The Dutch Business Club consists of male and female Dutch entrepreneurs, managers and professionals who are active in various sectors of business. The variety of members and companies affiliated with the DBC makes it the ultimate place to build a network and exchange relevant information about doing business in Spain. The monthly business lunch is an important meeting point. While enjoying a three-course meal and a drink current guests are listened to. In addition, we regularly organize network drinks and other events, also in collaboration with other business clubs and organisations.
The DBC has a long history. As early as the end of the 1940s, during the Franco regime, the representatives of the most important Dutch companies such as Philips, AKZO, Shell, Unilever, KLM and Hudig Langeveldt gathered in Madrid for a monthly business lunch. During these meetings valuable information was exchanged between compatriots. In 1967 this tradition was formalized, and the ‘Dutch Business Lunch Club’ was created.
Since Spain’s accession to the European Union in 1986, the country’s economic growth has taken off. The investment climate improved considerably, and bilateral trade with the Netherlands also grew steadily. As a result, the number of members of the DBC increased. Over the years, the club has hosted monthly lunches at various locations.
During these lunches (new) members usually gave a presentation, but interesting figures – from politics and the business world – were also invited. Furthermore, CEOs of large Dutch companies came by when they were visiting Spain. Leaders of political parties passed in review from the Spanish corner. In 2011, the Dutch Business Club was officially renamed the ‘Dutch Business Club’. There was a website, a new logo, and a fixed location for the monthly lunch. But the basic principles remained.
The Hacienda Warehouse has been the regular lunch spot for a few years now, with occasional trips to other locations for company visits and networking drinks. We welcomed prominent speakers including Jan Peter Balkenende and Prince Constantijn. In addition, we had the pleasure to welcome Yvonne Blake (Oscar, Goya winner, and President of the Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences of Spain), Francisco Martinez Vazquez (Secretary of State for Security), Sergio Martin Herrera (Spanish journalist and director of the public television channel 24 hours), Fernando Encinar (Founder Idealista), José Carlos Olcese Santonja (Founder Telepizza), Ap Verheggen (inventor and artist) and many other interesting and unforgettable speakers. One of the biggest turnouts ever was for Juan Sanabria (CEO Philips Iberica).