Catherine graduated as a vet four years ago and immediately took the plunge into opening her own practice. She had already asked KBC Brussels how to make her dream a reality while she was still a student.
From a dream to reality
'I had known for a very long time that I wanted to become a vet,' begins Catherine enthusiastically. 'My mother often talks about how I used to wrap my cuddly toys in bandages and stick plasters on our cat,' she laughs.
Catherine was determined to make her dream a reality and open her own practice in her home town. That idea already began to take shape during her studies. 'I am a something of a planner, so I had already found out about the possibilities during my final year – partly at the behest of my parents. Because I had already been a client at KBC Brussels for a long time, I knew exactly where to turn for information.'
KBC Brussels helped me submit my grant application – I found that very surprising for a bank.
Help with the grant application
She was won over by the bank's approach. 'I knew there was a lot involved in setting up my own practice, but I never expected that KBC Brussels would offer me so much information and support. Best of all, they offered to help me with my grant application. I genuinely didn't expect that kind of service from a bank, so I was pleasantly surprised.'
Catherine set up her practice in her own home, but that was not the initial plan. 'It's expensive to live in Brussels, and it didn't seem realistic for me to buy a nice house with space for a practice.' The experts at KBC Brussels analysed various options. Catherine: 'I received advice about possible structures for buying real estate as a liberal professional. It was a very complex process, but in the end it meant I could finance my own home-based practice after all.'
Combining self-employment and motherhood
And Catherine is already looking further ahead. 'It's still early days, but I may want to go into partnership with a colleague in order to grow – and also to create a little breathing space in the long term if I have children, for example.'
KBC Brussels is ready to support Catherine – not just with advice about the most attractive company form, but also on combining self-employment with motherhood. 'Even if that's not part of my immediate plans,' adds Catherine with a smile. 'My animals are keeping me busy enough at the moment!'