Entrepreneurship outside Europe: 43 talented young Belgians honoured by the Prince Albert Fund
43 Prince Albert Fund laureates who conducted a one-year mission outside Europe on behalf of a Belgian company are presented with their diploma by HRH Prince Lorenz. Among them are Laura Hoste and Piet Renson, who also receive the McKinsey Impact Award. The ceremony, presided over by Emmanuel Caeymaex, Vice-President Immunology at UCB and himself a former Prince Albert Fund laureate, provides the opportunity for the young entrepreneurs to talk about their experience of working abroad. A new call for the Prince Albert Fund is currently open.
The 43 talented young entrepreneurs, all aged under thirty when selected, have had the opportunity to live an intense and extremely rewarding experience. The Prince Albert Fund enabled them to work for one year for a Belgian company wishing to expand its business or develop projects internationally. Created almost forty years ago as part of the King Baudouin Foundation, each year the Fund offers this exceptional opportunity to young high potential professionals. In so doing, the Fund contributes to training business leaders with international experience, a spirit of entrepreneurship and open-mindedness, qualities that are so needed by the world of business and society in general.
The Prince Albert Fund not only provides these young people with the opportunity to gain experience in leading international projects, but it also offers Belgian companies the opportunity to develop their business outside of Europe. These companies appreciate both the quality of the candidates selected, but also the Fund’s financial contribution (which can be up to 25,000 euros per laureate).
2020 and 2021 laureates
The ceremony that takes place on 23 November honors the laureates who spent their year abroad in 2020 and 2021. Due to Covid-19, some of the participants had to change their initial plans or shorten their stay abroad. Emmanuel Caeymaex, President of the Prince Albert Fund and Vice-President Immunology at UCB said “As you can imagine, the laureates’ international exposure was somewhat curtailed by the health safety and mobility restrictions imposed. Nevertheless, despite these difficulties, we were impressed by their positive attitude, their adaptability and the change that they managed to bring to their host companies in this rather special context.”
McKinsey Impact Award
Two of the laureates are also given the McKinsey Impact Award by Louis Muyldermans, Partner at McKinsey & Company, which sponsors the Prince Albert Fund. They are:
- Laura Hoste, who left for the USA in 2019 to join Amoobi, a growing company that helps retail companies to optimise their stores’ performance through consumer insight information.
- Piet Renson, who left for Canada in 2020 to join Bioracer, a Limbourg-based company specialised in the sale of clothing for cyclists, athletes and ice-skaters.
Both of them brilliantly rose to the challenges they faced and enabled their respective companies to develop on the North American markets.
The Prince Albert Fund now has a total of 464 alumni, 65% of whom are men and 35% women. 45% of the alumni have conducted projects in Asia and the Americas (North and South), 5% in Africa, 3% in Eastern Europe and 2% in Oceania. Some 200 Belgian companies (ranging from small start-ups to well-established businesses) have enabled these young people to experience part of their commercial development abroad.
A new call for the Prince Albert Fund is open. The Fund aims to select around thirty talented young professionals who will conduct a project for a Belgian company, outside Europe, in 2022.