Meet the women behind Spark
Spark began, as great stories often do, with a chance meeting. Hannah had organized a panel discussion featuring two female entrepreneurs to showcase her newly launched knowledge sharing platform Amsterdam Academy. Kirsty was in the audience ready to learn more.
Not only did Hannah and Kirsty share a common interest in women's issues and entrepreneurship. They also realized they lived just a few doors away from each other. Such is life in the city.
How neighbours became co-conspirators
While growing their businesses: Amsterdam Academy and Jam Workspace, Hannah and Kirsty found themselves musing about how they could better connect the female entrepreneur community in the city. It seemed to them that so many women were doing incredibly exciting things with their businesses, but for the most part, they were operating in isolation from each other.
Wouldn't it be better if there was a place for these women to come together? Something similar to the panel discussion at which Kirsty and Hannah had met but more significant, with multiple workshops and speakers to inspire the attendees?
How a great idea is born
After Spark 2015, I was curious to learn when Hannah realized that Spark had taken on a life of its own, and become something more than just another conference:
"I knew we got Spark right last year when so many attendees showed up at the optional feedback session. They were already invested in seeing Spark continue and wanted to let us know what they needed from it. Our Facebook community was raving about the conference online; they still are.
The feedback I loved the most was from an attendee who told me;
"I've been to many conferences before and NEVER have I witnessed and experienced such a special and supportive atmosphere as there was here at Spark today."
That for me, was the best feeling. The fact that to this day, attendees are still talking about it shows what an impression the event has everyone, from attendees to the speakers to the organizers."
When I asked Hannah what her hopes and dreams were for Spark in the future, she told me:
"My hopes and dreams for the future of Spark and the Spark community are that it grows into the central hub for female entrepreneurs in the Netherlands and beyond. I want everyone to associate Spark with high-quality speakers and groundbreaking sessions that help attendees make more of their businesses. I want them to experience an atmosphere that cannot be matched by any other conference.
My dream is to see collaborative projects flourish throughout the Spark community. To witness our community spread knowledge-sharing, non-judgmental vibes to each other with nothing but support and encouragement.
Mostly, though, I want women to leave our events already looking forward to the next one and planning to bring a friend along.
And for Spark to be recognized as exclusive when it comes to quality but inclusive when it comes to community."
How a spark becomes a movement
With five advisory board members and three new team leads, Spark is more significant than ever before with an exciting future ahead.
All it takes is one spark to start a chain reaction. That chain reaction began at the first Spark Conference in 2015 and continues to burn brightly as our community of female entrepreneurs blazes their way across the city.