It’s the ambition of many companies to expand their business abroad. Lisette (19) and Ilse (21) know all about this, and help companies to get going with a customised business plan.

Online dating

“Each company is different, which is what makes this project so interesting,” Ilse explains enthusiastically. “At the moment I’m in the process of drafting advice for the internationalisation of a mushroom company, while Lisette is busy with a company producing air purifiers.” When it comes to drafting a business plan, it’s certainly not a matter of ‘copy paste’, the duo can state with conviction. “It’s important to look at the strengths of a company,” says Lisette. “Then you can match these with a country where there’s a need for these qualities.” Not unlike online dating, where it’s also all about the right match.  

Pushing boundaries

What were the most important lessons they learned? “Being open to opportunities,” Lisette states emphatically. “Don’t just look at what the company comes up with, but also try and see beyond that. The air purifier company I’m drafting a plan for is mainly geared towards agricultural buildings such as pig sheds, but I also started looking at industrial applications. For instance, factory emissions and air pollution caused by coal mines. These can be solved by fitting flats with air purifiers, instead of closing the mines.” “Being flexible is one personal boundary that I’ve had to learn to push,” Ilse says. “That’s also what’s needed if you’d like to make money growing mushrooms in Poland.”

We’re the champions

“What made this project even more interesting was the collaboration with students from different study programmes,” Ilse says. “You don’t just exchange knowledge to produce the best plan, but also get to know a lot of people.” Unsurprisingly, they think the future’s bright.  “With our plan, internationalising these companies isn’t merely possible, it’ll also be a definite improvement for the environment,” Ilse states proudly. “Internationalising means less transport is needed to ship mushrooms, which will help lower CO2 emissions.” And when it comes to writing business plans or internationalising plans, “We’re the champions!”