The Netherlands Business Fair 2017 was a three day collaborative event organised from the 10th May to 12th May 2017.  The event was organised under the theme, “Growing together the way to go”  was held at the New World Campus Spaarneplein 2 in The Hague, Netherlands by the Netherlands Ghana Business Fair Consortium comprising of Mr. Vincent Gambrah, Ms. Angele Nascimento, Mr. Bert Spenkelink, Mrs. Bernice Yanson, Ms. Abena Bemah and Ms. Lainy Abdalla.

The mission for organising the business fair was to create an opportunity for Ghana and Netherlands Businesses to exhibit their products and share their experiences through speed dating. The fair also aimed to enhance possibilities of business partnerships, promote social capital or funding opportunities, broaden operational marketability, advancement of technology and create jobs.

The Event was sponsored by Gemeente Den Haag and AfroEuro Foundation. The supporting partners for the business fair were Ghana Embassy in the Netherlands, The Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Ghana- Accra, Ghana Netherlands Business & Culture Council (GNBCC), Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) and Vibe Consult.

Participating companies from the Netherlands were:

  • Atlas (solar solution)
  • GB4ALL
  • Dijkstaal B.V.
  • Divine fufu (wholesalers)
  • Yuvam (building materials / prefabric housing)
  • Fam 24 (consultancy firm – accounting)
  • Maxim Nyansa (IT solution)
  • SUS – Smart Urban Solutions
  • Certkit university (subsidiarary of get certificate opleiding)
  • Ihem (international food company)
  • Water network (water processing)
  • Divine African fashion shop (retailer)
  • Dolores hart
  • African sky
  • World supply (wholesales – commodities)
  • Butterfly Housing

The participating companies from Ghana were:

  • JL property (housing)
  • Spark designs company limited
  • Cockpit crew limited
  • Danpee enterprise
  • Ghana broadcasting corporation
  • Vibes consult
  • 1steye micro finance
  • Ilaha company limited
  • Moh – aariz engineering ltd
  • Kumasi business incubator (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology)
  • Zaalcoal limited
  • Wella agro chemicals
  • Lifestyle reform clinic
  • Wisde world limited

On the first day, the fair began with registration of participants and a welcome note by the Master of Ceremony Ms. Angele Nascimento. Thereafter Mr. Vincent Gambrah, director of AfroEuro made the opening speech and then a presentation by Hon. Minister Mrs. Doris Brese, Deputy Head of Mission, Ghana Embassy in The Hague to address “Doing Business in Ghana”. Furthermore, there was an address by Mrs. van Haaren, Director of West Holland in The Hague to address “Doing Business in the Municipality of The Hague”. Furthermore, the Youth Buddy Program was introduced to the participants at the business fair. The Youth buddy program is a network of Young Business Professionals in The Netherlands with vision to enter into entrepreneurship. This Program will continue after the fair.  More so, there was a speech by Onipamu Osei Kuffour (Asantehene of the Netherlands) on the Role of the Chiefs in Business, Land Acquisition. Again, Dr. James Orleans Lindsay of JL Properties gave a speech on changing the mind-set on investment opportunities in Africa. This was followed by an official opening by Mr Vincent Gambrah. In his speech, Mr. Gambrah mentioned that the Netherlands Ghana Business Fair is a diaspora initiative by Ghanaian Diaspora in the Netherlands towards their development of country of origin and host country. He encouraged the participants at the business fair to take advantage of the event to network and build business connections to enhance their productive growth in entrepreneurship. Also there was a round table discussion by RVO on Assistance, Regulations and Subsidies for Doing Business. In addition, there were a series of workshops given to participants.

Session one Workshops focused on Agribusiness on Innovation Agribusiness, the challenges and opportunities in Urban Farming by Mr. Bert Spenkelink of Aid Trade. Also under this session, there was also a workshop on housing and real estate specifically on Green Buildings for All by Mr. Hans Oltaar of GB4All.

The 2nd Session of the workshops focused on Renewable Energy on Opportunities for Biogas as Social enterprises in Ghana and off-grid solar; the solution for rural entrepreneurship by Mr. Mustafa Zeiki Ozen of Atlas Energy Solutions. Also under this session, there was a presentation on E- Commerce / ICT: Opportunities within the ICT sector in Ghana by Mrs. Benedictor Ababio- Nkansah, Director of Maxim Nyansa, assisted by Mr. Baafi Owusu Sekyere of IMAGS on Information Security and Mr Nii Mai Dsane of GhanaCompares on comparison website.

On day two of the Business Fair, there was registration, matchmaking sessions on business connections. There was a workshop on Renewable Energy on Technologies and Energy Lighting for Developing Nations by Mr. Jean Seraphin. There was also company visits to Delphi Development Centre (focused on Agrobusiness innovations) and GB4All focusing on Housing/ Construction and Company Construction.

On day three, there was registration of business fair participants,   followed by a Matchmaking and business connections session. There was an information session by Mrs. Gladys Offei (Senior Trade and Information Officer) and Ms. Josephine Ecklu (Policy Officer) from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Ghana Accra on the Support of the Dutch Embassy can offer you as an Entrepreneur, both from the Netherlands and from Ghana.

There were also company visits to Yuvam on Building Materials and Dijkstaal on Steel Construction and Company TBA on Bell Pepper Green House.  On each of the three days participants were served with coffee, tea, lunch and snacks.

The program ended with a Reception and Networking of all participants. There was musical performance by Kelvi and Ernestina Austin performance. Afterwards, Ms. Abena Bemah and Mrs Bernice Yanson gave a thanksgiving speech to thank all participants, sponsors and supporting companies and institutions who dedicated their time to support the business fair and made it a great success. She said the business fair was a very good initiative and it should be promoted in the years to come to make it bigger, and better. She also encouraged the governments and the private sector to support and contribute towards the event to ensure developmental growth for both Ghana and the Netherlands. She ended her speech thanking all participants to keep up the business network connections they obtained since it’s an opportunity for growth and development.

There will be a follow-up with the Ghanaian participants in the coming months and the next steps in the Youth Buddy Program.