Brussels (BE), December 2021 - Entrepreneurship is of vital importance to the economy, as well as to society as a whole. Yet although Belgium is a country dominated by micro-companies (95.1%), it had just 9.3 startups per 1,000 residents in 2020. Just 920 fast-growing businesses are responsible for 52,779 new jobs. So, relatively few businesses grow quickly, not to mention sustainably. What's more, 79% of entrepreneurs say they lie awake worrying about the healthy continuation of their business, rather than growth in turnover, profit, and shareholder value.
This can and must improve. That's why the Vlerick Business School is launching the Vlerick Entrepreneurship Academy, a connected ecosystem designed to stimulate entrepreneurship in Belgium and Europe by offering support, but also by throwing down the gauntlet to entrepreneurs from both scale-ups and established SMEs with ambitions for growth. Through the strength of the community, the Vlerick Entrepreneurship Academy offers an answer to every entrepreneur's question throughout their entire growth process.
Miguel Meuleman, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Vlerick Business School and Director of the Vlerick Entrepreneurship Academy, explained: "Historically speaking, the Vlerick Business School has always been a breeding ground for growth-oriented entrepreneurship. Among our alumni are three unicorns (Collibra, team.blue and argenx), and more may soon follow. What's more, business schools have an important role to play in the ecosystem of entrepreneurship and the creation of entrepreneurs.
"With the Vlerick Entrepreneurship Academy, we focus on the missing link among training, research and networking. We offer entrepreneurs academically underpinned frameworks, and they can explore the lessons learned in greater depth and discuss them with a strong but, above all, a high-calibre community of fellow entrepreneurs, supplemented by academics and experts from practice who professionally facilitate the dialogue. Our Entrepreneurs in Residence community is an important part of this."