Isabella Lenarduzzi

Social Entrepreneur in Employment & Gender equality by producing Medias and Events

Position: Founding & Managing Director JUMP “Empowering Women, Advancing the Economy”

Isabella Lenarduzzi has been a social entrepreneur, an expert in communication, event and conference organisation for 25 years. Her areas of interest include women empowerment, education, training, entrepreneurship, innovation and European integration (EU advocacy).

Isabella created the European student fairs in various countries of Europe. She also edited two monthly magazines “Univers-Cité” and “Kampus” aimed at young readers aged 15-25 and distributed the Student Welcome Pack to more than 1 million students all over Europe.

After having sold these companies to Reed-Elsevier, Isabella established a consultancy and training activity in Italy and worked as deputy director for the Naples Science Museum where she set up Italy’s “Guidance and Careers Resource Centre”. She then came back to Brussels and went on to organise a number of economical events including the European Business Summit, CréaWal 2004 and Wallinno 2005.

In 2005 she created for the Brussels Chamber of Commerce (BECI), the “Brussels Job Days”, a new concept of event for on-site job interviews from employers to jobseekers. In 5 years she has organised 30 editions which have given jobs to over 5000 people.

She got several awards, here are some:

  • Nominee in 1992 as the woman of the year in Belgium
  • Wimadame award (France) called “European female entrepreneur of the year” in 2010
  • “Femme d’Exception” (Woman of exception) in 2011 by the Belgian Minister for Equal Opportunities Joëlle Milquet
  • “Tof de la comm” ‘Award for event communication in June 2011
  • “Women inspiring Europe” in 2012 by the European Institute for Gender Equality

Isabella launched JUMP “Empowering Women, Advancing the Economy” in 2006.

JUMP offers women practical tools to help them realise their professional and personal aspirations, and supports companies and organisations that wish to promote better gender diversity within their management

Isabella manages currently 3 companies, one NGO and a team of 12 persons.

Conference & Event Organiser, Communications Consultant, Public Relations at European level

Isabella Lenarduzzi has nearly 20 years of expertise in communications and in the organisation of conference and events. Building on her Brussels experience, she was the person who created the Student Fairs in Europe.

Right after the first Fair in 1988, with the help of the European Commission she set up a “European Space” which later grew so large that the Brussels Fair turned into the « European Student Fair ». This led to her being invited to set up Student Fairs in Geneva, Salerno, Padua, Turin (Languages Fair), Barcelona, Granada, Cordoba, Luxembourg, Lisbon, Porto (focussing on entrepreneurship centre for young people), and Glasgow and in a number of other cities.

Alongside the Student Fairs, this time in partnership with the European Commission, she created the Euro-Meeting on Higher Education, a major colloquium bringing together several hundred academic decision-makers to debate the most recent measures taken in the domain of education and training.

Her publishing house issued two monthly magazines for young readers aged 15–25.

She also set up several yearbooks that focused on choosing courses of study or going for the first job, always placing a strong emphasis on Europe at a time when the very idea of European education was only just beginning to emerge.

She also published the « Euroguide », a free yearbook circulated throughout Europe and compiling all the coordinates of every higher education institution taking part in the Erasmus scheme.

Thanks to this activity of promoting Europe to young people and teachers, she travelled round all the EU countries to give seminars.

After selling her self-made business in 1994, she went to Italy where she lived until 2000. During this time she became a consultant to the management agency for implementing EU education programmes in Italy (for Indire, the national institute for education and research), and also counsellor to Minister Berlinguer for the encouragement of autonomy in schools by opening them up to the European dimension; she was also a consultant for Ortelius (the database on higher-level teaching in Europe) for the University of Florence; a trainer in European studies to train teachers and local officials; she did all this while still organising the StudiMed, a Student Fair which she had set up in Salerno and which had a clear Mediterranean focus.

As for her publishing activities, she helped the Generation Europe Foundation to launch the European School Diary. In order to promote the adoption of the Euro in Italy, in partnership with the then DG Information she set up an exhibition on the Euro designed essentially for schools, together with a supporting teaching information pack.

She also was involved in a European network of science museums to help them publicise the “Chemistry for Life” project as widely as possible in schools; this was a project aimed at persuading young people to take up science studies, particularly in chemistry.

Following on from this last contact, she became deputy director of the Naples Science Museum. With the help of the Minister for Education she set up Italy’s first “Careers Resource Centre” (“Cité des Métiers”), which also served as a Euroguidance centre for the Leonardo Programme.

Returning to Brussels, she carried out several feasibility studies in connection with education, training, employment and youth, including the setting up of a European « Careers Resource Centre » (« Cité des Métiers ») in Brussels for the Brussels Capital Region; she created a diploma in European project management for the Brussels Flemish University (VUB) and also created the concept of the Fair for Professional Training in Brussels.

On behalf of the Brussels Agency for Enterprise, she manages a project in the Sixth Framework Research Programme with the aim of persuading women CEOs to take active part in European programmes.

Still in the context of business development, she organised the second and third editions of the European Business Summit (top-level meetings of company chiefs and European political decision-makers) on behalf of the Belgian employers’ federation (FEB) and the European employers’ union (UNICE).

The « Spirit of Enterprise Group » asked her to do the publicity amongst company CEOs for its « Clever Networking » event, a meeting point between entrepreneurs from all over Europe and heads of major European industrial companies.

After organising the CréaWal 2004 event for the Walloon Minister for Economy and Employment, she took charge of coordinating Wallinno 2005, the first innovation forum open to the general public, this time on behalf of Synergie asbl. She was also responsible for organising the first « City Festival » (« Festival de la Ville ») organised by Minister Christian Dupont on 11–13 May 2006.

Après l’organisation de l’événement du ministre wallon de l’économie et de l’emploi, CréaWal 2004, elle prit la responsabilité de la coordination du premier Forum tout public de l’Innovation, Wallinno 2005 à Mons. Elle fut aussi responsable de l’organisation du premier « Festival de la Ville » organisé par le ministre Christian Dupont les 11, 12 et 13 mai 2006.

In 2005 she created the Job Days, an innovatory concept of meetings between employers and jobseekers in Brussels; since then she has been managing them for the Brussels Chamber of Commerce (BECI). In 3 years she organised more than 20 editions that gave jobs to over 2500 people.

Job Day Europe 2007 and 2008 were organised in the Berlaymont building (EC) and gathered 10.000 visitors for each edition.

In 2007-2008, in partnership with Mostra, an important european communication agency, ISA-MEDIA will be in charge for the European Commission, of the « Global Promotion Poject » for European Higher Education in the world with events organised in Moscow and Sao Paulo.

Isabella Lenarduzzi launched the JUMP company in 2006 which gathers tools dedicated to Women’s Professional life:

  • Forum JUMP — a 2 days event in 2007 and 2008 that gathered 1.400 participants each. The third edition will take place on the 23thd of April 2009.
  • Blog JUMP — a multilingual web plateform with a bi-monthly e-newsletter sent to over 80.000 contacts.
  • Woman’s Academy — professional workshop dedicated to women.

Isabella Lenarduzzi’s companies have 5 to 14 permanent staff members depending on the events and marketing actions to undertake.