Success stories

Recent testimonies of successful business networking - Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme



New entrepreneur:
Sjoerd Bijleveld (Netherlands)
Age: 41
Company name: Coaching with astrology/www.sjoerdbijleveld.com (Start-up)
Sector of activity: Community, social and personal services


It was an interesting period. Both Florence and me learned a lot about our different approaches between marketing and promoting our services and also how we can give our services more structure. It also became clear that both countries require a different approach.


Host entrepreneur:
Florence Vialsoubrane (France)
Age: 52
Company name: Psychologue - Qi Gong - Constellations familiales/ qigong-solidaire.fr (6 years of experience)
Sector of activity: Health, beauty and social services

The cooperation was successful and both me and Sjoerd reached our goals.


Period of exchange: 06/2019 until 07/2019
Duration of exchange: 6 weeks

New entrepreneur, Sjoerd Bijleveld from the Netherlands, started his astrology business in 2018.

Coming from a totally different background, mechanical engineering and industrial engineering, Sjoerd got into astrologyand personal development to help people reach their full potential.

Aiming to expand his business abroad, and more particularly in France, Sjoerd started to search for opportunities in this country. He then got in touch with Florence Vialsoubrane, a therapist, Qi Gong teacher and personal development coach, who accepted the collaboration proposal.

Sjoerd flew to Paris in June 2019, where he spent six weeks learning how to make a coaching business profitable. Sjoerd’s objectives were to learn how to commercialise his services, get and share knowledge in the field and elaborate personal development programmes for his clients with the help of a specialist.

This was a good deal for Florence who likes sharing her knowledge about psychology and Qi Gong. At the same time, she was also interested in getting insights in astrology.

Sjoerd thus got introduced to Florence world which gave him a clear vision of what this practice entails. He participated in the workshops she organised and was given strategies on how to attract clients. In return, Sjoerd gave her all the essential information astrology and horoscope to help her understand how personal development and astrology match together.

An important part of the exchange was a workshop about astrology and horoscope organised by both entrepreneurs. Sjoerd lead workshop with the help and guidance of Florence. Florence was very helpful with the feedback she gave to him, as it helped understand the parts that need improvements notably making astrology more understandable for people with no background in the field.

It is also thanks to his attendance to Florence’s workshops in Qi Cong that he could really understand the concrete elements that makes a workshop successful. From the entrepreneurial perspective, Sjoerd understand that being solo entrepreneur is hard work. From strategic thinking to actions taking, the journey of a solo entrepreneurs is long and sometimes discouraging due to the lack of knowledge in some areas and the amount. Therefore, there is always a need to prioritise the work and take action rather than thinking too much.

The exchange in France also showed him how the system works, especially in terms of promotion and communication. Indeed, whereas digital marketing works well in the Netherlands, Sjoerd realised that in France, reaching out to potential clients requires a totally different approach; notably using traditional means such as printed flyers that generate further costs that for the moment prefers not to have.

Therefore, Sjoerd realised that tapping into the French market is more challenging than he thought and thus decided to focus on the Dutch market instead.









For more information, please contact the local contact points involved in the exchange:

New entrepreneur's contact point:
QUARTER MEDIATION (Utrecht)

Host entrepreneur's contact point:
Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de région Paris Ile-de-France (Paris )

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