This entrepreneur took advantage of COVID-19 to radically renew
By Jan Fred van Wijnen for Het Financieele Dagblad (orig. Dutch)
‘Entrepreneurs need to ‘think outside the box’ and ‘find new ways to earn money’.
At least, according to government members of Economic Affairs Wiebes and Keijzer halfway through the COVID-19 pandemic in newspaper het Algemeen Dagblad. That may sound straightforward, but it is not, as shown in recent studies. Het Financieele Dagblad spoke with several Dutch entrepreneurs, including ‘FD Gazellen’ (award for rapid economic company growth) winner Gijs van der Linden of Businessgames, who utilised the crisis for an extensive overhaul.
The company of Gijs van der Linden trains managers and other personnel. They play role games, simulations and other activities that are called ‘Business Games.’ The games are played live: the participants come together. But that is until COVID-19 strikes. The last game took place on March 12, 2020. The next one is set for mid-July 2020, with 1.5-meter distance between the participants.
‘When it dawned on us that the crisis wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon,’ says Van der Linden, ‘we quickly committed ourselves to an idea we came up with before COVID-19: online games. The development of a new product makes you feel like a start-up once more. You are busy with a lot of new things that do not initially bring in money.’
The company’s turnover of 2019 (€1.2 million) received a blow, but his regular customers already play online games. He also expects a lot from the new ‘hybrid’ version: some participants come together; others engage behind the screen. ‘The implementation of working from home ensures that many companies want to engage in online team building. That is why I think we will emerge stronger from this crisis.’