Who can call him- or herself the best entrepreneur of Leeuwarden for the year 2019? Who will run off with the ‘De HET’ trophy? On February first, the three finalists of the ‘Leeuwarder ondernemersprijs’ (Leeuwarden entrepreneur award) were announced during a lunch meeting in the ‘Kanselarij’.
By: Else Rietveld – photo: MerkMakers/Robbert Evers – English translation: Max Bollen – also published in the ‘Huis aan Huis Leeuwarden en omstreken’ (door-to-door paper Leeuwarden and surroundings)
Will it be Bureau Schmidt, an advice- and engineers-agency that simply does what has been promised and therefore also knows how to increase its profit in tougher times? Or will the first place be taken by YFK Marketing, a young organization where school-leavers are educated by experienced professionals, ensuring talent stays in the region? And what about Cin-ergy, where research and innovation in the field of virtual reality is paramount? For the upcoming weeks, all three companies compete for De HET of 058, the Leeuwarder entrepreneurs price. On the 20thof March, the eventual winner will be announced.
Choice of the jury
How did the choice for these three finalists come into being? Gert-Jan Winkeler, chairman of the jury of De HET explains. Winkeler is CEO of a bank for middle-to-small companies and is therefore experienced with entrepreneurship within Leeuwarden and surroundings.
,,Every entrepreneur within a radius of 15 kilometers from the Oldehove could sign up for the entrepreneurs award. We rated all entries based on four points: corporate social responsibility, marketing/sales, finances/continuity and innovation. This ‘we’ is a jury of 7 people, consisting of entrepreneurs from various sectors like hospitality, ICT, event management and psychology. We have different perspectives of entrepreneurship and therefore we complement each other. ’’
The three organizations participating for the trophy are quite diverse; isn’t this comparing apples with oranges?
Winkeler: ,,Especially this diversity of entrepreneurs is what makes De HET special. Big or small companies, experienced or fresh in the field, every entrepreneur can compete for a spot on the podium. We look at their overall entrepreneurship. This is evident in the current finalists as well as previous winners, like ‘Boekhandel Van der Velde’, ‘de Zuivelhoeve’ and ‘Mannen van Staal’. We should be proud that we have companies like these in the area. They make sure that school-leavers stay within this area and build their careers here in the north. The cooperation between the business industry and schools is therefore essential. A good environment for entrepreneurs is important for the livability and the future of the north.’’
The audience’s voice
YourPost follows the three candidates on their way to the finals. The candidates attend various workshops and give presentations to the Commerciële Club Leeuwarden about their company. Furthermore, the jury visits all three contenders in their company to take a closer look at their business operations. Based on all impressions, the jury will formulate their final decision. Also the audience can vote via a poll on the Facebook page of De HET. On the Business Contact Days on the 20thof March, the results will be announced and we will know which of the three contenders takes the trophy home.