BÉATRICE SPEISER – THE WOMAN BEHIND CRESCENDA
«Moving to another country is being born a second time»
Text: Connie Radavero
The Swiss woman behind Crescenda, the institution who empowers foreign women in Basel. When Béatrice travelled to India almost thirty years ago she experienced the fact that women were agents of change within their local communities. As she came back to Switzerland there were important political discussions around the integration of migrants that were at the time more than 20 percent of the population.
So she decided to quit her job as an independent lawy- er and moved to the philanthropy world where she founded Crescenda in Basel in 2004. Since then she isfully dedicated to supporting refugee, migrant and ex- pat women to acquire skills, network and coaching them to achieve their own entrepreneurships. Housed in a beautiful Villa facing the Shüttzenmattpark, Crescenda is the center for migrant women.
Crescenda provides women coming from various foreign and social backgrounds the opportunity to educa- te themselves and support them with the networking and counselling necessary to launch their own microbusinesses.
Behind each of these women that attend courses lies a story, a story which in most cases is full of challenges. Beatrice’s job, together with her team, is to provide the tools to open perspectives for each of them. With a personalized education and follow up, more than 200 foreign women managed successfully to begin about 100 start-ups or entered the Swiss labor market. Microbusinesses that not only empower them economically but emotionally. Learning to discover their potentials, deve- loping their talents, losing fears, embarking on their dreams creates a magical synergy and virtuous circle among these women.
Villa Crescenda also hosts a bistro open to the public and catered by these foreign women, offering delicious international specialties.
As Crescenda’s founder and president, Béatrice feels proud to have accompanied these women with multiple foreign backgrounds in their journeys. She feels deeply enriched by the small steps that led to the fulfillment of each and every story around these migrant women.
Crescenda has plans for the future: Béatrice wants to continue developing new services and new tools as well as taking her successful model to inspire migrant women in other Swiss cities.