail Team to find a location, and received subsidies  via their OpenSoon grant to finance a part of the restaurant’s installation.

List three pieces of advice you would give to the budding entrepreneur.

  • Have an innovative and sustainable concept.
  • Have faith in your project.
  • Find the right place to do it.
Chaussée de Gand 163A Gentse Steenweg (1080)

Do you want to take your idea to the next level like Karim?