As the coronavirus began spreading in Belgium, Mediafin — publisher of the business newspapers De Tijd and L’Echo — launched a free platform on its Web sites to allow entrepreneurs to share the initiatives they were offering to help other entrepreneurs cope with the COVID-19 crisis. Combined, De Tijd and L’Echo reach two million readers from the Belgian business community, and Mediafin wanted to create a way to bring the community together.
The platform, named “Lock Down? Stand Up!,” was created to promote only non-commercial help. Members of the business community were able to give back to one another. The services being offered include free online courses, help with technical issues related to working from home, and consultants offering to rethink your business model or helping you set up an e-commerce strategy.
This initiative showed us that, even though the COVID-19 outbreak is a human tragedy and has a growing impact on the global economy, there are still many Belgian companies and business people that remain positive and are willing to help others.
How the platform works
To be featured on the platform, entrepreneurs only have to submit their creative initiatives for review through a form on www.tijd.be/standup (Dutch) and www.lecho.be/standup (French). A team from Content Republic, Mediafin’s branded content studio, reviews and publishes the eligible initiatives on the Lock Down? Stand Up! hub. Each project is promoted extensively for free with a data-driven digital content campaign composed of native traffic drivers and content bannering.
The campaign has been a big success, and we have received quite a lot of positive feedback from our readers and from the community of entrepreneurs. More than 200 companies have submitted a request form to be featured on the platform, with new submissions still coming in on a daily basis. We believe this proves Belgian companies are willingly lending a helping hand, and that entrepreneurs are remaining positive, showing resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges and adversity.
It is also worth noting that the solidarity we have seen is both cross-sector and cross-regional. Companies from Flanders, Wallonia, and Brussels from different sectors (consulting, automotive, IT, FMCG, financial services, etc.) have submitted initiatives.
It also has been great to see that the Belgian divisions of international top companies, including BMW, Microsoft, and AB Inbev, are actively participating. We were surprised to be able to promote such a diversity of initiatives on our platform. This entrepreneurial creativity can only be positive for the relaunch of the economy.
The Lock Down? Stand Up! hubs are truly showcasing the positive strength of the Belgian business community. It has helped bring our business community closer together during a difficult time and allows entrepreneurs to continue helping one another even from a distance.
Banner image courtesy Gustavo Fring from Pexels.