I have been a member of a women's network in the Netherlands for many years. This was a network of women from various professions, such as doctors, a mayor, business executives, and professionals, but in any case the member always held a management position.
Over the years we have learned a lot from each other, supported each other where possible, and have joined in many activities together.
When I was talked about this enthusiastically to Marianne de Wit (then director of ABN AMRO Private Banking in Puerto Banus) and Kristel Schoeman (owner real estate agency Element Realty and WoodFactory Spain), we decided there was a need for such network in this area as well. They knew from experience with Dutch customers, that there is a clear demand for Dutch speaking companies and their services. We could help each other with our existing contacts, but there also was a particular need for the exchange of experiences about what it is like as a woman - entrepreneur or in a management position - to operate on the Costa del Sol. We can not only learn from each other, we can also support starting entrepreneurs on the Costa del Sol with our experiences. We decided to create a club for Dutch women, living and working on the Costa del Sol, working at management level and from as many different industries as possible. We received many enthusiastic reactions after our first meeting in September 2004. Ellas was born!
We were aware of the fact that creating such a network takes time and we gave ourselves a period of two years. Our network grew, literally and figuratively, with every meeting. The process of development was completed and the network was a fact. The basis of the network of active business women on the Costa del Sol was there, but shaping the network continues.
The members are the success factors of the network. The knowledge and skills of our existing members and new members are what makes our monthly meetings interesting, time and again.
Jacqueline van der Veen