Partners in the spotlight

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Siemens has been active in Africa since 1976. CEO André Bouffioux went there for business for the first time in 1993. “You can only do business in a country or area you have appreciation for and see the potential of. As soon as you realize that Africa offers a huge market, lots of goodwill, proper education and positive entrepreneurs, you’re ready to do business there.”
 
“We invest in sustainable business practices." Miko added this line to its mission more than 10 years ago. The results of this have exceeded the wildest expectations of the coffee roaster from Kempen. And Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs has also had a little something to do with this.
 
The Flemish 3D printing pioneer Materialise has invested in sustainable projects in the South for years. One of these is African Drive, with which CEO Fried Vancraen and his companions offer safe and punctual public transport to people in Benin. The project is running like clockwork thanks to the help they received from Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs.
 
For the fifth year in a row Co-valent, the training fund for the chemicals, plastics and life sciences sectors, is supporting projects in the South. Co-valent is managed by the unions and by Essenscia as the employers’ federation. Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs acts on behalf of Essenscia, partly thanks to the intermediary role the former HR director Leo Scheers played. “A covalent bond is a firm bond between atoms”, he starts off enthusiastically. As former HR director at BASF and with his PhD in science, he should know.
 
“The clothing sector has been under pressure for some time now, as have profits. It is a highly competitive industry and the pace of change is rapid. “But as a business owner, you remain responsible for improving the welfare of people – customers, staff and suppliers. At least as I see it,” says Dirk Perquy, who heads up the Belgian clothing company Terre Bleue.
 
Don Bosco schools can be found all over the world. They work according to the pedagogical project designed by Italian priest, philosopher and educator Giovanni Bosco, who found his calling in the 19th century in the betterment and education of young criminals and ex- convicts in Turin. He offered them shelter and education and helped them find work.
 
“That’s exactly what we need,” replied the dean of the Antwerp Management School (AMS) Paul Matthyssens enthusiastically when Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs volunteer Hugo Van de Cauter proposed that they cooperate towards the end of last year.