Gender Equality and New Energy Teaming Up for a Better World
The COVID-19 crisis has affected everyone regardless of their status or their ambitions. But that does not mean every outcome is negative. For Anouk Creusen, COVID-19 is not necessarily a negative influence on her company and certainly not for her vision. Anouk wants to accelerate the transition from fossil energy (gas & oil) to new, renewable and geothermal energies by bringing gender balance to the top. But how did she end up with such an ambitious goal? Just like every entrepreneur, her journey is a vital piece of how her and her company, 75inQ, have become what they are today.
Anouk studied geology and proceeded to work for big traditional energy companies for about 15 years. She traveled and lived in Brazil and the Middle-East during that time, with her sons being born in the Middle-East. However, her own conviction that CO2 should stay in the ground was contrary to her job’s activities (pumping more oil and gas). She then left the oil and gas company to work for a research company on water management, where she lacked the feeling of having a direct impact. She wanted to spend her time and energy on doing something better, something more impactful. When thinking about the Paris Agreement, Anouk remarked that “We need to shift our gears and make this transition happen faster; accelerating the transition to clean, renewable energy”.
Besides her work and experience in the energy sector, Anouk has always been involved in women’s networks on equality, especially within the tech sector. Previously, she had given trainings to prevent talented women from leaving the energy workforce. She started putting together a business concept during her lunch breaks and weekends but soon realized that it is a problem with too much significance to be done during breaks rather than as a focus. Gender equality and diversity “is too important if we want to build a sustainable and inclusive society that works for all of us. Not only am I personally very convinced about this, but we are also part of an international community that has agreed to achieve the climate goals set in Paris. So we will have to make it work!”.
About a year ago, Anouk combined these two passions (energy transition and gender equality) into her business, 75inQ. These two passions also allow her to work on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5 (gender balance) and 7 (sustainability clean energy for all). She knew the importance of creating a network for women in renewable energy but also that it takes a business rather than a network to reach sustainability. Even though she is currently a solo-entrepreneur, Anouk states firmly that “I believe in working together, also for solo entrepreneurs”. All of her business activities are done collaboratively with other solo entrepreneurs. Luckily, she’s in an environment where working collaboratively is ever present and encouraged.
From The Hague Geothermal Reception organized by The Hague Business Agency to places such as TU Delft and The Buccaneer, The Hague region is full of people and organizations working to accelerate the energy transition. In the region, Anouk makes notes of the importance that small initiatives are often linked with local and national governments as well as larger companies, creating a potential launchpad for aspiring entrepreneurs. She also points out that in The Hague and in the Netherlands, there is the unique characteristic that people are willing to listen to you, no matter what title you have.
As a final note, Anouk stressed the importance for entrepreneurs to get in touch with the facilitating ecosystem and hubs in your region. The Hague and South-Holland have incredible human potential and capital especially in the traditional energy sector. She stresses that we can use their expertise and knowledge in order to develop sustainable energy. “The region should try to maintain all the skills, experience and (human) energy present, and harvest it for the good,” we should make sure the talented individuals all around us can use their skills for “to build and maintain a clean, sustainable and fair energy system we all benefit from. Not only for this generation, but for many generations to come”.