‘Brewed for uncertain times? Talk to Entrepreneurs’ – Businesses

Entrepreneurs are looking ahead, far ahead. And they see a bright future for their business, for the economy and for the world.

In these confusing times, war, inflation, falling stock prices, rising interest rates, staff shortages, disrupted supply chains, or galloping budget deficits have only one piece of advice. Talk to entrepreneurs. You immediately feel much better.

In these confusing times, war, inflation, falling stock prices, rising interest rates, staff shortages, disrupted supply chains, or galloping budget deficits have only one piece of advice. Talk to entrepreneurs. You immediately feel much better. Last weekend, the ninth edition of Trends Summer University took place. From next week, we will zoom in on the main conclusions of the debates. It was two wonderful days, this first edition since corona. With a select audience, excellent debaters and a beautiful decor. Knokke, where else? There were seven debates about the most important challenges of our time. It started with the war, it continued through all the major economic uncertainties to the lack of labor market and the many challenges to sustainability. But do you know what was so remarkable? Despite the laundry list of difficulties, we went home with a positive feeling. This audience of entrepreneurs keeps it cold. They look forward, far ahead. And they see a bright future for their business, for the economy and for the world. “As CEO, you need to reconcile the company’s interests in the short term with the long term. for Ageas. Or to put it as Ignace Van Doorselaere (CEO Neuhaus): “There will be a slowdown in the economy. But you should not look at the slope. You should look at the condition of the cyclist (…) We want to speed up our investments and simplify. Everything that is routine and replacement has to wait. ” AvH chairman Luc Bertrand was also on the way to progress. “DEME is going to invest massively in hydrogen. Preferably paid with cash flow, because we do not like debt.” The inadequacy of the education was mentioned several times. And the search for talent in the job market. Even then, ideas sounded fresher than we are used to. “We want to teach young people the right skills. The big challenge is attitude. But if we keep our companies attractive, we must not blame education,” Ignace Van Doorselaere said again. Often it was about the content of jobs, and about taking all its employees seriously. “The work experience is becoming more and more important,” said Geert Aelbrecht, chief executive of the Besix construction team. “Salary is the worst weapon in the war for talent. You can only fire a shot with it, but you do not win the war with it,” continued Thomas Van Eeckhout, CEO of IT company Easi, who also insisted on involvement. . “Our receptionist has decided not to renew her patio, but to buy shares and thus invest in our company,” he added. This year’s Trend Manager, Chris Peeters (Elia), put it this way: “I spend a lot of time in dialogue with my people. It’s the only way you can get along well as CEO”. On to the food crisis and rising prices in the supermarket. There were also striking noises about this. “We are not feeling a drop in consumption,” said Jan Peeters, who runs most of the Belgian Albert Heijns. And about inflation: “I’m ready to drop 10 percent of my margin if everyone in the value chain did. Then the farmer will not get in trouble, and neither will the end consumer.” Perhaps the most optimistic quote of the two days came from Dirk Coorevits, CEO of Soudal and former Trend Manager of the Year: “I believe in the younger generation,” he said. “She wants to take more responsibility than our generation has done.” Conclusion: the tenth edition of Trends Summer University will be held on June 9, 10 and 11, 2023. Do you have your agenda at hand?

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