3 Romanian Chambers Join Exclusive Online Lead Generation Platform

Visual for online lead generation platform

Introduction

We’re proud to announce that two great chambers have joined our business matchmaking and online lead generation platform. BEROCC, Belgian Luxembourg Romanian Moldovan Chamber of Commerce, joined early 2018 and later followed by AmCham Romania, the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania, and BRCC, the British Romanian Chamber of Commerce.

In this article you will read about key information about the new members and why joining an online platform will boost your online lead generation.

About the chambers

BEROCC

Visual of The Belgian Luxembourg Romanian Moldovan Chamber of Commerce

The Belgian Luxembourg Romanian Moldovan Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to promote Belgian-Luxembourg-Romanian-Moldovan trade and investments. Below is a short overview of some of their goals:

  • They create a network of businesspeople between the countries they focus on, be it through digital marketing or in real-time
  • Wanting to deliver products and services to in Romania for Belgian companies
  • Promoting Belgian companies in Romania and Moldova
  • Generating leads and help Belgium, Romanian, Luxembourg, and Moldovan business associations and Chambers of Commerce to connect

The Belgian Luxembourg Romanian Moldovan Chamber of Commerce mission is mainly about; aiding Belgian, Luxembourg, Romanian, and Moldavian companies with an effective marketing strategy creating 2-way partnerships.

The Chamber is a business organization that aims to promote the Belgian Luxembourg Romanian Moldovan trade and investment. This by supporting and defending the interests of their members, and at the same time providing them information about business in Romania and Belgium. 

Find below information about key team members of the Chamber.

Team members

Picture of Koen Vanvinkenroye President of the board of the Belgian Luxembourg Romanian Moldovan Chamber of Commerce

Koen Vanvinckenroye is the current President of the board BEROCC since February 2018. Besides that, also a board member of the Federation of Belgian Chambers of commerce in 2019. Besides these positions, he is also a member of the board of advisors for Telios Care and the Owner of Frumoro. 

In September 2017 Koen Vanvinckenroye started working in Belgium for Fidea at Fidea  Assurances in Antwerp. There he had 250 staff in the management of operations, IT, Actuarial functions, and Business information under his wing.

Picture of Alain Schodts Executive director of the Belgian Luxembourg Romanian Moldovan Chamber of Commerce

Alain Schodts is since 2017 the Executive director of the Belgian Luxembourg Romanian Moldovan Chamber of Commerce.

He started as branch manager at Centea in 1986. Following this, he went on and became RS network billing manager for DHL in 1995. From 2007 till 2010 he was managing director for DGM support. He became Executive Managing Director of Just Logistics SRL in 2015.

Location

The address of the Chamber is Bulevardul Dacia 58, București 030167, Romania. You can contact them through the following contact information: email address info@berocc.com or calling them with this phone number: +40 751 020 993.

You can find them at the following location on Google maps.

Screenshot of the Belgian Luxembourg Romanian Moldovan Chamber of Commerce on Google maps

If you are a platform member find BEROCC’s profile, or you can also access all their business opportunities and their chamber members on the platform.

If you want to get in touch with them directly, start your free trial on the platform. 

Britcham

Visual of The British Romanian Chamber of Commerce

The British Romanian Chamber of Commerce promotes bilateral trade and investment between the United Kingdom and Romania. Their mission is to facilitate and increase the trade between those two countries. 

The BRCC has been doing this for well over 22 years. An independent organization that does not rely on anything else than their members situated in Romania and the UK. With 250 members and 500 events, it is looking to further expand its reach by joining our online business matchmaking platform.

Find below information about key team members of the Chamber.

Team members

Picture of Madalina Ciinaru, Head of The British Romanian Chamber of Commerce Bucharest Office

Madalina Ciinaru is the head of the Bucharest Office of the British Romanian Chamber of Commerce. Having been in the Chamber since 2014, starting as a Trade Adviser, she has 7 years of experience in the Romanian Chamber.

Her professional career started at Fairwind Securities as a Junior Financial Analyst from 2008 until 2011. Right after that, she started at Oracle as EMEA License migration Analyst.

Picture of Stefan Iacob, Membership Coordinator of The British Romanian Chamber of Commerce

Stefan Iacob the Membership Coordinator at the British Romanian Chamber of commerce and platform Moderator. 

He first graduated with a Master’s degree in Diplomacy in international Economy in 2020 at the Bucharest University of Economic studies. When he started working for the BRCC, he began as a membership assistant before occupying his current position.

Locations

The address of the Chamber is Strada Nicolae Iorga 5, București, Romania. You can contact them through the following contact information: email address info@brcconline.eu, shajjad@thelittlepeople.ro, sibiu@brcconline.eu  or calling them with this phone number: + 40 21 312 48 51

You can find them at the following location on Google maps

Screenshot of The British Romanian Chamber of Commerce address on Google maps

If you are a platform member find BritCham’s profile on the platform and get in touch with them directly. Start your free trial on the platform!

AmCham Romania

Visual of The American Chamber of Commerce in Romania

The American Chamber of Commerce in Romania makes Romania a better home for business. Started as a relationship with only U.S companies as their target audience. Is now evolved after 25 years of work into a NATO and EU member representing more than 450 companies around the world.

Their mission is to improve Romania’s business growth while increasing trade and investment between Romania and the United States. AmCham Romania’s priority is to facilitate and promote dialogue between the business community and the central authorities. 

Find below information about key team members of the Chamber.

Team members

Picture of Anca Harasim, CEO of The American Chamber of Commerce in Romania

The Executive Director of AmCham Romania, Anca Harasim, has been the executive director for almost 20 years. Coordinating a team of 7 members and managing all Board’s activities and publicity representing AmCham Romania.

Picture of Manuel Cazac, Manager and Public Assistant of The American Chamber of Commerce in Romania

Manuel Cazac is the manager and Public Assistant of AmCham Romania and has been with the chamber since 2019.

He began his professional journey in 2017 as an intern for the Romanian Culture Institute in the UK. From intern at Guvernul Romäniei to becoming Co-founder of Bentham Digest in 2017. Manuel Cazac is also Co-founder and Board founder of District Hub.

Locations

The address of the Chamber is Strada Ion Câmpineanu 11, București 010031, Romania. You can contact them through the following contact information: email address amcham@amcham.ro. You can also call them on this phone number: + 40 21 312 48 51.

You can find them at the following location on Google maps

Screenshot of The American Chamber of Commerce in Romania on Google maps

If you are a platform member, find AmCham Romania and their chamber members on the platform. If you want to get in touch with them directly, start your free trial on the platform!

Access online business communities

Visual of online business communities

With more than 40 Chambers worldwide (available in 4 languages) and with more than 25.000 users, it’s safe to say that our platform is becoming more and more a Chamber and business directory and that can increase your online lead generation. The community keeps growing.

For AmCham, BRCC and BEROCC joining a business matchmaking platform can help to achieve their goal: providing online business opportunities & connections from other Chambers and business networks. This will also accelerate the digitalisation of the Chambers and members businesses.

All of this helps sales activities of any business, no matter industry, origin, sector or size.

The best method and strategy for a sales team to perform efficiently is using a sales funnel. A sales funnel is another word for the sales process from beginning to end. Adding additional criteria to each deal gives it the conical shape that resembles a funnel.

In conclusion, by joining our platform they have access to an online lead generation tool that can boost their sales activities and help with a lead generation strategy. No need for marketing automation tools anymore.

A marketing automation platform and email marketing service help businesses with email marketing, email list, surveys, track your website visitors and conversion rate on the landing page.

You can find some more information about the Chambers sales team and relevant blog posts about things like content marketing on their website. 

Did you find the article interesting or do you want to read more articles like this one? Make sure to visit our blog

Want to join an Online Lead Generation tool?

You can find our office at the following address: Avenue des Saisons 118 A, 1050 Bruxelles. Discover location on Google maps

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us through our contact information.

Screenshot of the online business matchmaking platform CONNECTS on Google maps

Do you want to contact BEROCC’s, AmCham Romania, and BRCC’s or any other participating chambers network?

Are you an entrepreneur wanting to discover and develop new opportunities, both locally and internationally? Join our Business Matchmaking Platform and start your free trial.

Already a member of a participating chamber? Join our Business Matchmaking Platform for free.

Want to learn more about CONNECTS? Find us on Google maps! For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us or request a demo

CCI Wallonie: 5 Important Walloon Chambers of Commerce

Visual of CCI Wallonie chambers of commerce

CCI Wallonie Intro

The Walloon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI Wallonie) brings together the five Walloon Chambers of Commerce. It is their only representative. In this article, you can find everything you need to know about CCIW!

CCI Wallonie organises the Walloon network of business services. It ensures the delivery of its members’ projects.

The five local chambers cover the whole Walloon Region:

  • Wallonie Picarde
  • Hainaut
  • Brabant Wallon
  • Liège-Verviers-Namur
  • Luxembourg Belge

The Chamber of Commecre represents 6,000 companies and has 68 employees.

The CCI Wallonie also includes the German-speaking chamber of commerce of Eupen Malmedy St-Vith as an associate member. It has the Walloon Union of Enterprises (UWE) as a partner.

Furthermore, the Chamber serves as vice-president of the CPCCAF (Conférence Permanente des Chambres Consulaires Africaines et Francophones).

Leadership

Visual of Philippe Barras - Président of CCI Wallonie

Philippe Barras is currently the president of CCI Wallonie. He joined in June 2020.

He will be the new ambassador of CCI Wallonie in the network of Flemish, Brussels and international Chambers of Commerce.

Above all, Philippe will support the Chamber in its neutral third-party missions with companies, economic operators, and public institutions.

Services

The CCI Wallonie brings together companies of all sizes and sectors. Its goal is to provide its members with support. It assists them in the development of their projects, their growth, and their success.

The chamber of Commerce operates on the Walloon, Belgian, European and international levels.

Most recently, the CCI Wallonie has organised information sessions about Brexit. It has organised commercial missions in Nigeria and Benin. It also hosted various networking events, such as CCI Liège-Verviers-Namur’s Meet’in Music.

CCI Wallonie offers a range of services:

  • Business centre: The Chambers offer a space for entrepreneurs and companies to conduct business and meet in a professional setting.
  • Communication: CCI Wallonie helps businesses be more visible through their various communication channels.
  • International: It gives entrepreneurs advice regarding international exports and legislation.
  • Events: It organises different networking, educational, and informational events to support companies in their growth.
  • Development: CCI Wallonie accompanies businesses throughout their development, giving advice and help with all their business projects and needs.

How to become a member

In order to become a member, you can go to the website of the relevant regional CCI Wallonie Chamber of Commerce and fill in a form or contact them directly. You can also join CONNECTS via CCI Wallonie here.

Key contacts

Moderators are responsible for specific networks or Chambers of Commerce in the platform. Moderators work directly for the Chambers of Commerce.

They are there to help entrepreneurs. They can give advice about communications, information on companies or local markets. They can arrange introductions with other entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs can directly contact any moderator from another Chamber of Commerce. This means they have access to local market information and trustworthy contacts from Chambers of Commerce throughout the world.

Here are the moderators for the CCI Wallonie Chambers:

Visual of Mélanie Vandevoorde - CCI Wallonie Picarde

Wallonie Picarde – Mélanie Vandevoorde

Visual of CCI Hainaut - Gaëtan Di Gravio

Hainaut – Gaëtan Di Gravio

Visual of CCI Brabant Wallon - Ben Deleers

Brabant Wallon – Ben Deleers

Visual of CCI Liège-Verviers-Namur - Anne Pirlet

Liège-Verviers-Namur – Anne Pirlet

Visual of CCI Luxembourg Belge - Stephanie Wanlin

Luxembourg Belge – Stephanie Wanlin

Location

You can find the main CCI Wallonie offices at Avenue Robert Schuman 101, 1401 Nivelles, Belgium.

Visual of CCI Wallonie Google my business

CCI Wallonie and CONNECTS

CCI Wallonie joined the platform in 2020.

CONNECTS was first formally presented by Bernadette Theni, Executive Director of CCILB. The platform was introduced and discussed among the 1350 members in February at the “rentree économique” organized by the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Luxembourg. 

The six public Chambers of Wallonia have collectively already invited almost 5000 of their members from various sectors to join and use the platform CONNECTS.

Interested?

Interested in making your company grow and prosper? Want to have access to CCI Wallonie’s network? Join CONNECTS and discover a world of new business opportunities you can trust.

Enjoy our latest offer and start your free trial now. This offer includes:

  • The opportunity to connect with all our members
  • Validation by a moderator
  • Access to the companies and member search tool
  • View and create business opportunities
  • Online training on how to use the platform

Are you already a member of a participating chamber? Then join our Business Matchmaking Platform for free.

If you are doing business in Belgium, you might also be interested in reading our article about Voka (the Flemish Chamber of Commerce) and BECI (the Brussels Chamber of Commerce) or have a read of our article that gives an overview of the different chambers in Belgium.

Business is all about confidence in the future. At CONNECTS we believe we can only develop strong business relationships through trusted networks.

We provide entrepreneurs with the best of both worlds, the digital and the personal user experience. The platform is a unique, simple, and effective tool for online B2B matchmaking.

Want to learn more about CONNECTS? Find us on Google maps, for more information, don’t hesitate to contact us.

The Camara de Comercio de Barranquilla: the Perfect Partner for Business in Colombia

Visual of the Camara de Comercio de Barranquilla logo

Chambers of Commerce are a type of organization that was first established following the need for merchants to associate and defend their interests. They would work together to further their business objectives and activities.

This is exactly what the Camara de Comercio de Barranquilla (CCB) does.

The Chamber has modern headquarters and service points in Barranquilla, Soledad and Sabanalarga. From each of these points, the Camara de Comercio de Barranquilla provides its services using cutting-edge technology. It has a whole team of well-trained and experienced staff members to help its members.

The Camara de Comercio de Barranquilla: 100 years of visionary entrepreneurs

The Barranquilla Chamber of Commerce and the business people that make it up have been the engine of regional progress, a pool of knowledge for other civic and business institutions that are the pride and joy of the people of Atlantis. The activity and energy the Chamber is experiencing today is the result, in part, of a century of hard work.

The Camara de Comercio de Barranquilla is now into its second century helping businesses thrive throughout the Caribbean.

A strong ally for progress

True to its motto and for one hundred years, the Barranquilla Chamber of Commerce has been the best ally of the businesspeople of the City, the Department and the Caribbean region. 

Always acting with passion, dreaming big, anticipating and preparing better conditions for entrepreneurs, managing the most relevant business and infrastructure projects, fostering institutional development, or implementing programs for the cultural, civic and social development of the city, the Camara de Comercio de Barranquilla has become an emblem of the positive and progressive history of Barranquilla and the Atlantic.

From the dawn of the 21st century, new winds of transformation began to renew the historic atmosphere of the capital of the Atlantic. 

Thanks to countless developments and innovations in all areas of social, cultural, technological and economic life around the world, as well as significant remodelling of local institutional agendas, and above all to the emergence of a new type of civic, business and political leadership, the city experiences a sense of pride and trust that permeates all of society and the productive sectors.

At the base of this luminous present, and of the ambitious future, is the uninterrupted, applied, structure and hard work of the Barranquilla Chamber of Commerce.

More than a union, the Camara de Comercio de Barranquilla has been, through a century of services and accomplishments, the most important agency for the development of the Atlantic and the Caribbean Region.

Management

The Board of Directors for the Camara de Comercio de Barranquilla is made up of 12 experienced business people. They all have their respective alternates, making for a total of 24 members. Of these, 16 are chosen by the businesspeople on an annual basis, and the remaining 8 are appointed by the National Government.

Here is a list of the current leaders and alternates for the individual business posts.

Statement of purpose

The Barranquilla Chamber of Commerce, in its role as a body for the development of business, offers highly efficient processes and top-notch physical and technological infrastructure to provide services with added value. 

The Camara de Comercio de Barranquilla to commits to its stakeholders with:

  • The continuous improvement of its processes, to ensure the efficiency and excellence of its services.
  • Attention and support with highly competent collaborators who are committed to providing the best possible service.
  • The provision of technological, innovative and friendly channels that facilitate interaction between the employer and the CCB.
  • The satisfaction of members and other stakeholders with the services provided by the CCB.

The Chamber’s strategy

The Barranquilla Chamber of Commerce leads the management of key actors to promote prosperity and competitiveness through the activation of information, capital and knowledge in order to generate a positive impact on the region.

In 2022, the Barranquilla Chamber of Commerce will generate revenues of 50 billion pesos through its registry services and business services and will strengthen its role as a regional development agency.

Services

The Camara de Comercio de Barranquilla offers three types of services:

  • Information:  they provide entrepreneurs with the information they need to improve decision-making and strategy for their business.
  • Consulting and Advice: They provide support and advice tailored to the individual needs of companies.
  • Training: they offer personalized training spaces that allow businesses to strengthen the capacities of their teams.

Location

The Camara de Comercio de Barranquilla has different business points. You can find all of them here.

Visual of Camara de Comercio de Barranquilla on Google Maps

How to become a member

In order to join the Camara de Comercio de Barranquilla, you can contact them directly and they will get in touch promptly.

If you are already a member of the Chamber, you have free and complete access to CONNECTS, our online business matchmaking platform.

Are you an entrepreneur wanting to develop your business? Join our Business Matchmaking Platform and start your free trial now!

If you are a member of a participating chamber, then join our Business Matchmaking Platform for free.

Want to learn more about CONNECTS? Find us on Google maps! For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us.

The 3 Essential Belgian Chambers of Commerce: What You Can Accomplish With Them

Visual of the Belgian Chambers Banner

How can a Chamber of Commerce help you?

Before going through an in-depth analysis of the Belgian Chambers of Commerce, we’ll sum up what are the main activities of Chambers in general. Chambers of Commerce generally offer the following services:

  1. Documentation on economic and business matters
  2. Information on trading activities and regulations
  3. Details on market opportunities
  4. Customs regulations
  5. Training days, seminars, and conferences
  6. Trade missions

Depending on the size of the Chamber of Commerce, they can also offer complementary services. In this article, we’ll give a short intro of the 3 most essential Belgian Chambers of Commerce.

What is the goal of Chambers of Commerce?

Chambers of Commerce bring together entrepreneurs and companies. By doing this, they aim to create new business opportunities. 

Chambers of Commerce are dedicated to creating an environment that promotes business. They wish to have a fundamental impact on regional prosperity and well-being. 

Chambers of Commerce are so well-positioned to help businesses. They can defend their interests at the local level and help them grow internationally.

All of the above-mentioned advantages are the reason why it’s helpful to have a federation, such as the Belgian Chambers of Commerce in Belgium. It provides a clear structure, guidelines and support for all Chambers.

What are the advantages of joining a Chamber of Commerce?

There are many benefits to joining a Chamber of Commerce, including:

  • Discounts are available on many of your business needs. These include price reductions on insurance, marketing fees, office supplies, accounting software and payroll services.
  • It makes your business more attractive and credible to your clients.
  • The chamber can promote your business, especially when you first become a member. Chambers have many different marketing channels, including their website, social media, community events and print advertising.
  • A chamber of commerce supports its members. It acts as a spokesperson for the common interests of its members.
  • When you join a chamber, you can develop networks with other members. By networking, you can get to know other members of your community, develop partnerships, and support other businesses. If your business is in need, you can call upon a community of businesses for help.
  • Your chamber of commerce can organize business development events. These events can include training and meetings, and help you develop or improve essential business skills. Their events can help you improve your business without exceeding your operating budget.

The three most popular Chambers of Commerce in Belgium are BECI, CCI Wallonie, and Voka.

The Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce

Visual of the Belgian Chambers Banner

The Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce is the umbrella organisation of all chambers of commerce in Belgium.

  • 7 chambers in Flanders collaborating within the Voka alliance
  • 1 chamber of commerce in Brussels (BECI)
  • 5 chambers of commerce (CCI) in Wallonia
  • 1 chamber of commerce (IHK) in the German-speaking region

The Federation furthermore represents the interests of 33 Belgian-Luxembourg chambers of commerce abroad. Its accreditation programme enables the Federation to guarantee a high-quality service through its members to Belgian companies.

The Federation’s operations are built up around three pillars:

  • Export formalities: coordinating the issuance of certificates of origin by chambers and national guarantee organisation for ATA carnets.
  • International enterprise: supporting chambers’ activities with the Federation’s international network through, among other things, EUROCHAMBRES and the World Chambers Federation.
  • Sustainable enterprise: encouraging the chambers to seek out solutions, together with companies, for social challenges.

The Federation has structural collaboration agreements with the FPS Economy and with the General Administration of Customs and Excise. Increasing the competitive strength of Belgian companies is the underlying theme of these agreements.

Management team

Visual of René Branders, President of the Federation of Belgian Chambers

René Branders is the President of the Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce. René has always been dealing with international affairs.His work has always involved negotiation and a lot of intercultural dialogue. René understands the necessity of having the four networks work both on an international and a regional level.

Visual of Wouter Van Gulck, General Manager of the Federation of Belgian Chambers

Wouter Van Gulck is the General Manager. He did a Master of Laws at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. He was the Trade Commissioner for Flanders Investment & Trade in Johannesburg and New York between 1995 and 2004. Wouter is passionate about foreign countries, cultures, and people.

Location

The Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce offices can be found at 2 Rue Belliard, 7th floor, 1040 Brussels, Belgium.

Visual of the Belgian Chambers' Google my Business

Brussels Enterprises Commerce and Industry (BECI)

Visual of the BECI logo

Brussels Enterprises Commerce and Industry (BECI) is a partnership between the Brussels Chamber of Commerce and the Brussels Business Union.

Management is carried out by and for their members. Their work is based on intercultural, neutral and bilingual principles. 

BECI encompasses almost two-thirds of the workforce in Brussels. It brings together more than 35,000 companies.

BECI Leadership

Visual of Olivier Willocx, Managing Director BECI

Olivier Willocx (Managing Director)

Visual of Joelle Evenepoel, General Secretary BECI

Joelle Evenepoel (General Secretary)

Visual of Jan De Brabanter, UEB General Secretary BECI

Jan De Brabanter (UEB General Secretary)

Visual of Marc Decorte, President BECI

Marc Decorte (President)

What does BECI do?

BECI is the ideal partner for any active company. It helps its members in several ways:

  • defends the individual and collective interests of Brussels companies.
  • expands professional networks through events and its internal contacts.
  • offers advice and support to companies at all stages of their growth.

BECI initiatives

Over the years, BECI has led many successful initiatives

In response to the coronavirus crisis, BECI acquired 10.000 masks for Brussels workers. This was in collaboration with the citizens’ initiative #SproutToBeBrussels.

You can find more detailed information about BECI in our article about them.

Walloon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI Wallonie)

Visual of the CCI Wallonie logo

The Walloon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI Wallonie) brings together the five Walloon Chambers of Commerce. It is their only representative. 

The CCI Wallonie organises the Walloon network of business services. It ensures the delivery of its members’ projects.

The five local chambers cover the whole Walloon Region:

  • Wallonie Picarde
  • Hainaut
  • Brabant Wallon
  • Liège-Verviers-Namur
  • Luxembourg Belge

CCI Wallonie represents 6,000 companies and has 68 employees. 

The CCI Wallonie also includes the German-speaking chamber of commerce of Eupen Malmedy St-Vith as an associate member. It has the Walloon Union of Enterprises (UWE) as a partner.

Furthermore, the CCI Wallonie serves as vice-president of the CPCCAF (Conférence Permanente des Chambres Consulaires Africaines et Francophones).

Find more information about CCI Wallonie in our article about them.

Leadership

Visual of Philippe Barras - Président CCI Wallonie

Philippe Barras is currently the president of CCI Wallonie.

What does CCI Wallonie do?

The CCI Wallonie brings together companies of all sizes and sectors. Its goal is to provide its members with support. It assists them in the development of their projects, their growth, and their success. 

CCI Wallonie operates on the Walloon, Belgian, European and international levels.

Most recently, the CCI Wallonie has organised information sessions about Brexit. It has organised commercial missions in Nigeria and Benin. It also hosted various networking events, such as CCI Liège-Verviers-Namur’s Meet’in Music.

Chambers of Commerce in Flanders

Visual of the Voka Chamber of Commerce logo

Vlaams Netwerk van Ondernemingen (Voka) is the most important network of companies in Flanders. It represents the interests of its member companies up to the highest levels.

Voka was created in January 2004. The Flemish Economic Union and the eight regional Chambers of Commerce in Flanders decided to collaborate as part of an alliance.

Today, Voka encompasses the Voka asbl and six chambers of commerce: 

  • Voka – Flanders
  • Voka – Mechelen-Kempen
  • Voka – Antwerp-Waasland
  • Voka – East Flanders
  • Voka – Vlaams-Brabant
  • Voka – West-Flanders
  • Voka – Limburg

There is also the Voka Metropolitan in Brussels for Dutch-speaking companies. 

What does Voka do?

The Voka asbl is dedicated to defending the interests of its members. It helps them develop projects at the Flemish regional level.

Voka asbl are especially active in the defence of regional interests, networking and the implementation of business services.

Since 2008, Voka has been actively cooperating with 29 industrial organisations. This has further strengthened employer networks.

Companies become direct members of Voka. This helps them to develop wider business networks. 

Members are the major strength of the organization. Voka is an association organised for and by Flemish companies. Their aim is to develop business opportunities freely and successfully in Flanders.

Voka initiatives

Over the years Voka, have taken part in a range of important debates, such as during regional and European elections. 

These debates brought together entrepreneurs and politicians from the main Belgian political parties. These included the CD&V, NVA, and Open Vld. 

Visual of Voka Belgian political debate

Voka was also part of a high-level delegation of Chambers of Commerce. These took part in discussions about Brexit with Dominic Raab in the UK.

Voka has the interests of its members at heart. It takes part in key discussions at the highest levels. It also organises valuable events for entrepreneurs.

If you want more information about Voka, you can read our article about them here.

BECI, CCI Wallonie, and Voka join CONNECTS

BECI is our oldest partner, having joined us in 2017. Voka then joined us in 2019. CCI Wallonie is our newest member, having started with us in 2020.

Since joining, members of these chambers have been able to access thousands of trustworthy partners, clients and opportunities across the world.

There are plenty of different networks on CONNECTS which you can access as a member, and the list is always growing.

What is CONNECTS?

CONNECTS is a digital Business Matchmaking Platform for Chambers of Commerce, SMEs and Start-ups.

Strong business relationships can only be developed through trusted networks. Working with Chambers, we provide access to trustworthy leads, suppliers, partnerships, skills and business communities. It provides members with a trusted and safe B2B environment for business growth.

Success Stories

CONNECTS can greatly benefit entrepreneurs. A fantastic example is when a BECI moderator posted an opportunity on the platform related to COVID-19. 

Soon after, The Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Europe (CCCE) showed interest. 

This led to a successful collaboration between the two chambers, allowing for business resilience and continuity in a time of crisis.

As we move into a post-corona world, such examples will become increasingly common.

Another great example is of a Nigerian chemical manufacturer which found a successful lead with a Belgian speciality chemicals company, through CONNECTS.

CONNECTS is the best way to initiate trustworthy business collaborations across the world.

Interested?

Want to grow your business using CCI Wallonie’s, Beci and Voka’s networks?

Excellent, because they are part of CONNECTS! 

Are you a Chamber of Commerce? Book a demo with Salvadore Jani, our business developer, here to discover how you can use CONNECTS to grow your business.

Are you an entrepreneur wanting to develop your business? Join our Business Matchmaking Platform and take advantage of our offer and start your free trial now.

Already a member of a participating chamber? Join our Business Matchmaking Platform for free.

Want to learn more about CONNECTS? Find us on Google maps! For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us or request a demo

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and CONNECTS, a Strong Partnership since 2017

Visual of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce team

A bit about the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

Established in 1924 the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce is a privately run membership organisation. It opens doors for local businesses and organisations of all types and sizes by helping them to grow their profile and connect with other businesses locally, nationally and globally.

Management Team

Hertfordshire Chamber is managed by a Board of Directors.

Chairman: Jeremy Bishop

Visual of Jeremy Bishop, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

Founder and CEO of Mirage Health Group an international health and dental company headquartered in the UK. A true entrepreneur at heart, Jeremy has been running his own businesses since his early 20s and his experience spans a range of industry sectors in both B2B and B2C.

Chief Executive Officer: Briege Leahy

Visual of Briege Leahy, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

Briege was appointed Chief Executive in March 2019 and is committed to increasing opportunities for the Hertfordshire Chamber and meeting its members’ needs. Briege spearheads an exciting period of investment and transformation at the Chamber and is keen on delivering a strong business influence on the growth of the Hertfordshire community.

Services

Hertfordshire Chamber offers a wide range of services for its members, both locally and internationally. Whether you are planning to export for the first time, or expanding on your existing export activity, their export team has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, and can offer practical advice and assistance, with documentation services and international marketing and business information.

We have a dedicated British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) approved documentation team who can help with the issue and certification of documents to ensure your goods and services are exported in accordance with international law and procedures.

Global benefits include:

  • Certificates of Origin
  • Electronic Export documentation
  • Certification, Legalisation & Notarisation of Export Documentation
  • EUR1 & ATR customs authentication
  • Global, European and National Connections with British Chambers of Commerce
  • Access to CONNECTS – Pan-European contact and trading platform
  • 50% discount for Chamber members on all documents certified by the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

Mission and Goals

The Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to become the representation and support organisation for businesses in Hertfordshire. They aim to contribute to the long-term economic environment, success and prosperity of Hertfordshire.

In order to support the ongoing prosperity and growth of its members and local economy effectively, they offer a dedicated programme of activities and events to facilitate business opportunities for members  and offer benefits that help them in running profitable businesses.

The Chamber also negotiates group discounts for member companies that help to reduce operating costs and provide detailed information about various topics on their website.

Furthermore, they offer marketing and advertising opportunities and manage various groups throughout the country to help members connect, partner and thrive.

Their four core values are:

  • Customer oriented: The Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce is passionate about meeting the expectations of its members.
  • Exemplary behaviours: The way they operate is underpinned by their conduct. They will behave with professionalism and integrity at all times.
  • Quality driven: They will strive to deliver excellence consistently and look into opportunities continuously to make their services more effective.
  • Delivering value: They aim to create value driven solutions for their members. This is at the heart of everything they do.

Events

The Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce’s expertise lies in training, organisational development, sales and marketing. This is combined with strong business experience and organised events throughout the year. The Chamber’s services enable members to build strong partnerships, connect with other businesses and gain a good understanding and confidence about how to develop and grow their profile and business in the long-term. 

These will also allow members to gain a competitive advantage. Members can attend regular networking events throughout the UK and meet with other decision makers. There, they can speak out about various topics, share ideas and advice. This is also a great way for members to make their businesses visible to a wider audience. Furthermore, the Chamber has a range of media channels to promote their members’ work.

The various opportunities and events they offer include:

  • Chamber Lunches
  • Women in Leadership Lunches 
  • PA Club Lunches
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Topical Conferences
  • Expert Masterclasses
  • Training Seminars & Workshops
  • And more recently, online events including Summits and Webinars

The Hertfordshire Chamber has ambassadors who have large networks and make introductions between members. They can open doors both on a national and an international level, through an accredited chamber of commerce network and overseas professional networks across forty-one high growth markets.

Membership

Hertfordshire Chamber offers a wide range of membership levels and benefits, as well as events and training.

Please call the office on 00 44 1707 502 180 or email: enquiries@hertschamber.com  for help with finding the perfect package for your business.

Key contact

Visual of John Woodruffe Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

John Woodruffe is our key contact and moderator for the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce.

Location

The Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce offices can be found at MacLaurin Building, 4 Bishops Cl, Hatfield AL10 9NE, United Kingdom.

The Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce also has a Google My Business page where you can find more information about the Hertfordshire Chamber and leave a review.

Visual of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce on Google Maps

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and CONNECTS

CONNECTS (formerly known as COBCOE Connects) is an online service designed to help member companies to grow their businesses through easy access to contacts in new markets.

CONNECTS uses advanced B2B matchmaking to help find the right strategic partners for your business. It is a simple and effective platform to create a secure overseas network to help your business grow. Not only can you grow your overseas presence and network, but with CONNECTS you will also gain access to businesses within the U.K, aiding you in setting up connections and strategic partnerships.

You can read more about the CONNECTS communities which you can access as a member of the platform. If you found this article interesting, you might also want to read our piece about the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium.

Our partners are also constantly helping us to improve our platform.

Interested?

Interested in making your company grow and prosper? Want to have access to the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce’s network? Join CONNECTS and discover a world of new business opportunities you can trust.

Enjoy our latest offer: start your free trial. This offer includes:

  • The opportunity to connect with all our members
  • Validation by a moderator
  • Access to the companies and member search tool
  • View and create business opportunities
  • Online training on how to use the platform

Already a member of a participating chamber? Join our Business Matchmaking Platform for free.

Business is all about confidence in the future. At CONNECTS we believe we can only develop strong business relationships through trusted networks. 

We provide entrepreneurs with the best of both worlds, the digital and the personal user experience. The platform is a unique, simple, and effective tool for online B2B matchmaking.

Want to learn more about CONNECTS? Find us on Google maps! For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us or request a demo

BECI: Boost Instantly Your Business in Brussels

Visual of the Beci Brussels chamber of commerceoffice

If you are doing business in Brussels, you might have heard of BECI (Brussels Enterprises Commerce & Industry).

BECI is the Chamber of Commerce in Brussels which helps entrepreneurs with their business needs. They are a valuable source of expertise, support and knowledge.

In this article, we will explore more about BECI, who the top players are, what it does and more.

About BECI

Brussels Enterprises Commerce & Industry (BECI) is a partnership between the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIB) and the Union of Companies (UEB) in Brussels. BECI’s roots go back to 1703 when the Chamber of Commerce and Industry was founded.

BECI is managed by its members. It is based on an interprofessional, neutral, and bilingual model. It represents two-thirds of employment in Brussels and more than 35.000 businesses. 

BECI has now been active for over 300 years in advising companies of all sizes and in all sectors. BECI is the privileged meeting place for all Brussels entrepreneurs and offers them a wide range of services.

BECI Leadership

Visual of Olivier Willocx, Managing Director at BECI

Olivier Willocx, Managing Director, studied economics at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Olivier has over 20 years of experience working with Chambers of Commerce.

visual of Joelle Evenepoel, General Secretary at BECI

Joelle Evenepoel is General Secretary. She studied law at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Joelle has now been working at BECI for nearly 17 years.

Visual of Jan De Brabanter, UEB General Secretary

Jan De Brabanter is UEB’s General Secretary. He studied political science at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He has been working with UEB for nearly 10 years.

Visual of Marc Decorte, President at BECI

Marc Decorte is the President. He has been CEO for Shell Belgium & Luxembourg for over 10 years. He has over 35 years of experience in technology, business development, and marketing. For the past few years, he has focussed a lot on digital transformation.

BECI has three parts to it, with the Executive Committee, the CCIB Administrative Council, and the UEB Administrative Council.

The CCIB Administrative Council’s President is Marc Decorte, and the Vice-presidents are Sandrine Agie, Roland Cracco, and Thierry Willemarck.

The UEB Administrative Council’s General Secretary is Jan De Brabanter.

BECI has 8 different departments: Executive Management, International Affairs, Events & Training, Marketing & Communications, NKVK, Business Relations, Business Consultancy, and their Centre of Expertise.

Services

BECI is the ideal partner for any active company. The Chamber of Commerce helps its members in several ways:

  • Defends the individual and collective interests of Brussels companies.
  • Expands professional networks through events and its internal contacts.
  • Offers advice and support to companies at all stages of their growth.

BECI offers 8 different categories of services, which we will take a look at.

Se lancer

Starting a business is embarking on a great adventure that will change your life. It’s exciting, but it cannot be improvised. BECI offer advice and support to entrepreneurs wanting to launch a business, they help with formalities and documentation, they offer training and networking opportunities, and they provide the opportunity to expose your ideas to a wider audience.

Se financier

Entrepreneurs very often have a tendency to think of “Bank” when they need financing. The bank’s mission is not to finance venture capital, which is why many companies are refused when they request financing. Financing an activity or a company is a risk in itself. There are currently many forms and formulas of risk financing for businesses. By “Private Equity”, BECI refers to all funds of private origin that may correspond to a momentary need in the life of the company. BECI can help find funds on the market for project entrepreneurs, startups, scale ups, mature expansion / export companies or companies in transfer. They offer support with crowdfunding, crowdlending, private investment funds, events and documentation.

Prospecter

Doing business means first of all finding customers – but also suppliers, service providers, partners … BECI’s networks, networking tools and its networking events can help you. BECI offers advice, expertise about the EU, communications support, and information about the public market.

Transmettre

Selling or acquiring a business requires a lot of preparation and foresight. BECI acts as a trusted partner for the realization of such projects.

Mobilité

Mobility in Brussels is one of BECI’s main priorities for its members. Whether you want to develop a more efficient mobility policy, need advice, a diagnosis, a travel plan or just information, BECI is there to give advice and help you find solutions. They also have a cash for car module to help businesses figure out how much the mobility of their employees will cost.

S’exporter

In Belgium, a border is never far away. In a small country with an open economy, at the heart of Europe, exporting is a natural and even necessary process. Whether you need help with export formalities, advice about Brexit, support with exploring new European markets, links to other businesses globally or more locally, BECI is there to support you.

Résoudre

The Center for Businesses in Difficulty is open to all entrepreneurs and managers of SMEs/VSEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) in the Brussels-Capital region, who are facing professional problems or who have questions about the future.

BECI offers support regardless of industry, legal form and size of business. There is no need to be a member of Beci to benefit from these services. You can make use, free of charge, of the experience of a team of experts in a wide variety of fields (professional accountants, lawyers, strategists, digital experts, coaches, etc.). Take stock of your situation, receive information and practical advice to determine the most appropriate solutions in order to bounce back or turn the page.

Rebondir

Have you closed your activity, declared bankruptcy or liquidated your business? You can meet BECI’s coaches and join a community of entrepreneurs. You can become part of the reSTART program to bounce back. The aim of the reSTART programme is to share your experience within a kind and supporting group, to accept the reality of your bankruptcy (working on past failures and oneself), to have a better self-awareness, strengthen confidence and self-esteem, to define a new project and become part of a new professional dynamic, and to provide access to new networks and contacts.

E-services

On top of these 8 services, BECI offers e-services, grouped into paperwork and export formalities. 

Within the e-services for paperwork, BECI can help with shutting down a business or establishment unit, modifying your company data, starting a business, obtaining a business number, writing up a certificate of non-bankruptcy, registering leases, finding extracts from the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises, and writing up publications in the Belgian Official Gazette.

Within the e-services for export formalities, BECI can give consular advice and help with obtaining a Globalsign certificate, targeting documents, obtaining a certificate of origin and obtaining an ATA Carnet.

BECI also has an online calendar where entrepreneurs and members can access all their events, such as themed weeks, workshops, and webinars. Of course, with COVID-19, BECI has had to move all their events online, which makes it a lot easier for more people to access them and learn. These events can cover subjects such as leadership, managing during the pandemic, business continuity and international trade.

Initiatives

Over the years, BECI has led many successful initiatives:

Je soutiens mes commerçants et j’arrondis !

Je soutiens mes commerçants et j’arrondis!” equates to I support my local businesses and round up.

Despite the difficult socio-economic context and prospects for recovery which may seem bleak, BECI  observed an encouraging phenomenon of solidarity: since the start of the crisis, some consumers have been supportive of their local businesses who paid a heavy price during the first lockdown. By rounding up their bill when paying, consumers could generate up to € 140 million in aid over just a few months. This “J’arrondis” initiative has had great appeal for both local businesses and customers.

#PlayFair : rejoignez le mouvement en payant vos factures à temps! 

#PlayFair : rejoignez le mouvement en payant vos factures à temps!” equates to #PlayFair: join the movement by paying your bills on time!

COVID-19 and lockdown have had a huge impact on the Brussels, Belgian and global economy. During these complicated months, it is all the more important to pay your bills on time, otherwise, the consequences can sometimes be catastrophic.

A remark concerning the invoice, an incorrect number, a too vague payment deadline or an invoice not received, all the excuses are used to justify this type of behaviour. Only 15% of people affected by these unpaid bills are in fact in a situation of not being able to pay them.

These accumulated delays are putting pressure on businesses. They represent a direct threat to the survival of some, who are impacted, cannot themselves meet their commitments and sometimes lead them to bankruptcy. Often, the smaller the structure, the more serious the consequences in the event of payments not being honoured by customers.

#PlayFair is a solidarity initiative that encourages Belgian citizens to pay their bills. By participating in the movement, they are not only an actor in restarting the economy, but they also encourage their loved ones to do the same. As the name of this campaign suggests, by paying your bills, “playing it fair” and “paying fair” too,  you can also save yourself a lot of trouble.

Distribution of masks #SproutToBeBrussels

A mask covering the nose and mouth is now compulsory for anyone aged 12 and over in public places and in private places accessible to the public throughout the territory of the Brussels-Capital Region. In order to meet growing demand, BECI acquired 10,000 additional fabric masks – washable and reusable 10 times – for Brussels workers as part of the #SproutToBeBrussels citizens’ initiative.

BECI offers the possibility to order Sprout to be Brussels masks for businesses, staff, and clients.

Podcasts

As part of their educational initiative, BECI has three different podcast series: Beci Podcasts, Next step, and Bruxelles métropole. Beci has its own podcast, with interviews with experts, inspiring testimonials, anything that can directly or indirectly help entrepreneurs in their daily activities. 

Next step is the podcast that aims to inspire entrepreneurs to take the next step. In each episode, they invite listeners to meet passionate people, listen to their journey and be inspired by it.

Bruxelles Métropole is the benchmark magazine for Brussels executives and managers and now has its own podcast: meet the guests of the editorial staff in open-ended interviews, to talk about entrepreneurial and urban themes, close to the concerns of business leaders and the realities of their region.

Producing podcasts is a time consuming and challenging task in normal times, let alone during a pandemic. However, BECI is going stronger than ever with their podcasts.

4 Priorities

BECI has four priorities when it comes to doing the best for its members:

  • Nurture a favourable climate to business and entrepreneurship.
  • Strengthen employers’ power through relevant analyses and greater representation of a large and diverse group of members.
  • Make stakeholders and public bodies accountable through active participation in various consultative bodies and management mandates.
  • Ensure subsidiarity and good public governance.

In practice, this involves the representation of companies within the framework of social dialogue and to be a reliable partner in the mixed management of public affairs. It also means developing and sharing knowledge on urban economic development and the metropolitan phenomenon as well as developing projects. BECI also commits to advising and supporting companies, training and expanding its network and supporting members’ exports. Finally, BECI is determined to succeed in the missions of trusted third parties and facilitating administrative procedures in Belgium or abroad.

How to become a member

You must fill in an application and conduct a presentation to the Administration Council.

Find more information here.

Location

You can find the BECI offices at Avenue Louise 500, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium. BECI also has a Google My Business page where they have excellent ratings and where you can leave a review. 

Visual of BECI on Google My Business

Link with CONNECTS

BECI joined CONNECTS in 2017. Since then, members of BECI have been able to access thousands of opportunities across the world.

A perfect example of how CONNECTS can benefit entrepreneurs is when the BECI moderator posted an opportunity on the platform related to COVID-19. Soon after, The Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Europe (CCCE) showed interest. This led to a successful collaboration between the two chambers, allowing for business resilience and continuity in a time of crisis.

As we move into a post-corona world, such examples will become increasingly common. CONNECTS is the best way to initiate trustworthy business collaborations across the world. Join CONNECTS through BECI. There are plenty of different networks on CONNECTS which you can access as a member, and the list of networks is always growing. 

We also have a range of partners whom we are in constant communication with to improve the platform.

Interested?

Interested in making your company grow and prosper? Want to have access to BECI’s network? Join CONNECTS and discover a world of new business opportunities you can trust.

Enjoy our latest offer: start your free trial here. This offer includes:

  • The opportunity to connect with all our members
  • Validation by a moderator
  • Access to the companies and member search tool
  • View and create business opportunities
  • Online training on how to use the platform

Already a member of a participating chamber? Join our Business Matchmaking Platform for free.

If you are doing business in Belgium, you might also be interested in reading our article about Voka (the Flemish Chamber of Commerce) and CCI Wallonie (the Walloon Chamber of Commerce) or have a read of our article that gives an overview of the different chambers in Belgium.

Business is all about confidence in the future. At CONNECTS we believe we can only develop strong business relationships through trusted networks. We provide entrepreneurs with the best of both worlds, the digital and the personal user experience. The platform is a unique, simple, and effective tool for online B2B matchmaking.

Want to learn more about CONNECTS? Find us on Google maps! For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us or request a demo.

The British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium: 100 Years Supporting Amazing Businesses

Visual of the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium

About The British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium

The British Chamber of Commerce | EU & Belgium is a not-for-profit serving its members by facilitating business in Belgium and engaging with the European Commission, EU and its decision making.

The chamber has been serving the international business community for over 100 years. They are committed to the long term, continuing to be the ultimate Gateway to Europe.

The members of the British Chamber of Commerce are small to large businesses from Britain and across the world. They all have a stake in the success of Europe and its economy. The members employ 1.2m people in the UK alone. They have at least as many again in the rest of Europe.

They are a trusted partner to those already established in Belgium or looking to grow their business here and across Europe.

The British Chamber of Commerce believes in openness, inclusion and entrepreneurialism.

They are here to serve, facilitate and advise. They encourage members to connect, engage and belong to the Essential European Network.

Location

You can find the British Chamber of Commerce offices at 11 Boulevard Bischoffsheim, 1000 Brussels.

Management

Visual of Daniel Dalton, British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium

Dan Dalton is the Chief Executive Officer at the British Chamber of Commerce | EU & Belgium.

Previously, Dan was elected as the Conservative MEP for the West Midlands in January 2015 and stayed in that role until July 2019. He was the ECR Coordinator for the Internal Market Committee, and also served on the Civil Liberties Committee, which allowed him to work directly on breaking down the barriers to trade across Europe, something vitally important for helping British business.

Dan played many matches for Warwickshire County Cricket Club 2nd XI and for the cricket board. Afterwards, he worked on the club’s and county board’s youth development system. Dan is still a passionate cricket fan.

Visual of Tom Parker, British Chamber of Commerce

Tom Parker is the President. Tom is a well-known figure in the Brussels government relations and public affairs community. In a career spanning two decades, he has worked with organisations across a wide range of sectors, counselling on EU affairs and pan–European advocacy campaigns.  Tom has also worked on some of Europe’s highest profile reputational challenges and provides counsel on issues management and crisis communication at European and global levels.

Tom is an active member of the British business community in Brussels and is a regular commentator on lobbying practice and the future of the advocacy profession.

Services

The British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium offers a range of services for its members:

  • Business Training Programme: The chamber’s programme of half-day training sessions provides a regular source of practical learning in the areas of leadership development, communication and business management. The training courses are developed and delivered in English by members and business leaders. Each session has limited seats available to ensure an impactful learning outcome for all participants.
  • Sponsorship Opportunities: The British Chamber of Commerce believes that Europe’s future success depends on being #Open4Business. That means being open to people and talent, open to ideas and innovation – and open to trade and cooperation agreements. Members can support by contributing to the #Open4Business Initiative, enabling the Chamber to organise events and campaigns that drive forward their agenda across activities. The #Open4Business Initiative can contribute to any part of the chamber activities including EU policy, UK-EU relations and practical support and advice on doing business.
  • Establishing your presence in Belgium – Virtual Office: The virtual office is perfect for organisations of all sizes wanting to establish a business presence in Brussels. It includes: a local business telephone number, auto-forwarding of incoming calls, mail forwarding service, central Brussels location as your business address on corporate material and correspondence, and more.
  • Room Hire: Meeting rooms are available for hire individually or as a combined solution to your needs. The British Chamber of Commerce can accommodate anything from a private (2 person) business meeting to a fully catered event for up to a maximum of 80. All facilities are fully equipped for all your audio-visual needs.

How to join

Membership of the British Chamber is open to all international companies with an interest in international trade and business and the British Chamber of Commerce’s alignment and deep connection to the UK business community in Belgium and across the UK.

Members range from SMEs to large companies from the international business community in Belgium and the UK, who collectively employ over 2M people.

To join, you need to fill out a firm which you can find here. You can also join CONNECTS via the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium here

Key contact

Your key contact and CONNECTS moderator for the British Chamber of Commerce is Benjamin Lawler.

CONNECTS and The British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium

The British Chamber of Commerce EU | Belgium joined CONNECTS in November 2016.

CONNECTS is an online service designed to help member companies to grow their businesses through easy access to contacts in new markets.

CONNECTS uses advanced B2B matchmaking to help find the right strategic partners for your business. It is a simple and effective platform to create a secure overseas network to help your business grow. 

Not only can you grow your overseas presence and network, but with CONNECTS you will also gain access to businesses within the U.K, aiding you in setting up connections and strategic partnerships.

There are plenty of different networks on CONNECTS which you can access as a member, and the list is always growing. Check them out here.

We also have a range of partners whom we are in constant communication with to improve the platform.

Interested?

Interested in making your company grow and prosper? Want to have access to the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium? Join CONNECTS and discover a world of new business

opportunities you can trust.

Enjoy our latest offer: start your free trial. This offer includes:

  • The opportunity to connect with all our members
  • Validation by a moderator
  • Access to the companies and member search tool
  • View and create business opportunities
  • Online training on how to use the platform

If you are a member of a participating chamber, then join our business matchmaking platform for free.

Business is all about confidence in the future. At CONNECTS we believe we can only develop strong business relationships through trusted networks.

We provide entrepreneurs with the best of both worlds, the digital and the personal user experience. The platform is a unique, simple, and effective tool for online B2B matchmaking.

Want to learn more about CONNECTS? Find us on Google maps! For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us or request a demo

Why You Absolutely Need Voka When Doing Business in Flanders

Visual of Voka Chamber of Commerce

Voka Chambers of Commerce, the Flemish Network of Companies, is the largest entrepreneurial network in Flanders. It represents the interests of companies up to the highest level. In this article, you will read everything you need to know about Flanders most influential Chamber of Commerce.

Intro

It was created in January 2004, when the Flemish Economic Association and the eight regional Chambers of Commerce in Flanders decided to cooperate as part of an alliance.

Today Voka consists of Voka vzw and six Voka Chambers of Commerce. There is also Voka Metropolitan for Flemish companies in Brussels. Voka vzw mainly focuses on positioning, advocacy and project work at the Flemish level. The Chambers are particularly strong in regional advocacy, networking and strong support services for companies.

Since 2008, the Chamber has worked closely with 29 sector organizations, which further enhances the employer landscape.

Businesses can become direct members, thus strengthening Voka’s influence as the largest business network in Flanders. Members are their driving force. Voka is an organization of, for and by Flemish companies. Together they are working on an optimal framework for free and successful entrepreneurship in Flanders.

Management

Photo of Wouter de Geest, CEO of BASF Antwerpen

Currently, Wouter de Geest, CEO of BASF Antwerpen, is Voka’s president. He studied law at the University of Ghent, where he graduated in 1977. He started his professional career at the Ghent bar. In 1982 he started working at BASF Antwerp as head of the legal department.

In 1998 he started working at BASF’s headquarters in Ludwigshafen, where he prepared, among other things, the IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2001 he returned to Antwerp, where he succeeded John Dejaeger as CEO in February 2007.

In 2009 he succeeded Carl Van Camp as chairman of Essenscia, the Belgian federation of the chemical industry. He held this position until 2012 when he was succeeded by Frank Coenen. In 2014 he took up this mandate again.

In addition, he was appointed in September 2011 by the Flemish Government Peeters II as chairman of the Flanders Industry Council. In June 2018 he was nominated as chairman of Voka in succession of Paul Kumpen.

Photo of Hans Maertens, Managing Director of Voka

Hans Maertens is the Managing Director of Voka. He has been working with the company for over 10 years. Hans started off studying Law and Communication at KU Leuven, the Catholic University of Leuven. From then on, he started his career at The Financial-Economic Time. 

He then went on to have a long career working within media and journalism, working first for Mediafin and then Roularta Media Group, two prominent Belgian multimedia groups. 

On top of his work for Voka, Maertens is also chairman and founder of VZW Cinema De Keizer in Lichtervelde. Cinema De Keizer is a protected monument and the oldest village cinema in Flanders.

Photo of Nico Demeester, General Secretary of Voka

The General Secretary is Niko Demeester. Niko studied Economics at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. He has strong experience in lobbying, communication and stakeholder management, having had a great impact on Flemish and federal coalition agreements in 2019 and 2014. He helped improve processes to structurally better cooperation within the Voka Alliance and with Flemish sector federations.

About the Voka Chamber of Commerce

  • DEFENDS

Whether you have just started out or have been in business for many years, as a Voka member, you always have someone on your side. Someone who strenuously upholds your interests as an entrepreneur everywhere – not only with local authorities but also at regional, national and European level.

  • UNITES 

You don’t do business alone. A dynamic and extensive network is essential to stay on the right course as an entrepreneur. Voka broadens your view and your network by organising activities for entrepreneurs and policymakers from the political and academic worlds. As a Voka member, you can also take part in network events, webinars and other learning networks.

  • UNDERPINS 

The business world changes constantly. This is the reason why Voka keeps you informed of all the new developments, measures and legislation that apply to your business. Need help with a difficult tax file or a permit? Based on up-to-date information as well as the advice of experts, you as an entrepreneur can quickly make the right decisions.

Lobbying

One of Voka’s main activities is lobbying, and they cover a whole range of areas.

COVID-19

A visual of the coronavirus

Many sectors have been hit hard by the corona crisis. Voka is doing everything it can to guide entrepreneurs through this crisis. They have been working hard with policymakers to take action and will continue to do so. Voka achieved 20 lobby results for Flemish entrepreneurs, at the Flemish and Federal levels.

Energy and Climate

Photo of windmills in a valley

The climate is a ‘hot’ topic. If we want to limit global warming to acceptable limits, we will have to focus on emission reductions in all social sectors . The Flemish industry already supplies the necessary solutions and products for this.

For example, in recent years it has already taken numerous measures to reduce its own emissions – both within and outside the supply chain. This produced great results. While the Flemish economy grew steadily, emissions from industry fell.

Trade and Brexit

Photo of a container yard from above

Trade is extremely important to the Flemish economy . Voka therefore advocates an ambitious EU trade policy. A European approach to trade in order to enforce better market access from the trading partners is also important for the Flemish economy. 

Innovation and Digitization

Image of vertical lines of digital numbers and letter

Innovation is an absolute must for the growth of your company. Innovation not only means bringing improvements to your products, but also exploring new materials, researching new business models, introducing new processes and much more.

Charges and Costs

Photo of a jar on its side with coins spilling out

Voka focuses on the domain ‘Expenses and costs’ based on various objectives:

  • A simplification of the target group policy. Voka released the VokaWijzer ‘Target group reductions’ from.
  • The realization of corporate tax reform.
  • Reformed wage standard law. The purpose of the standard is to counteract an excessive increase in wage costs, in order to increase the competitiveness of our economy. 
  • Since 1 July 2018, there has been a new measure regarding starter’s wages . For example, the recruitment of young workers aged 18 and under 21 will be promoted. They will do this by allowing employers to recruit them at a gross wage. This wage is lower than the current minimum wage. However, it won’t lead to a decrease in the net wage for the young people themselves. 
  • The realization of the tax shift. They wish to create a more transparent and simpler contribution system and improve the competitiveness of Flemish companies.

Environment and Surroundings

Photo of buildings in Brugge

Flanders has had to face various social challenges. Voka wants Flanders to remain attractive for companies to establish themselves and invest there. At the same time they want it to be a pleasant place to live and relax. 

Mobility

Photo of inside a train

Belgium is the champion of traffic jams. Voka has been advocating for an extension of road pricing to passenger cars and the maximum investment of proceeds in infrastructure. Infrastructure plays an important role, because every economic activity depends in one form or another on infrastructure.

Talent

Photo of three young men sat doing work in a business environment

In order to keep Flanders prosperous and competitive, the presence and development of talent is essential. This starts with education and the way in which Flanders develops this. The most important building blocks are laid here. Good education that connects to the labor market of today and tomorrow is the best way to achieve inclusive growth where everyone can actually work and contribute.

Welfare and Care

Photo of a hand holding a baby's hand

Voka focuses on the domain of wellbeing based on various areas:

  • Solidarity throughout society
  • The economic added value & the growth potential of healthcare
  • Innovation & business development in collaboration with industry knowledge centers & patient groups
  • Affordability & sustainability of healthcare systems
  • Well-being & health of employees within companies

Services: Advertising and Events

Voka offers a few services related to advertising and events.

Advertise on Voka’s online channels

Every month they bring a new online special about the trends of today and tomorrow. They do this with inspiring stories, podcasts, tips & tricks, online surveys, … in short, with the best that online content has to offer on the most diverse topics that concern entrepreneurs. 

Advertise in the Voka magazines

Voka offers a range of national and regional magazines which you can advertise in. Find the full list of these publications on their website.

You can also find loads of interesting information about global and regional business on their blog.

Voka have also created a range of digital dossiers about different topics, including digital transformation, energy and climate, innovation, smart education, and Brexit.

Become a partner of our events

Do you want to reach the absolute top in Flemish politics and business? Voka stands head and shoulders above the rest. They will be organizing numerous progressive events in 2021 to help you make the right connections.

How to become a member?

In order to become a member, you just need to fill out a form. A member of the Chamber of Commerce will get in touch with you.

How to do fast business with Voka members

If you are interested in expanding your business activities through their network, you can join them and take part in their networking events, seminars and conferences. You can download the online and public brochure of Voka.

Or, you can join CONNECTS and have direct access to clients and opportunities worldwide.

Members of the chamber have FREE access to the CONNECTS platform.

If you are not a member yet, you can start your free CONNECTS trial here

Key contacts: Get in touch with CONNECTS moderators

Moderators are responsible for specific networks or Chambers of Commerce in the platform. Moderators work directly for the Chambers of Commerce. 

They are there to help entrepreneurs. They can give advice about communications, information on companies or local markets. They can arrange introductions with other entrepreneurs. 

Whatever the need, they will be there to help. All platform users can book a free training with their moderators on “how to use” CONNECTS.

Entrepreneurs can directly contact any moderator from another Chamber of Commerce. This means they have access to local market information and trustworthy contacts from Chambers of Commerce throughout the world.

Here are the moderators for the Voka Chambers:

  • Antwerpen-Waasland – Luc Van Looveren
  • Flanders – Astrid Demeulenaere
  • Limburg – Ward Smits
  • Mechelen-Kempen – Petra Van Bouwelen
  • Oost-Vlaanderen – Jolyn De Baets
  • Vlaams-Brabant – Sophie Berlamont
  • West-Vlaanderen – Daphne Renier

Interested in our networks? Click here to have an overview.

There are plenty of different networks on CONNECTS which you can access as a member, and the list is always growing. Check them out here.

We also have a range of partners whom we are in constant communication with to improve the platform. 

If you’re interested in other Chambers of Commerce in Belgium, read about CCI Wallonie and BECI.

Location

The main Voka offices can be found at 154-158 Rue Royale, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium. Voka also has a Google My Business page where they have excellent ratings and where you can leave a review. 

Screenshot of Voka on Google My Business

Interested?

Interested in making your company grow and prosper? Want to have access to Voka’s network? Join CONNECTS and discover a world of new business opportunities you can trust.

Enjoy our latest offer: start your free trial. This offer includes:

  • The opportunity to connect with all our members
  • Validation by a moderator
  • Access to the companies and member search tool
  • View and create business opportunities
  • Online training on how to use the platform

Are you a member of a participating chamber? Join our business matchmaking platform for free.

If you are doing business in Belgium, you might also be interested in reading our article about BECI (the Brussels Chamber of Commerce) and CCI Wallonie (the Walloon Chamber of Commerce). You can also have a read of our article that gives an overview of the different chambers in Belgium.

Business is all about confidence in the future. At CONNECTS we believe we can only develop strong business relationships through trusted networks. 

We provide entrepreneurs with the best of both worlds, the digital and the personal user experience. The platform is a unique, simple, and effective tool for online B2B matchmaking.

Want to learn more about CONNECTS? Find us on Google maps! For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us or request a demo

1000+ live business opportunities in CONNECTS & NEW champion Camara de Comercio de Barranquilla!

Happy to announce that since the start of this month we have reached more than 1000 business opportunities live in our business matchmaking platform! Currently, there are almost 1050 “buy”, “sell” and “connect with” opportunities visible for all CONNECTS users and waiting for a business match. Our platform hosts 39 Chambers of Commerce from 30 different countries, with more than 22k+ users and has an average of 5000 monthly searches. For the Chamber members, this is an opportunity to transform digitally its operations with access to key business services online. Congratulations also to Camara de Comercio de Barranquilla for being the new Champion in the B2B Business Matchmaking Platform! In May 2020, the Camara de Comercio Barranquilla managed to achieve 114 invitations through the platform, increasing their active memberships to 565 users, posted 115 business opportunities with 4633 views from all around the world CONNECTS users. With these magnificent stats, they beat the former platform champions BECI (Brussels Entreprises Commerce And Industry) with 552 active memberships and 2658 views on posted business opportunities last month). The Chamber of commerce is located in the cosmopolitan city of Barranquilla in Colombia. Rapid urban growth and economic development have transformed the region into a tourism hub and an active business community. The Chamber’s main missions are firstly to develop and further the interests of local companies and businesses in Colombia. Secondly, safeguarding business interests and sharing business experiences and business interests. Other activities such as contact with governments, civil society, local media & press, and organising trade shows and/or events are also important services. The Barranquilla Chamber of Commerce provides its services to over 72,000 companies that operate in northern Colombia and is tasked with fielding thousands of registry-related requests annually. To help support the area’s dynamic development, the Chamber is a participating member of CONNECTS. The SaaS platform is helping Chambers of commerce providing business matchmaking solutions to their members and communities. More info about the Chamber here. Members of a Chamber of Commerce are usually international and local operating companies, such as lawyers, property developers, tourism companies, airlines, manufacturing companies, import and export businesses, banks, finance companies, legal advisors, IT and electronics manufacturers etc. Are you an entrepreneur wanting to discover and develop new opportunities, both locally and internationally? Join our Business Matchmaking Platform and start your free trial. Already a member of a participating chamber? Join our Business Matchmaking Platform for free. Want to learn more about CONNECTS? Find us on Google maps! For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us or request a demo

WELCOME CHAMBRE DE COMMERCE FRANCO-BELGE!

New Chamber on CONNECTS platform: CCFB – Chambre de commerce Franco-Belge de Lille!

This is great news for CCFB and their members, they are given an extra instrument that will help them to preserves business continuity. Given the extremely difficult circumstances due to the COVID-19 crisis, many entrepreneurs suffer financially and can’t hold on much longer. According to the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the coronavirus pandemic will turn global economic growth “sharply negative” this year. This could potentially be the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Businesses are warned and should more than ever prepare themselves.

For this reason, the Chambre de commerce Franco-Belge de Lille decided to join CONNECTS and become a member of the Belgian Chambers community!

the Belgian Chamber of Commerce was created in Lille in May 1902, on the initiative of the Honorary Consul of Belgium. Its first President is Pierre Melchior, a Belgian industrialist of French origin. At the time, the Chamber focused mainly on international trade. Today, the Franco-Belgian Chamber of Commerce in the North of France is part of the Federation of Belgian Chambers
and is one of the Belgian-Luxembourg chambers of commerce accredited abroad.

Their members have now fully access to CONNECTS and can:

– connect with all our 22k+ members from 39 participating chambers of commerce in 28 countries

– access to 100 million business leads in 80+ different countries

– view and create business opportunities

– count on support from an assigned moderator

– online courses on-demand on how to use the platform

– business opportunities available in 4 different languages (EN/ FR/ DE/ ES)

This also means that Chambers will provide three main services which are trustworthy business opportunities, (local) support and personal business introductions.

The small businesses within our communities provide jobs and economic growth to local economies. This is where most are feeling the impact of the pandemic — our coffee shops, restaurants, gyms, and pet stores are all closed; our friends and family members are losing jobs. The COVID-19 reality requires impactful governmental measures to take back control over this important human threat. These measures are necessary but there is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic is having a significant operational and economical impact on businesses. Companies are only as strong as the communities of which they are a part of. They need to figure out how to support response efforts—such as by providing money, equipment, or expertise. By joining CONNECTS, you become part of a family that can help entrepreneurs and their business to preserve and grow.

Not a member yet? Join CONNECTS for free for 3 months and explore instantly worldwide business opportunities you can trust!