Emilia Capital Gets Creative with WCEU Sponsorship

In this episode, Marieke van de Rakt and Joost de Valk from Emilia Capital discuss their investment process with Michelle Frechette. They talk about evaluating potential investments, providing feedback, and the importance of finding a good fit. Their investments in the WordPress space, Marieke’s women empowerment program, and participation with WordCamp Europe reflect the excitement and growth building at Emilia Capital.


Michelle Frechette talks with Marieke van de Rakt and Joost de Valk of Emilia Capital about their new company and their plans to invest in sustainable and female-led WordPress companies. They discuss their upcoming participation at WordCamp Europe, where they will be sponsoring and offering investment opportunities to new companies. They also delve into the challenges of running a profitable open-source software company and the importance of discussing business models in open-source software. Their passion for supporting sustainable and diverse businesses and their commitment to promoting gender equality through a year-round training and coaching program for women are inspiring!

Top Takeaways:

  • Importance of Fit: Finding a good fit when considering investments is crucial. Consider factors like valuation, adding value to the ecosystem, and the ability to contribute to and improve upon a product or service. The need for alignment between an investor’s goals and the potential investment is paramount.
  • Women Empowerment: Empowering women through focusing on personal and organizational change can shift the future. Programs that address both an individual’s growth within a company and the organization’s commitment to gender equality are needed. A comprehensive approach to empowering women in the workplace is necessary to bring real change.
  • Growth and Excitement: Being passionate about your investments can lead to increased growth. Building on your investments within WordPress enables you to build momentum and enthusiasm to achieve real growth. It can also lead to new opportunities and partnerships.

🙏 Sponsor: Pagely

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Michelle Frechette (00:00:03) – Michelle Ette here with Post Status, and I am very excited today. I am here with Marika and Yos. Deak. Marika Vander and Yos Deak. And I’m excited to speak with both of you about what’s going to be happening in a little over a week’s time at Board Camp Europe. And might I add, as long as we have been friends, we have still not met in person, so I am very much looking forward to meeting you in person as well while we’re there. So it,

Joost de Valk (00:00:30) – It’s funny how big that ocean really is.

Michelle Frechette (00:00:33) – . It truly is. It truly is. And then Marika, you were supposed to have come to where camp you asked us last year and things changed for you. So I was so disappointed, of course. But now I’m very much looking forward to seeing you in about a week and a half’s time, so Me too.

Joost de Valk (00:00:46) – Yeah. Really looking forward to that too. Were you looking forward to Athens too? It’s such a love. I know.

Marieke van de Rakt (00:00:52) – I’ve never been.

Joost de Valk (00:00:53) – I Yeah, you’ve been

Marieke van de Rakt (00:00:54) – Everywhere. I I’ve never

Joost de Valk (00:00:55) – Been to a, well, I’ve not been everywhere, but I have been to Athens a couple of times. Actually the last time was Word Camp Athens in 2019, I think. Uh, so yeah, I love it. I’ve,

Michelle Frechette (00:01:07) – I’ve never been to Europe, so this will be, I know it doesn’t represent all of Europe, but this will be my first time on the continent, so very much looking forward to that as well. It’s

Marieke van de Rakt (00:01:15) – Very all part of Europe, so I think if you, if you have to start somewhere, then this is like the best. That’s where Europe started , so that’s good.

Michelle Frechette (00:01:25) – We laugh in the United States when we say, wow, that house is 200 years old and everybody in Europe goes, oh my goodness. It’s so new. .

Marieke van de Rakt (00:01:33) – Yeah, yours always. Well, he makes jokes. He is at, he, his high school and there’s also the school where that our children attend is older than the United States.

Joost de Valk (00:01:43) – . .

Michelle Frechette (00:01:44) – Yeah. So we’re still a young nation.

Joost de Valk (00:01:47) – The school is. The school is, yeah. Yeah. So it’s amazing.

Michelle Frechette (00:01:51) – I love that.

Joost de Valk (00:01:52) – But Greece is, is it’s even older. Yeah. Even better than that. No. Yeah, you’ll love it. I’m, I’m quite sure. And I’m, and we’re looking forward forward to that.

Michelle Frechette (00:02:00) – Yeah. Yeah, me too. And I was so intrigued when I saw, you know, post some things about what you’re all doing there, because you’re going as sponsors, but not with the company. Yo you are going with your new company, and I don’t know how new it is. I think it’s new Amelia Capital, and you are doing something that I don’t think anybody’s ever done at a Word camp before, which I’ve been referring to kind of like the WordPress Shark Tank or WordPress Dragons than, but I see it as a much kinder, gentler place. I don’t think either of you are going to be at people’s throats about their valuations and things, although maybe I could be wrong. I just haven’t seen the sign of you, but tell me a little bit about . Tell me a little bit about Amelia Capital to get started, and then we’ll dive in more about what you’re doing at Word Camp Europe.

Marieke van de Rakt (00:02:46) – So, so when we sold Yost, the whole, the whole thing was, okay, now we, now, now we are financially independent and we can do whatever we want. And we were both really passionate about staying in Fulton, WordPress, and then investing and helping WordPress companies. We also in invest and help companies outside of the WordPress ecosystem mm-hmm. , but WordPress kind of is really close to our heart. Um, so we came up with this idea to invest in companies that are either open source, WordPress, um, do sustainable things or are female led, because I think there are far too few, uh, women in, especially in the tech space, but overall in the, in, in like starting up your own business, um, is something that’s really male dominated. And then you came up with this idea to do that at Word Camp Europe because we, we still have some spots left, uh, in our investment portfolio. We would love to help some new, uh, companies. And, um,

Joost de Valk (00:03:46) – Yeah. Well, and it’s also, it’s a, a way to, to add business in a new way to word camps. Mm-hmm. , because it’s a discussion I’ve been having a lot recently with people. Um, I was at cloudfest, which is a huge conference and, and has more and more of a WordPress component to it. And that was so businessy, like the exact opposite of what everyone thinks of in as a word cap. So I li I literally did like 38 meetings in four days. Wow. And it, it, it was, and I was like, I don’t necessarily want word camps to be diss, but people have to acknowledge, and now people do acknowledge now that WordPress is an ecosystem that also needs businesses to survive. Mm-hmm. , which is sort of back to what I spoke about at the very first word, Campur, uh, a a talk that I then wrote with Marika about, uh, like, yeah, we need, we all need to make money to, to be able to grow this thing. Yeah. Um,

Marieke van de Rakt (00:04:53) – And I think it would be good if we have more businesses that originate from WordPress people, um, um, because now I think a lot of outside companies, and I don’t want to say that’s bad, uh, but they have a different view on things. So I would love to partner up with true WordPress community people. Mm-hmm. . And I also think it’s fun because these, these, our booth pictures are, well, they’re public, so everybody can come and see, um, to see. And if maybe if we don’t want to invest, that story gets out there and someone else wants to invest or someone else gets an idea of what you could do with WordPress. And I think we need more of those conversations. What, what could you do? How, how, how do you start a plugin? Uh, how do you use funding? Uh, because in that part, I think our ecosystem is not as evolved as it could be.

Joost de Valk (00:05:46) – No, it’s very underdeveloped. There’s actually only a few people investing in the WordPress space, um,

Marieke van de Rakt (00:05:53) – Very early on. So if you are bigger, then the investments will come. Yeah. But starting out, I think there are not that many investments investors

Joost de Valk (00:06:02) – No, no, they’re not. And I, and I think that that, well, it would be good if we, if we widened that a bit and if we Well talked about that. And I think this is a, a great opportunity to do so, and I’m actually looking forward to, we’ve got three companies now. We actually had four, but one had to drop out unfortunately, uh, that are pitching to us and, and looking forward to those pitches because they actually look like very good stories in their own and in what they’ve sent us so far.

Marieke van de Rakt (00:06:30) – And also really collide with the three core values we have. So I’m really excited about this. We even have one that does everything. Yeah.

Joost de Valk (00:06:39) – ,

Michelle Frechette (00:06:41) – That’s all. It’s all the boxes.

Joost de Valk (00:06:42) – Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s a bit scary when people start checking all the boxes. . Oh my.

Michelle Frechette (00:06:48) – So to back to back up a little bit though, tell people what is what you’re doing at Europe, because we skipped that step. So, ok. I’m sorry. So that’s ok. It’s exciting. I know. . Yeah.

Marieke van de Rakt (00:06:57) – We’ve asked, uh, companies, uh, to, um, give us some information about their product or their service and why they would like to have investments. And then based on that information, we invited three of them to come and pitch, and they can have 10 minutes and they can do whatever they want, whatever they want on, on to convince us this, uh, would be a good, um, um, well company to invest in. And we’re going to say after we, we ask questions afterwards, and then within half an hour we’re going to say yes and then talk numbers or No, this is not for us. That doesn’t mean that we’ll immediately, uh, um, sign, but that does mean that you get an answer Right. Really quickly. We usually work that

Joost de Valk (00:07:43) – Way. We usually work quite fast there, there is some due diligence to do in some cases, yes. But it is, yeah. But it should be relatively minor and, and easy. So, uh, yeah, no, I, I look forward to that. It’s the whole idea of, uh, proposing of talking and pitching your business, um, it’s something that maybe is a bit foreign to the WordPress ecosystem. I’m

Michelle Frechette (00:08:07) – Sure it is.

Joost de Valk (00:08:08) – Like, and it’s especially foreign to, I think Europeans, Americans are usually quite good at, at elevator talk  like Yeah, like, like the elevator pitch for your company. That’s not a concept that we talk about.

Michelle Frechette (00:08:21) – We learned that in elementary school here. .

Joost de Valk (00:08:23) – Yeah. We certainly don’t.

Marieke van de Rakt (00:08:25) – Very eloquent. I really think so. So really think American people know, just, I don’t know. They’re, they’re much better in presenting themselves

Joost de Valk (00:08:33) – Generally. Yeah. There’s a, there’s definitely a difference there in what we learn in school, et cetera. So, um, yeah, I, I look forward to that. And I, I, those companies, uh, get to pitch themselves if we don’t invest and maybe someone else is listening along and, and does want to invest.

Marieke van de Rakt (00:08:49) – Yeah. And also I think if people see that someone else is doing that, then perhaps they feel inspired. Mm-hmm. . Um, that’s why I love the fact that we have at least two women, women going to fix that, that they think, oh, I could do that too. And, and, and maybe not this year, but in another year that they’ll get at least inspired for I could start my own company and Yeah. Get some investments and then grow that company. That will be awesome.

Joost de Valk (00:09:16) – Yeah. And, um, well, one of the things that we’ll talk about also is of course, is what will you do with the money? Yeah. Uh, well, we are definitely not, uh, married to the idea of having a, a major money exit for, for every company. So we mm-hmm. , we are very open to what, what the future of those companies looks like, um, which is not the typical fund type way of doing things because usually they, they invest in and within X number of years, very often five years, or in case of early investments, sometimes 10, um, they’ll want an exit. Yeah. And that’s not, not even necessarily what we need. Uh, if you create a revenue generating business Yeah. And share a bit of those profits with us every year, we’re quite happy. . Uh, so there is, uh, there’s multiple ways of doing that. And I, well, I look forward to those conversations as well. I think that those types of conversations should start happening at work camps a bit more. Like how do you run mm-hmm. , uh, a business around WordPress and, and what is business in WordPress?

Michelle Frechette (00:10:25) – Just like in, we talk about post status, you know, that the majority of the conversations that move these kinds of acquisitions and mergers and investments forward often happen in dms and like the back channels kind of thing. I think that some of this has happened in board pr, in board camps in the past where people are having conversations, but never publicly, and like you said before, more about acquisition and merger than it is about, um, investing in, in companies. And being that it is MO has been mostly about acquisition and merger, it has been a lot of white men at the top of the eco chain, the food chain, uh, so to speak, uh, being able to make  these deals. No, you don’t have to hide your face because you’re looking Oh,

Marieke van de Rakt (00:11:11) – No,

Michelle Frechette (00:11:12) – You’re looking to change things though, which I think is wonderful. I, I have,

Marieke van de Rakt (00:11:16) – We sold yos to Newt because they had women and, and, and people of color in their, in their board. Yeah. And, and the other ones sometimes had, but then you wouldn’t see them because they’re the, the female, uh, leads are usually in HR and they’re not like in the talks, which would’ve helped in my case because I feel really uncomfortable if they’re only men talking about things I don’t understand. And they’re not about the numbers. I do understand that. But the small talk is about, I don’t know, football or something I don’t understand. Well,

Michelle Frechette (00:11:49) – That sometimes talks about it, it lends itself to explain it to you what, what company culture is if it’s all men in conversation. Right. So that’s the, if it’s LED top down that way, then how do the women fit in in the company, and how do people of color fit in in the company? Yeah. If, if that’s how it’s run. And so to see you looking to include women and people of color in the process, it makes my heart happy. So that’s a wonderful thing. Oh,

Joost de Valk (00:12:13) – And I think it’s wider than that as well. It’s also like actually thinking of what does an open source business look like mm-hmm.  and how does that sustain itself over time? Because it, if there’s one thing that’s become very clear to us from our SEAL process is that a whole lot of companies out there don’t really understand what open source is. Mm-hmm.  and, and building an open source business is definitely different from a lot of other businesses. So

Marieke van de Rakt (00:12:42) – Yeah. So, so if, if you do a big, big plugin, um, open source software can be forked. And this is all really, really obvious to all of us, but it’s not to a lot of people. Right. So the so, and and, uh, the number of times an investment company asked me, could you also charge everyone $1 for all the free products? I was like, in new,

Joost de Valk (00:13:06) – This

Michelle Frechette (00:13:07) – Is not how that works.

Marieke van de Rakt (00:13:08) – No, that’s not how that works. But they’re like the, if you don’t really understand the ecosystem, then these kinds of questions pop up. Yeah. Um, and, and then you never get to a profitable, or at least not profitable software solution, you could do other things.

Joost de Valk (00:13:27) – It, there’s lots of ways to, to do that, but it, I think it is fun to actually discuss those business models a bit more. Yeah. And to think about, Hey, what is unique about business and open source mm-hmm. . And we take a lot of that for granted when we look at a lot of these companies. I think, uh, and we’ve been on the other side, we’ve, we know how hard it is to run a big plugin company mm-hmm. . Um, and that is seriously not as easy as, as running some sorts of other companies. Sure. Um, and I, I think we take that too, uh, for granted a bit too much. So we also take automatic for granted too much how big it is and how how easy it’s

Michelle Frechette (00:14:07) – A big company. Yeah.

Joost de Valk (00:14:08) – Uh, and it is not that easy. And it is, and it, and we should not take all of that for granted, but we should talk about it a bit more. Like, Hey, how do we build these models in a way that we are all comfortable with and that fit all our ideals and our ways of how we want to run the world. Mm-hmm.

Michelle Frechette (00:14:25) – . Absolutely. So when I’ve seen television programs like Dragons Den or, uh, shark Tank, the, the person comes in, they pitch their to their idea, and it’s all, I don’t think it’s, I’ve ever seen services, theirs is always physical products. Right? Yeah. Because that’s something that you can showcase on television better. Yeah. So this is a little bit different obviously than that, and I’m sure it’s a lot different because I know you personally,  you wouldn’t be like Mr. Wonderful or whatever his name is, who just a text people in their companies. But sometimes people are coming in and yes, there’s always, um, uh, money on the table, but what they’re looking for even more is maybe the connections that you all have or spec or, and more importantly the knowledge that you have and can contribute. So I assume that is also part of the equation. Can you talk about that a little bit?

Marieke van de Rakt (00:15:13) – Well, that’s what makes it fun, because Yos and I both liked that early stage of a company. I think my, my happiest years in, in Yost were the first few years in which we grew and which in which everything was possible. And if I see, because we have, like, we have nine companies now in which we have a small part. They’re all like that. So it’s a lot of fun. And, uh, we are actually growing a small team here at Emilia to help people with branding because we are good at branding and s seo and also some finances because, um, those things are really important. And I detest them. So now Yos do all of that. So weird,

Michelle Frechette (00:15:56) – Wonderful. ,

Joost de Valk (00:15:59) – It’s somehow that always ends up with me. I don’t know why, because I want to spend my time coding, not necessarily spending ,

Marieke van de Rakt (00:16:07) – . No. But I think, so a lot of companies also would benefit from a little help in that on how to do that properly. I think our, our best thing is network expertise in seo, branding, uh, those kind of things. Yeah,

Joost de Valk (00:16:20) – Sorry, pricing. Yeah. So with a, with an investment, you usually get the, the network of your investors with it. Um, and that’s why you have to think long and hard about who you want. I mean, it’s, it’s someone that you’ll have to work with for a long time. Um, uh, but it, yeah, it, it’s, it has to work both ways. Mm-hmm. , uh, and, and there is, uh, well, there’s a lot of value we can add, I think to mm-hmm.  to startup companies that, that, especially in the WordPress space, and yet the network helps, uh, I mean, absolutely.

Michelle Frechette (00:16:55) – Yeah.

Joost de Valk (00:16:55) – It definitely makes it easier that I can just send you a DM and say, Hey, you should talk to X, Y, or Z and you, and you’ll probably say, oh, y instead of who are you? Right. . And, and I mean it, of course it helps. And, um, we’re happy to do that for the right people. And uh, and it’s like, yeah. And that, that’s the fun part of the, it’s the

Marieke van de Rakt (00:17:19) – Fun part. Yeah. I think it’s really because you know, so many people you can also like, um, get people to help or to, you hire someone from one part of the WordPress community to help one of our investments. Yeah. That’s just,

Joost de Valk (00:17:33) – Yeah. So there, there’s a lot of fun that we can, we can and want to have with these companies besides just putting a writing a, a check mm-hmm. , uh, we don’t write checks for Europeans. We actually have proper banking systems. , but . But we, but yeah.

Michelle Frechette (00:17:48) – Noted. Duly noted. . .

Joost de Valk (00:17:51) – But it’s, uh, yeah, no. So we, we don’t just, uh, invest, we, we actually do talk to these people. We, we have a, an Amelia Slack in which we have shared Slack channels with all the companies we’ve invested in. And it’s, but it’s different. Good amount of

Marieke van de Rakt (00:18:05) – Fun, different from for all of them. So we’ve, for example, also hire, uh, invested in a, in a, in a clothing brand. It’s a Dutch coding brand. Yes. And they’re really good at branding locally here, and they want to expand, but they’ve, so they’re Dutch, but do all their marketing in English, but people in the, in the Netherlands don’t search in English. So they search for different, so we can help them get that together. And I don’t know anything about fashion, but, uh, that’s

Joost de Valk (00:18:34) – Not true. You just just said,

Marieke van de Rakt (00:18:35) – I know a lot about buying . Yeah. But I don’t know about, I learned a lot about, about that. They do that all very sustainable and nice and eco-friendly and human friendly. Uh, so I’ve learned a lot from that. Yeah.

Joost de Valk (00:18:53) – No, it’s, it’s good fun. So it’s, it’s fun for us too. Yeah. I mean, I think that’s, that’s the best thing about good investments if, is if we can learn from each other and I don’t know, we can help those companies out a bit and, and then learn, uh, a bit about their, well, their way of running a business in the process. Mm-hmm. . Um, and we’ll do that at Word Comp Bureau too. So we’ll talk to, uh, at least three. We have one spot open, so maybe, Ooh,

Michelle Frechette (00:19:18) – If anybody’s interested, they should get in touch with you very quickly. Right. They,

Joost de Valk (00:19:22) – They’ll have to be quick, but we are rather quick too. So, uh, just it’s, uh, just email us and we’ll figure it out.

Michelle Frechette (00:19:29) – I love that. Uh, and they can go to amelia capital.com and they can find you there.

Joost de Valk (00:19:34) – No, John, just amelia.capital. Thank

Michelle Frechette (00:19:36) – You. amelia.capital. It’s automatically comes up when I type it now, so I don’t even think about it anymore. . Good. Good. Amelia Capital, um, and there’s contact information there if they’re interested. Yes. So what is it going to look like at Word Camp Europe? Is the pitch public, or will you be doing that privately?

Marieke van de Rakt (00:19:54) – No, it’s public. It’s in our booth. So

Michelle Frechette (00:19:57) – Anybody can watch and learn from that process then. And if, if the answer to somebody is no, will you be giving them feedback on how they can improve going forward? Yes,

Joost de Valk (00:20:07) – Absolutely. Um, I, I think that’s, honestly, that’s already hard because we’re getting so many decks, uh mm-hmm.  and, uh, from people, not to pitch at Word Computer, but from outside of the WordPress space, as soon as you’re like a noted investor, the amount of decks thrown as you is ridiculous. Yeah. Um,

Marieke van de Rakt (00:20:26) – I think, I think we’ll give a no then, and then do a follow up conversation somewhere on Word computer. Maybe you do that not in public because giving, because I think that be, I’m just thinking about that just now, but doing feed negative feedback or feedback, why we don’t want to do it could perhaps be, then we’ll just go and grab some coffee and talk it through. Yeah. Yeah.

Michelle Frechette (00:20:47) – That seems, that seems right, .

Marieke van de Rakt (00:20:49) – Yeah, you’re

Joost de Valk (00:20:50) – Right. Yeah. That’s what

Michelle Frechette (00:20:51) – If I was pitching, that’s how I would prefer .

Joost de Valk (00:20:53) – Yeah. Yeah. In the interest of not burning people in public that it had seems like a good idea.

Marieke van de Rakt (00:20:58) – , no. Yeah. But I think the main reason is that probably that we, so what the reasons why we didn’t invest before sometimes was because of valuation. Mm-hmm. , uh, or because we thought this product doesn’t add something new to the, to, to the ecosystem. But it could also be that we just don’t see how we could improve upon something. But like, what can we help? And if that’s the case, then we should not invest.

Michelle Frechette (00:21:23) – Yeah, that makes sense. It has to be a good fit for you as well as the company who’s a Yeah. It has to, otherwise it makes no sense. Yeah. Yeah.

Marieke van de Rakt (00:21:30) – I have a really hard time saying no. So Yos will be the one saying, no, ,

Michelle Frechette (00:21:36) – He gets all the hard jobs.

Joost de Valk (00:21:38) – Are we? Yeah. I I mean, we’re clear on that, right? Crystal

Michelle Frechette (00:21:43) – Clear? Crystal clear?

Marieke van de Rakt (00:21:45) – No, I have a really hard time saying no. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But we have to do that cause we can’t do all of them.

Michelle Frechette (00:21:51) – We, we, we call that good cop, bad cop. I don’t know if you have that same phrase.

Marieke van de Rakt (00:21:56) – The same. It’s also, so, and this, this, this format, we also have that at home with the children.

Michelle Frechette (00:22:03) – Yes, of course. .

Joost de Valk (00:22:05) – Anyway,  just

Michelle Frechette (00:22:06) – Wait till dad gets home. Right. , I love it. So I’m excited to hear, I’m excited to watch it all take place, um, in Europe if people are interested in learning more. Of course, amelia.capital now, I will never forget it again. And, uh, is there anything else you’d like to, to share about the process or about, uh, investing? I know you’ve got you, I think the one I’m most familiar with is Equalized Digital, that you’ve invested and are on the board there also. I do

Joost de Valk (00:22:35) – You also know a

Michelle Frechette (00:22:36) – Yes, Adam. That’s right. I forgot that was a little bit before then. Yep.

Joost de Valk (00:22:40) – Uh, and in the WordPress space, there’s a couple of others that we, that we’ve invested in. Just you might know about WP c s uh, they’re Amsterdam based. Excellent. Tify. Uh, they’re from the US Oh,

Michelle Frechette (00:22:51) – Yeah, yeah.

Marieke van de Rakt (00:22:52) – The Casto

Joost de Valk (00:22:53) – And Casto, the podcasting platform. Oh, yeah.

Michelle Frechette (00:22:56) – I, I use casts myself, so I pay into that on a monthly basis and for all my transcripting. So Yes, it’s a great, it’s a great product.

Joost de Valk (00:23:04) – Absolutely. No. So we, we do have a, a few in the WordPress space already and, uh, well we’re, we’re looking forward to add one, maybe two, maybe three. We’ll see. Yeah.

Michelle Frechette (00:23:14) – So my goal in the next year is to come up with something that I could pitch to you instead of always, instead of always giving my projects away for free.

Joost de Valk (00:23:22) – . I, uh, look forward to that. Yeah. ,

Michelle Frechette (00:23:25) – We’ll be thinking, thinking very hard. We’ll talk we’ll, we’ll, we’ll have coffee in your, and we’ll see . Good. Uh, this, this has been so wonderful. I do look forward to seeing you very much next week and see how of all of this plays out and, you know, whoever is given a yes and, and all of that. And hopefully you’ll look at at least one Yes. And not like four nos or something, which would just feel so sad. That would be depressing. Yes. Yeah, that would be very sad. So I’m very . I’m too Marika wants to say yes already. So I think we’re, we’re, we may see some happy people. Um, but yes, I’m very much looking forward to it and very much I’m watching, looking forward to the growth of Amelia Capital and you’re involvement in things and especially Marika. Oh, I did wanna ask you about your women empowerment. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Marieke van de Rakt (00:24:10) – Yeah, so I’ve launched that in the beginning of the year, and them got so occupied with so much work that I haven’t given it proper attention. Um, um, it’s a, it’s a program. It’s actually aimed at companies that could like buy it. And I, I think I should change the packages. I’m not sure yet. But what, what you do is then you have a number of women within an organization that’ll, uh, do a year round of, well, it’s training and coaching. So part of it’s online, and then you look at me and I tell you things, but part of it’s also reading books and talking to each other in a group of women on how you can change yourself, but especially how you can change the organization and how you want to grow within your organization. So, uh, at the end, there should be a plan on what an organization could do to make it more gender equal, but also what that person herself could do to like grow in the company.

Marieke van de Rakt (00:25:08) – So, so I, I’ve, I’ve, we, we’ve done it at Yos when I was, when I became C C E O of Yos. And what I see is a lot of, a lot of programs focused on gender equality are focused on women, but it’s not the women’s fault that there are too few women. So it’s also the organization that there are things that women themselves can do, which they’re probably not aware of to make you like stronger and, and step up or lean in. But I think it’s also a big part is what organizations do to, to make that happen. So that’s the strength of the program, and now I have to take some time to properly market it and talk about it and get it off the road because it’s not working yet.

Michelle Frechette (00:25:49) – I, I have no doubt though that it will, because it, I, I remember hearing about what you were doing at Yost and uh, watching the women within your company talk about feeling empowered. So I am looking forward to what you do to grow this in the future. Yeah.

Marieke van de Rakt (00:26:02) – You get me excited again. I’m going to look at it. Yes, .

Michelle Frechette (00:26:06) – Excellent. Well, let’s have a conversation. If there’s anything I can do to help you think that through in Europe, I’m more than happy to have you, but you have to buy the coffee in that case. Yeah,

Marieke van de Rakt (00:26:15) – .

Michelle Frechette (00:26:16) – Just kidding. Oh, I look forward to seeing you next week and learning more about this and, um, I hope everybody has an opportunity to at least observe the process and think about how they might grow their own businesses, whether it’s with Amelia Capital or watching what you all are doing. So thank you for taking the, thank you for taking the time today. I really appreciate it. Thank you for having us. Yeah. We’ll see you next week. Bye.

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