A Future Females Evening
Our founder, Loviisa, and Brand Manager Eline visited a Future Females evening in Utrecht. In this blogpost, we reflect what we learned about the importance of women in business and entrepreneurship, along with our most valuable take-away’s about personal leadership and growth. And of course, how all of this applies to Näpp!
What is Future Females?
Future Females is a Cape Town-based movement to inspire more female entrepreneurs and help them achieve success. Through Future Females, women can connect digitally, physically, and emotionally to build their businesses, connect, inspire, and collaborate. Future Females itself was founded by Lauren Dallas and Cerina Bezuidenhout in 2017 in Cape Town. They found a distinct lack of females representation in all areas of business, especially entrepreneurship. Since 2017, Future Females has been breaking down the barriers to access the resources women need to be successful entrepreneurs & intrapreneurs.
The members of Future Females are ambitious women who are passionate about business, innovation and creating things . That doesn’t mean this community is exclusive to women only. Future Females believes strongly that in order to drive change through technology and entrepreneurship, only 50% of the world’s population focus wil not suffice. Both men and women are welcome in the Future Females community. This is how we achieve a more sustainable, inclusive and innovative world. You can read all about Future Females on their website, and hopefully attend one of their events near you!
How Does Future Females Apply To Näpp?
Future Females hold events all over the world, and Loviisa, the Founder of Näpp, and myself (Eline, the Brand Manager) found ourselves at one this week. We thought it was important for us to share our experience, as it relates to us personally, our young company, our community, and the future of women in business.
As two young women, still attending university and running a company at the same time, we feel it is important for us to be in touch with the reality and our ultimate goals for the world that we’re trying to create. At Näpp, our number one focus is always to create a happy and healthy environment for children to grow up in while living abroad with their parents, and to create a community that is centered around culture, language, and forming valuable connections that have a lasting impact on a child and their family’s lives.
But behind a company, there are the humans who make it happen, and as two young women entering the world of business and entrepreneurship, we like to contribute to making this world a more empowering, accepting, inclusive, and equal playground for both men and women to thrive in. Of course our third (mysterious) team member Lodewijk believes in this as much as we both do, but as him and his wife are currently expecting a baby of their own, you can imagine he is quite busy and could not attend the Future Females event with us.
The Future Females Event – Leadership and Personal Growth
First Part of the Evening
19:00: Walk in, meet everyone, have some drinks and snacks
This Future Females event was held at the beautiful location of Maliebaan 45, in one of the traditional, narrow Dutch row-houses in Utrecht along one of its most picturesque streets. The location was decorated with Future Female balloons, there were drinks and snacks available, and plenty of conversation to go around. Loviisa and I talked to some people we already knew who introduced us to some new people – from software developers creating robots that hand out cards to coffee enthusiasts trying to make coffee farming more sustainable and fair. Then it was time to gather in a different room with many seats and sit down for two presentations.
19:30: Introduction to Future Females
We all took a seat, and were welcomed and briefly introduced by tonight’s Future Females hosts to Future Females and tonight’s speakers.
19:50: First talk by Aygin Kolaei, Entrepreneur and head pitch night TEDxAmsWomen
The first talk by held by Aygin, a 30 year old woman from Iran. She was a freelancer working on many many projects and working with TEDxAmsWomen. Her presentation was about personal growth management, and what it means to her. First she named Google’s official definition…which was very un-relatable and not very agreeable.
Her idea of personal management was more along the lines of:
- Creating a Life Strategy – what is your why, where do you want to go next and how?
- Energy Management – know where you get your energy from and live in balance.
- Time Management – make sure you allocate your time smartly, and take time for yourself too!
- Money Management – know your worth, make sure you can pay the bills
- Expectation Management – set realistic goals and expectations for yourself and for others, understand how others think and “function”
- Distraction Management – hug your distractions, give yourself one minute every 20 minutes to take a break and hug your distractions.
Aygin’s Talk and Näpp
Her talk was eyeopening to understand how to live a balanced and fairly disciplined life. This means being very in touch with yourself and knowing where you are and what your goals are. Most importantly, she explained how to reach our goals and take care of ourselves, both mentally and physically.Her talk was so valuable because as entrepreneurs, our hours are not 9 to 5, rather 24/7. This is not sustainable, and as humans we need balance in life. It doesn’t just apply to us, it applies to every single human out there. We thought this message was wonderful to share with our community.
One of our favourite quotes of hers was: “Don’t be a professional pretzel.” Although this quote sounds kind of funny, the message makes a lot of sense. Anything that is not in line with your personal life strategy, you should say no to, don’t try to do everything and be everything because you simply can’t.
Second Part of the Evening
20.20: Second speaker of the night, Saskia de Boer, Personal Growth Expert and Coach
Saskia de Boer’s talk was called “Truth”. To her speaking her truth is the most important thing in the world, because for years she lived a lie. Speaking “truth” to her means being authentic, being sincere and your true self, but most of all the moment you know your own truth is the moment you can start working towards it. Saskia explained that she was addicted to drugs and alcohol for over 12 years. She showed a photo of the first day of her sobriety, her eyes bruised and tearful in the photo.
She described her story, how and why it happened, and how she lost control over it as a highly sensitive person. The drugs and the alcohol controlled her. She explained what she went through in detail, until one day she realized because of a friend, that she couldn’t solve her problem alone. She needed help. Fast-forward six years of therapy, coaching, and sobriety, and she is here: speaking her truth. She uses her story and experience to help other young women with an addiction. You can read all about her on her website, or if you’re interested or in need of a life coach session yourself.
Her talk was so brave, and so full of truth. To be so vulnerable in front of many people who all have their own judgements takes massive amounts of courage – something she is inspiring for to begin with. But then the fact that she has turned her life and her story into a way to empower other people who are stuck in the same situation is beautiful.
Saskia’s Talk and Näpp
Loviisa and I both believe that our favourite types of companies are those who tell a real story. They solve a real issue, and do everything in order to allow a community they relate to to thrive. This talk was inspiring to us because we want Näpp to be that company. We hope to solve a real problem and create a happy and healthy community. Only give and create and never destroy. We learned that talking our truth is the number one most important thing we can do. We thought it was important to share this with our community, and inspire you, through Saskia’s words, to also speak your truth.
End of the Evening
21.00: The talks were wrapped up, everyone was thanked, and we were off for chatting over some drinks and snacks!
After these inspiring talks we all had so much to discuss, and so many more people to meet. The diversity of genders and nationalities present at this event was astounding. We got to talk to many people all finding a solution to a problem in a community that they relate to, and using their business to employ this solution. From consulting, coaching, engineering, coding, supply-chain management, to designing, the stories were endless. It was a wonderful end to the night.
After the Event
We went home feeling awe-inspired, and motivated to continue to build Näpp into the company we want it to be. We want to focus on our goal to create a community of happy and healthy families that we support by providing them with babysitters from their home country. We want to empower both the babysitters, the families, and the children to reach their potential culturally, and linguistically. We will do our absolute best to take what we learn and implement it effectively, listen closely to your feedback, and make this experience the best for you and your families. We are so happy and proud to have this community, and we hope you are too.