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Member Spotlight: Annebet van Mameren

Each month we'll feature a different AABC member in our new Member Spotlight, this month Annebet van Mameren. Would you like to be featured in a future edition of our Member Spotlight? Get in touch with Veronica at marketing@aabc.nl

 

1. Who are you? (introduce yourself)

Hello! My name is Annebet van Mameren. I am an education consultant from the Netherlands. I run New2nl, a network that brings together expert service providers for international families in the Netherlands. I am Dutch, and married to an American. We are based in Amsterdam, and have two sons who we are raising bilingually. I have a master's degree in Organizational, Social and Personality Psychology and a research background in Intercultural Conflicts at Work. I have worked for multinational companies, lived and worked in Italy, and have a thorough understanding of the (educational) challenges international families face when moving to the Netherlands. I regularly share my knowledge and experience through international magazines and websites, and seminars to international companies and parents. I have also written an article for AABC on the Dutch school attendance law: https://aabc.nl/the-dutch-school-attendance-law.

2. When and why did you join the AABC?

I have been a member for two years now. I was looking for a good business network in Amsterdam, and since my husband is American, and I have many American clients, the AABC seemed to be the right place. I have met many nice people through AABC, and some of the members have become partners in my Navigate the Netherlands partner package.

3. Tell us about your business and how we can work with you.

I help international families find a school for their children in the Netherlands. For many clients I am one of the first Dutch people they talk to and often they ask me for referrals to other service providers. In the Navigate the Netherlands partner package I work together with partners to offer valuable services to international families in the Netherlands. I am always on the lookout for new partners. See http://new2nl.com/partner-offers.

4. What are your tips and/or advice about doing business in the Netherlands?

Build up your network, ask around if you need something or someone. There are always people to help you. Stay true to yourself, be dependable, and always be on time. You don't need to speak Dutch in order to do business in the Netherlands, but it surely helps. Good luck. Photo credit: Magpeye Photography www.magpeyephotography.com Share this article:

Is the Popularity of Paracetamol in the Netherlands a Myth?

Earlier this month, figures from the European Union showed that what many Americans in the Netherlands think about Dutch doctors is true – they do prescribe fewer antibiotics than in any other OECD member country. The report, entitled Health at a Glance, shows that just 10.7 people in 1,000 are prescribed antibiotics in the Netherlands at any one time. This is around half the OECD rate of 20.6 and well below league leader Greece, on 36. The report also shows Netherlands has spent less on medicines in the last few years than many other countries, with spending down by almost 3% between 2009 and 2015. At the same time, the Dutch health system is highly regarded in international circles. In May, the Netherlands came in ninth place in a ranking of almost 200 countries by The Lancet magazine. The ranking was compiled by looking at how likely you are to survive various diseases, including tuberculosis, whooping cough and measles. And, a year ago, research by the Commonwealth Fund think-tank in America, put the Netherlands at the top of a list of 11 western countries in terms of its healthcare system.

Insight

The International Community Advisory Panel is trying to get greater insight into attitudes to the Dutch healthcare system among the international community and has launched a new survey to find out more. ICAP, an independent foundation set up in 2016, has already carried out two surveys, one focusing on the international community and housing and the other on education. The findings are being used by Amsterdam city council in its efforts to make the city a more attractive place to live and do business. The research showed that 63% of people considered to be expats in the Netherlands get no financial help from their employer in paying school fees and 77% of new arrivals get no help with paying for housing. In addition, over half of the 700 people who took part in the surveys have no plans to leave the Netherlands within the next five years at least.

Expat

‘We need to redefine what we mean by “expat” because most international workers these days do not get generous housing and school deal packages from their employers,’ said ICAP chairwoman Robin Pascoe. ‘In addition, most internationals in the Netherlands to work came here by choice and live here for much longer than a couple of years. Not only can they not afford the fees for international schools and expensive ‘expat’ housing, but they want their children to integrate into the Dutch community.’ Dutch government policy currently focuses on investing on creating additional international school places in Amsterdam and The Hague but moves are also being made to make Dutch schools more ‘international’ as well. ‘While the decision-makers at multinationals will benefit from spending on international schools, we also believe there are enormous gains to be made if the government invested properly in helping the children of new arrivals integrate into the Dutch school system,’ said Deborah Valentine, director of voluntary organisation ACCESS and a member of the ICAP board. Do you have doubts about doctors or issues about health insurance? Is the popularity of paracetamol a myth? Have your say in the ICAP survey about the Dutch healthcare system as seen through the eyes of internationals. We much appreciate your help. You can find ICAP's survey here. Photo credit: Michelle Tribe via Wikimedia Commons. Share this article:

Member Spotlight: Koen Gijzel

Each month we'll feature a different AABC member in our new Member Spotlight, this month Koen Gijzel. Would you like to be featured in a future edition of our Member Spotlight? Get in touch with Veronica at marketing@aabc.nl

 

1. Who are you? (introduce yourself)

My name is Koen Gijzel and I am the founder of Koentact Dutch Language School. I studied French and Dutch linguistics in Amsterdam and Paris, and started Koentact in 2009. I was born in Utrecht and I have been living in Amsterdam since 2003, still passionately support my home football team FC Utrecht though! One of my favorite places in Amsterdam is the market, from Dappermarkt to Noordermarkt, on account of the enormous variety of different cultures and great foods that you find here side by side. I love listening to French rap music, studying Arabic, making my own ravioli, going to classical concerts and cycling on my racer in the nature around the city.

2. When and why did you join the AABC?

I already was a member of the AABC 5 years ago, but I could not join the evening events anymore, because of the timing. I was so busy in the evenings, because of all our evening classes, that I did not have time and energy anymore for networking events. Now, we have a great teaching team in the evenings which gives me more time in the evenings. So, here I am: happy to be back and to meet new internationals who have difficulties pronouncing the -Dutch Ghhhh or who do really not understand the Dutch directness…

3. Tell us about your business and how we can work with you.

At Koentact, we give Dutch lessons for expats. We make learning Dutch as fun as possible and through our Field Trips and Language Cafes we break down the barrier of speaking Dutch in daily life. Koentact has an office in the city center of Amsterdam, consists of a professional staff of three young professionals and many great enthusiastic teachers. Together we offer a wide range of Dutch language courses and activities for internationals from all over the world. We offer classes in our school building, but also in-company and in-house. Thanks to the personal approach of our staff and teachers, our practical and social approach to language learning and never-ending energy, students do not only learn Dutch at Koentact, but they also have lots of fun, make many new friends and experience the real Dutch culture. You could always come to one of our free events (Koentact Open Day or the Amsterdam Language Cafe) to get to know us.

4. What are your tips and/or advice about doing business in the Netherlands?

Be yourself, be honest, have fun and don’t take it too seriously. Photo credit: Magpeye Photography www.magpeyephotography.com Share this article:

Member Spotlight: Tiffany Coleman

Each month we'll feature a different AABC member in our new Member Spotlight, this month Tiffany Coleman. Would you like to be featured in a future edition of our Member Spotlight? Get in touch with Veronica at marketing@aabc.nl

 

1. Who are you? (introduce yourself)

I am a Seattle native who went to Washington State University, double majoring in Finance and Entrepreneurship and double minoring in Hospitality Business Management and Comparative Ethnic Studies. While studying at Washington State University I studied abroad in South Korea, which is what jump started my passion for traveling. After finishing my bachelor’s degree I took three years off to travel around Europe, which is what made me choose to pursue my master’s degree in Financial Management in Amsterdam. It has now been 5 years since I made that move, and I can safely say I call Amsterdam my home.

2. When and why did you join the AABC?

I joined the Amsterdam American Business Club in 2014, shortly after graduating from my master’s program in order to obtain a wider networking group and meet other business minded people.

3. Tell us about your business and how we can work with you.

I am currently working as a Trust Accountant at Citco Nederland’s B.V. We provide accounting, administrative, legal and corporate secretarial services to Dutch entities. The nature of the Company I work for does not require any assistance from the AABC, I prefer to use the AABC more as a social outlet and to get ideas from internationally business minded people.

4. What are your tips and/or advice about doing business in the Netherlands?

Be direct as possible when asking questions, network and learn to enjoy the Dutch work mentality. Photo credit: Magpeye Photography www.magpeyephotography.com Share this article:

Business Owners Beware: the UBO Register is Coming

In this short article, Adam Kiolle provides an update on the introduction of a new register listing the identity of the ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs) of businesses and legal entities registered in the Netherlands.

At present the Dutch commercial register (handelsregister) does not list information on who owns or ultimately controls Dutch legal entities (except for in the case of sole traders (eenmanszaken) and companies (BVs and NVs) with a sole shareholder), however this is soon going to change. Under new European anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism legislation, EEA Member States now need to implement a so-called UBO register identifying the ultimate beneficial owner of corporate and other legal entities incorporated within their territories. This register will list up-to-date information on the “beneficial ownership” of such entities. In the Netherlands, this UBO register will be integrated into the KvK’s commercial register. At present it is uncertain when the Dutch UBO register will be up and running, although it is definitely a question of “when” rather than “if”. While the European Member States are free to decide precisely how to implement the register, under the European legislation, they do not have a choice about whether or not to implement it. Once in place, virtually all businesses registered in the Netherlands will need to provide UBO information for the purposes of registration. The only exceptions (for the moment) will be for foreign companies registered in the Netherlands and (for obvious reasons) sole traders. The register will list details each ultimate beneficial owner’s name, month and year of birth, nationality, country of residence as well as the nature and size of the UBO’s economic interest in the entity. In addition to the foregoing information which will be publicly available, other information will be collected and kept on record in a non-public UBO register which will only be available to certain public authorities (most likely the tax authorities, national police and financial regulatory or investigation bodies). In principle (and subject only to very limited exceptions) entities will be under an obligation to provide and update the relevant UBO information, with failure to do so attracting serious penalties. Am I an UBO? Under the draft Dutch legislation, a UBO is defined as the “natural person who has ultimate ownership of or control over a business or legal person”. Beyond this it is not quite clear exactly how the UBO will be defined. For this, we will have to wait for the passing of a statutory instrument setting out the precise definitions for each type of entity. It is, however, likely that anybody who holds (or controls) more than 25% of the shares in a company will fall under the definition. Where no individual shareholder holds (or controls) more than 25 % of the shares, it is not unthinkable that the law might look to the board of directors and identify one or more of the directors as the UBO, as odd as this may sound. What is certain is that all entities will be deemed to have at least one UBO. Can I avoid being listed as an UBO? If you are the UBO of a Dutch business or entity, you may, under some limited circumstances, be able to have your personal information suppressed in the public register. However, to do this, you will need to be able to prove that publication of the details would give rise to an actual risk of fraud, kidnapping, blackmail, violence or intimidation. The other exception is where the UBO is a minor or otherwise lacking legal capacity. If you are a shareholder or director of a Dutch company and want to know how this will affect you, feel free to contact Adam Kiolle from Blenheim Attorneys. Photo credit: Patrik Göthe Share this article:

Member Spotlight: Rob Lacroix

Each month we'll feature a different AABC member in our new Member Spotlight, this month Rob Lacroix. Would you like to be featured in a future edition of our Member Spotlight? Get in touch with Veronica at marketing@aabc.nl

 

1. Who are you? (introduce yourself)

I am Rob, born and raised in Amsterdam. And after living for a about a decade in Amstelveen, now living in and working from Almere, which is about a 21 minute commute by train from Amsterdam. Worked in marketing and sales for about 20 years, to come to the conclusion that although I was good at it, it wasn’t my calling. After some long and deep soul searching I came to the conclusion that my calling had to do with helping people become a better functioning and happier version of themselves. The fact that for as long as I can remember friends and family would turn to me with their challenges looking for guidance and me enjoying helping them find the answers, for sure had a big influence on that decision. So I went back to school and finished a PostHBO education to become a coach. And after coaching for a while, last September I started my own coaching practice.

2. When and why did you join the AABC?

As most starting entrepreneurs will recognize, I felt the need to talk to other professionals and do some sparring about the subjects one can run into. Since I am also offering my services to expats, I was looking for a place to meet them and learn from their experiences, as well as promote my services. My dear friend Veronica told me about the AABC and how much she enjoyed being a member, so I joined her for a meeting last year at Waxx in Amsterdam. Directly after I joined. What made me decide was the open and welcoming atmosphere, where networking happened in a relaxed way. Until now my membership has brought me several occasions to have pleasant social interactions while combining that with talks about serious business issues. Both learning from others while sharing my own knowledge and experiences. This made these meeting both useful as enjoyable.

3. Tell us about your business and how we can work with you.

My coaching practice offers both Life coaching and Business coaching. Being married to an “ex-expat” and with most of my friends having an expat background, it is no surprise that part of my business is aimed at expats and their specific needs in addition to the “regular” life coaching issues. The part of my practice serving expats is expatcoachingcompany.nl. Life coaching Why Life coaching for expats? Life, and work in particular, can be complicated. When you are an expat even so much more. Not only are you confronted with the “regular” issues of life, like life’s anxieties and the possible feeling of shortcomings in your private life and/or at work, but there are also the issues related to being an expat. Such as being homesick or the feeling of not belonging neither here nor at home for example. As Life coach, besides the regular issues, I specialize in helping people who work in stressful environments. I help them to deal with stress and function and feel better. Business coaching As a Business coach I offer two services. Mentoring and being a sparring partner for managers in/business owners of SMB organizations is the first, the second is idea coaching. Idea coaching is aimed at helping people with new business ideas or existing SMB companies with new ideas for products or services. While using both my 20 years of experience in sales and marketing and my coaching experience, I will help you to take the necessary distance to your idea and ask yourself the difficult questions, essential to getting to the core of your idea and how to make it happen. By facilitating this process, I will help you to shape your idea into a feasible one and for you to be ready to execute it.

4. What are your tips and/or advice about doing business in the Netherlands?

As Adam Kiolle explained so well in his blog article, the legal emphasis in Dutch labor relations is on the employee. This means that you as a business owner or manager, are obligated to take as good care of your employees as it can be expected from you. When one of them gets sick for a prolonged period of time, this could make you run into serious costs. Not only do you have to pay for the employee’s salary, but also the cost of temporary replacement and the necessary re-integration guidance and these will weigh down on your operational costs. According to the research done by the Centraal Bureau Statistiek, about 17% of the Dutch workforce (this includes expats working here) is suffering of burnout related issues. One can imagine that the risk of one of your employees getting sick at home is a relevant one. On average, a burnout will last anything from three months to a year. This burnout will have a severe impact on the employee in both an emotional and physical way, as will it on your business operation. My advice? Make sure that you and other managers in your company are trained to recognize the symptoms of a pending burnout within an employee. In this case prevention is by far the most cost effective way of keeping both your employees happy and your business running. If you need any help with dealing with Life coaching or Business Coaching related issues or want to share thoughts about them, do not hesitate to contact me at one of the AABC meetings or at rob.lacroix@expatcoachingcompany.nl. Photo credit: Magpeye Photography www.magpeyephotography.com Share this article: