Vlerick MBA alumna Bärbel Buyse wins 12th WOMED Award

Awarded as best female entrepreneur of the year

Yesterday, Bärbel Buyse, Manager of the SME Sepia, received the WOMED Award (Women in Enterprise and Development). The award was presented by Princess Mathilde. This prize – awarded annually by Markant, the network of women entrepreneurs – honours the best female entrepreneur of the year and serves as a support and inspiration for all female entrepreneurs. The initiative is conducted in collaboration with Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Unizo, Trends and KBC. Vlerick would like to congratulate Bärbel on this recognition!

In 2002, Bärbel completed her part-time MBA programme at Vlerick. That same year, she and her fellow student Guido Vandenabeele took over the illuminated advertising company Elecenter, which they renamed and reoriented. This not only turned her entrepreneurial dream into reality, it also laid the foundation for the Sepia Promotion Group, which has since developed into a marketing support firm specialised in promotional services (Sepia) and visibility materials (Tinta).

For Bärbel, the Vlerick part-time MBA programme was the final boost into entrepreneurship. Today, as female entrepreneurs are still in the minority, Vlerick continues to exert concerted efforts to encourage female entrepreneurs and managers. Recently, the School started a campaign to ensure that more women find their way to a part-time MBA programme. Although they certainly have the necessary capacities, the combination of work and family is still often an obstacle. A contest and a special website, with testimonials from female students, graduates and professors, should help inspire women to obtain an MBA. And who knows – just like Bärbel’s example – an MBA could well provide the extra incentive for becoming an entrepreneur!

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