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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.

Please Surprise Me!

Please Surprise Me!

Emmanuelle Halabi & Isabeau Paape

What would be your two-minute elevator pitch?

Imagine eating in Belgium’s smallest restaurant, seating only two; enjoying a short spa stint in the countryside; visiting Sicily from the comfort of your dining room; or dining in the kitchen of an acclaimed head chef. Please Surprise Me! is an agency for lovers of all things surprising and unusual: we create tailormade events and unusual experiences by sublimating everyday life through the magic of new experiences. We create personalised and exclusive scenarios, based on your story… Please Surprise Me! is made up of the expert brunette Emmanuelle and the funny blonde Isabeau – the new duo of the unusual whose unique mission is to surprise you. Epicurean at heart and hyperactive on the ground, we’re on the lookout for the most insolent and unusual partners, whose taste for beauty mates with the chic of service in Brussels.

List three factors that make Brussels’ entrepreneurship landscape unique.

  • Creativity: Brussels dares to create new companies with their surreal ideas. Nothing is impossible!
  • Freedom: we’re free to invent and live out our extraordinary experiences.
  • Diversity: we learn a lot from other ways of living. We’re inspired by the differences that Brussels brings together.

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

  • Turning our idea into a veritable business: to not only have fun, but also professionalise the area of ​​surprise. 
  • Accustoming our customers to the fact that an unusual organization has a price, too. Clarifying our offer. 
  • Organising surprises is not well known to the general public: what are the organisation and teams involved? It’s not only fun, but work too!

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

We met with professionals with whom we could create synergy. We’re part of a network where contacts and projects are facilitated. We received financial assistance to train at the Solvay Brussels School. It was a huge aid in the conception of our project, and radically changed our view on things.

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

  • Have faith in your idea, and find the will and energy to make it come true.
  • Listen to your heart and not your fears. There are many good reasons to continue, and many bad reasons to stop.
  • Develop the skills that you didn’t start off with over time. Continue to learn and be curious.
28 Rue Veydtstraat (1060)

Do you want to take your idea to the next level like Emmanuelle and Isabeau?