'Most promising starter' 2017 Nominee
In 2017, according to annual tradition, Voka Waasland - Chamber of Commerce in Antwerp - awarded four awards to excellent companies from the Antwerp region.
Lies Mertens got nominated for MOST PROMISING STARTER 2017 (Meest beloftevolle starter).
To be nominated for "Most Promising Starter 2017" you should have completed a maximum of two financial years and still have many growth opportunities. That year, the voting happened online by the public. An independent jury helped to determine the final result. As a young entrepreneur, it's quite something to get nominated.
Besides Lies Mertens, the 2017's nominees were Lemon Companies, a technology company, and Summer Bash, an online travel agency.
"Lies Mertens started her career as a freelance designer but decided to draw and market her own leather goods collection. She started with a backpack, which she sells under the Lies Mertens brand, but quickly expanded her collection due to the growing success with handbags and laptop sleeves. In her collection, she always strives for a combination of efficiency and beauty and works exclusively with quality products." (http://www.beloftevollestarter.be)
After an exciting battle, Lemon Companies ultimately took the win. Nonetheless, the nomination and recognition still gave a vote of confidence to the brand. After which, Voka also gave her a little push to enter ‘Leeuwenkuil’. Which was bound to unlock more opportunities.
Curious? Read about her entering and winning over investors at ‘Leeuwenkuil’ (‘Lion’s Den’)