EWP 2023 winners (L-R): Reyhaneh Niknejad (2nd); Kateryna Markova (1st); Valérie Clément (3rd); Credit: Chronicle.lu

On Monday 20 November 2023, the Luxembourg-Poland Chamber of Commerce (LPCC) held its General Assembly and Entrepreneurial Woman Project (EWP) Grand Finale & Award Ceremony at Arendt House in Luxembourg-Kirchberg.

Around 80 people attended the event which saw the culmination of the 10th edition of the LPCC's Entrepreneurial Woman Project.

General Assembly

First on the evening's agenda was the LPCC's General Assembly which was led by Artur Sosna, LPCC Chairman, who welcomed everyone and confirmed that its membership comprises 56 corporate and 33 private members for which it hosted 135 events since its inception eleven years ago. He thanked the Advisory Board and Honorary Members.

He reviewed the accomplishments of the chamber over the past year, including an overview of the chamber's significant events over the past year, emphasising the the main function of the chamber is to be a bridge between the two countries.

Regarding upcoming initiatives planned for the year ahead, he mentioned over a dozen events already scheduled, including the 5th annual Luxembourg-Poland Business Conference, on cybersecurity in the financial sector on 29 February 2024 and the 11th EWP event starting on 21 September 2024.

Adam Tymofiejewicz, LPCC Vice-President, led the review of the chamber's financial standing and the 2024 budget. He stressed that finances have almost recovered from the pandemic years. This year the LPCC has a budget of around €60,000 (income €56,657.49; expenses €60,606.44), with a cash balance of around €50,000. The budget for 2024 is based around a 10% rise in membership income (without an increase in membership fees) and a 20% increase in sponsorship revenue: with a €65,191.61 revenue budget and €63,987.78 expenses budget.

The fourth resolutions - the first three to do with the accounts and the 2024 budget, and the fourth to discharge the board - were all approved by the meeting using shows of hands. There was a fifth resolution - to do with proposed amendments to the chamber's statutes - was not proceeded with as not enough members were present (two-thirds of the membership are required to vote); however, it is being continued by email correspondence over the coming weeks.

EWP Grand Finale

The Entrepreneurial Woman Project (EWP) Grand Finale & Award Ceremony then took place, recognising the numerous women entrepreneurs who have benefitted from the Entrepreneurial Woman Project.

Artur Sosna explained that the EWP is a series of weekend workshops aimed at entrepreneurial women who have no prior business experience. He thanked the co-ordinator, Marta Andrzejewska, and the various trainers who led the workshops.

Keynote address

Sofie Verstraeten, owner of Fitness Dionysos, delivered the keynote address. She explained that people often overlook their well-being, and the fitness industry does not prioritise the right objectives, explaining that the mainstream marketing tends to focus on fat loss and muscle gain, but seldom emphasises the importance of achieving a strong and resilient body and mind for a fulfilling life. She believes that fitness should be elevated with higher order goals, aiming to make a genuine difference in people's lives, how she started her fitness coaching company in 2018. Fitness Dionysos followed a unique approach, focusing on individuals' holistic growth, not just their physical well-being. She explained that, at first, this approach faced challenges because people often hesitate when they encounter something new. However, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the fragility of people and the limitations of traditional fitness services.

EWP Award Ceremony

The eleven EWP 2023 participants were presented with their diplomas and the project sponsors announced the winners of the competition for the Best Business Idea Presentation, as follows:

1st (€3,000, sponsored by AKD): Kateryna Markova, who thanked the LPCC and all those involved with the six weeks of workshops

2nd (€2,000, sponsored by Atoz): Reyhaneh Niknejad

3rd (€1,000, sponsored by BSP): Valérie Clément

The evening was rounded off with a walking dinner and live music.