Conviviality is the trump card at the ‘Ondernemers Oosterzele’ start-up event in restaurant Agathea in Landskouter. With a welcome in style, presentations by Thomas Caesens, Carolien Ongena (EROV), a playful word of thanks from Hugo Verstraeten, networking, well-maintained drinks (‘t Gijzelaarke is in) and culinary treats with regional products, the ‘Ondernemers Oosterzele’ start-up event was a great success . 54 entrepreneurs, a number of politicians and the press were interested in the new story of O2. (Oosterzele Ondernemen becomes 02). Chairman Thomas Caesens presented the new concept with great conviction. The plans look very ambitious.
Thomas Caesens: ‘Our association for and by Oosterzeelse Ondernemers wants to be proactive and independent. We want to stimulate local trade and communication between traders and act as a spokesperson for communication with the municipal authorities. We contact the local economy service to represent the interests of the Oosterzeelse Entrepreneurs. Our core values: enterprising, transparent, communicative, innovative, energetic and active. We also intend to organize two ‘networking’ events every year. We will also be publishing two magazines a year’, said Thomas Caesens with conviction. The magazine is given a hypermodern, contemporary jacket, it shows a lot of good taste. O2 will also stimulate the digitization of the Oosterzeelse Entrepreneurs through training and a web platform. Local trade will also be stimulated with actions (10 November launch). Thomas Caesens also presented the new logo (very modern) and the current board team with Koenraad Boel, Lesly Van Den Berge, Kris Van der Eecken, Hugo Verstraeten, Daan Janssen and chairman Thomas Caesens. If you are interested in joining the board, please contact [email protected].
After the introduction by Thomas Caesens, the excellent talk by the very enthusiastic Carolien Ongena (EROV) followed. ‘Our mission is to stimulate entrepreneurs, inspire entrepreneurs, and get the best out of themselves and their organization. She put the assets of the province in the spotlight with great verve. If there are: the regional products, delicious East-Flemish, the wine domains (11 winegrowers in our region, 27 in East-Flanders). The economic activity in Oosterzele was also highlighted. Oosterzele (13,844 inhabitants) is growing slightly, in the last 5 years 3,457 new inhabitants arrived in Oosterzele while 3,146 inhabitants left the municipality. (profit 311). There are 163 commercial properties in Oosterzele (12 vacant). The number of shops and restaurants is declining. It is good to know that subsidies can be obtained from the province. We have heard many speeches in our long career, Caroline Ongena’s speech was smooth, to the point, fascinating and instructive. Caroline Ongena spoke with great enthusiasm and conviction, displays professional knowledge, is passionate and an extremely loyal employee of the Economic Council of East Flanders (EROV). A fascinating speech. Her speech caught on. It fits perfectly into the picture that EROV has in mind. Well done, Caroline.
After the absolutely brilliant presentation by Caroline Ongena, Hugo Verstraeten (20 years, the standard bearer of Oosterzele Ondernement, Local Economy, AZO’s,…) was able to round off the successful launch event. Happy with the current state of affairs in the O2, a mix of young people and experience. He gave the go-ahead for the ‘networking’ with the quote of the evening: ‘Talk to each other, get to know your colleagues, you can cheat on yourself this evening’, joked Hugo Verstraeten, the man with infinite benefits for the local economy in Oosterzele.
Conclusion: A network is extremely important for entrepreneurs. Municipalities cannot do without a resilient local economy. It will also be important to focus even more on digitization. We must continue to focus on buying locally. There must be a point of contact for local entrepreneurs. A great group of entrepreneurs who are willing to help each other grow business, develop contacts as widely as possible. Networking gives you peace of mind. A pleasant but efficient way of doing business. O2 specifically wants to promote the interests and themes of ‘Ondernemers Oosterzele’. The machine bolts. The future looks bright, the board is going to make O2 trendy. Innovation as a pillar for the coming years. Kudos to the board of O2, there is guts and vision, dream and deed. (mvdv, photos ddl).