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Portrait Branco Bolsius

Name: Branco Bolsius
Age: 25
Study programme: Psychology
Minor: Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is a breeding ground for entrepreneurial talent

'My Psychology programme is a very broad field, with all kinds of different disciplines. And that’s handy, because I didn't really have a clue what I wanted to do. What I did know is that I found human behaviour incredibly interesting. In the end, I focused on social influence within my Bachelor's programme. You look at how you can positively influence people's behaviour, or ways to encourage environmentally conscious behaviour such as recycling, for example. Or during the coronavirus crisis: how can you ensure that the population complies with the 1.5-metre rule?

I only started the Entrepreneurship minor after completing my Bachelor's degree. I saw it as a great opportunity to do something completely different for six months. The courses are very practical, and that really appealed to me. With a number of fellow students – in my case a group of three – you get to work on your own entrepreneurial idea. The goal is also to genuinely start a business. Our concept: a circular production chain in which a residual product becomes a raw material. Ultimately, this resulted in our company Dik & Schil. Last summer, we launched the product Orangecello: an orange liqueur made with orange peels from the hospitality industry. This gives the waste product from freshly-squeezed juice a second life. It was a success: within three weeks, we sold more than five hundred bottles. It took a while, but after a long period of experimentation we also managed to use coffee grounds – likewise from the hospitality industry – as the basis for our Bakkie Pleur Coffee Liqueur. This minor is truly a breeding ground for entrepreneurial talent. Another striking company from our year is Superseedic, for example, which launched 100% plastic-free hotel slippers. These consist of raw materials such as bamboo textile and are biodegradable.

My Psychology degree came in handy during my minor. I already had knowledge of consumer behaviour, and of course this is what marketing a product is all about. During the Entrepreneurship course, you learn to think in terms of solutions, not problems. Once you see that many things are possible and can be made to work, you also start to believe in your own plan more and more. In fact, you don't need much to succeed: a good idea, a hefty dose of courage and a little bit of luck.'