Global Entrepreneurship Week 2010 – Meet the Dragons

Nov 16, 2010

Thank you to Stephanie Ward (Firefly Coaching) and her retweet on Twitter about the ‘Meet the Dragons‘ event – I was intrigued!

My good friend and fellow photographer, Vinita Salomé and I signed up for the FREE event and excitedly waited for the day to arrive!

That day, was yesterday: Monday 15 November 2010!

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is an initiative to inspire young people to embrace innovation, imagination and creativity. The week is a worldwide movement of entrepreneurial people, with millions unleashing their entreprising talents and turning their ideas into reality.

The Women’s Business Initiative International (WBII) also takes part in GEW and so I headed over to the WBII for their GEW Kick Off Business Lunch where the topic of the round table was “Magnify your Marketing Message, how to effectively use your personal network and social media tools to grow your business”. Then it was a quick dash to the train station to meet Vinita and we were on our way to an aircraft hanger at Rotterdam – The Hague Airport for the official opening of GEW Netherlands and Meet the Dragons!

The event was much bigger than I had anticipated and we were so happy to be part of the audience. It was all very exciting!!

The dragons were introduced and took to the stage: Arjen de Koning (Founder & CEO Paradigit Group), Henk Keilman (Founder & CEO RIG Investments), Willem Sijthoff (Renowned Media Entrepreneur) and Rachel Elnaugh (Renowned Serial Entrepreneur, and also a Dragon on the first two series of BBC’s Dragon’s Den). It was all very dramatic with big music and big lighting, quite spectacular!

Four pitches were presented to the Dragons by CityHub Hotels, Tinypay.me, Aquaculture Benin City and Aesthetic Interactions.

But without a doubt, the highlight of the event was the official opening by UK’s Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, and the keynote speech by Rachel Elnaugh.

Nick Clegg stressed the importance of entrepreneurship as an essential ingredient for economic recovery, and surprised the audience by speaking in Dutch too. You can watch his opening speech here: Part 1 and Part 2.

Rachel Elnaugh captivated the audience with her keynote about ‘The Extrepreneurial Rollercoaster Ride’. Speaking of her first entrepreneurial venture, Red Letter Days, which was generating £1million profit per year at it’s height; she showed incredible strength in recovering from it’s failure and her story was extremely inspiring.

She shared the following fabulous tips.. take note!

  • Find your passion
  • Go it alone, put yourself at the helm of your business
  • Dare to be different
  • Strong brands sell – you have 7 seconds to engage a potential customer
  • Focus on sales, sales, sales
  • Your customers are your biggest marketing department
  • Defend your energy, stay positive and manage your motivation
  • Never say die – there is always a solution, there is always an answer, if you look for it

You can watch her keynote speech here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Be sure to visit her website at www.rachelelnaugh.com

Most certainly, it was an incredibly inspiring and motivating event! When can I sign up for next year? and who’s coming with me? :-)

Best wishes,


  1. Vinita

    What an impressive show they put on. The speeches were indeed very inspiring! Great to hang out and lovely post!

  2. Natalie

    Thanks, Vinita! Are we going next year too? ;-)

  3. ~SarahInSydney~

    This sounds AWESOME!! Thanks for sharing about the experience Natalie.


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