7 years ago, Yvette Watson and Geerke Versteeg started as entrepreneurs and built two successful impact businesses since; PHI Factory and The 2B Collective. Others recognize this success too, because on behalf of this passionate and driven entrepreneurial couple, Yvette Watson is among the last three finalists of the Bold Future Awards, as part of the Bold Woman Awards. The other empowered women are Mama Deli's founder Mariëlle Smit and POM Amsterdam's founders Liesbeth & Violet Lotgering.
The Bold Woman Awards (Business Woman of the Year) were created by Veuve Clicquot, to continue the legacy of Madame Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin Clicquot.
Her vision and bold character, combined with curiosity and innovation, made her innovate traditional processes that are still used in champagne making more than 200 years later. The Bold Woman Award and the Bold Future Award, aims to encourage female entrepreneurship. For both the established business woman and the starting female entrepreneur.
What is it that makes this entrepreneurial couple so special? We often only see their current efforts for working on a sustainable world of tomorrow. How they accomplished this often remains underexposed, but is all the more interesting. Its strength lies in complementary traits as a founders couple; vision and creativity, partnered with the power to manifest and the focus on results.
A key theme for them is transformational leadership. They do not only seek to change the economy and society, but also to change companies' leadership. How to get the best out of people (by focussing on strengths instead of weaknesses), diversity (a necessity to solve the complex problems of our time), personal development, and to actively think and contribute to the strategy of the company as an employee.
Having a female board, and thus female leadership, makes the management method powerful, because they both play with the feminine and masculine characteristics they possess. The masculine side provides structure, decisiveness and a clear dot on the horizon. This reflectes in the Rockefeller Habits method they applied to scale the companies.
Geerke; "The habits provide structure and focus on executing only those activities that contribute to our BHAG." While feminine traits provide entrepreneurship with intuition, expression, loving connections, creation and a spark, which reflcts in their focus on meaningful connections with employees, customers and partners and dreaming big. Yvette; "We continuously push the status quo, but in an inspiring people-oriented way."
The most important woman in Yvette's life was her English grandmother; "My English grandmother is my great inspiration." In the 1930s, she was at the forefront of the English Women's Movement to fight for women's rights. I savored her stories and learned how she turned her dream into a major social advancement. My goal is the same, but we have a different societal challenge. Depletion of our earth, pollution and climate change are the grand challenges of our time. From her I learned that we can really achieve anything, with only small steps, always true to our goal. Geerke’s biggest inspiration is her father; "Retired director of cleaning, big fan of chores and super active in all kinds of volunteer jobs. I learned from him that stuff remains valuable and that you can make anything if you put your mind to it. He showed me that putting your heat and shoul into what you care for is incredibly important. So in my case the transition to a circular economy, but also to contribute to women's equality."
Monday, November 7, the presentation of the Bold Future Awards will take place at the Scheepvaartsmuseum in Amsterdam.