Interview with Kim Lanners, the young business leader of Bëssen Wëssen:
In September, we met up with Kim Lanners (19) from our commune to talk about a very special project. With her team from the Lycée Aline Mayrisch, she won the Mini-Entreprise 2023 prize. Their idea? A card game called Bëssen Wëssen. How did they come up with the idea, what's behind it and what does it take to set up a business as a young adult? That's what we asked Kim personally in our little interview.
Bëssen Wëssen – what is that?
Bëssen Wëssen is a card game consisting of 53 cards with a solution card and a rules card. The game is designed to facilitate integration - but not only. The card game also aims to help Luxembourgers get to know their own country better. Indeed, the team often had the impression that young people didn't know much about Luxembourg, especially when it came to traditions. We looked for a name that would be catchy but still have something to do with Luxembourg. And we wanted a play on words. That's how we came up with the name Bëssen Wëssen, which means knowing a bit about something. People still say the name is misspelled, but that's intentional! It's prettier and it's also something that a lot of brands work with - the visual aspect, which plays an important part in the choice of name.
This is a project that started at school. How was it like and how did the idea of creating a card game come to you as a team?
In 3ème, you have to choose an option at the highschool. There are very different options, such as sports, coding, drawing and so on. And at our school, the Lycée Aline Mayrisch, there's also the "mini-enterprise" option. I already knew about the ''mini-enterprise'' Frësch Këscht, I'd already placed orders there and I'd followed the whole project, so I thought it was time for me to try my luck. But I also made this choice because of my ''section'', because what we see in class, for example accounting and marketing, I could apply in the option ''mini-enterprise". The option ''mini-enterprise'' is in fact a competition organised by the asbl Jonk Entrepreneuren. Every year, 3ème and 2ème classes, technique and classique, can sign up to take part. To begin with, we took part in a Creativity Camp organised by the Jonk Entrepreneuren, during which we learned how to brainstorm, talk about problems and find solutions. That's how we came up with the problem of the Luxembourgish language, which is quite neglected and which nobody really wants to learn. So we tried to find something around this problem and came up with the idea of a card game.
Kim, you live in the commune of Niederanven and you grew up here. The town has around 6,700 inhabitants with 90 different nationalities. Can anyone play your card game?
Yes, in general, anyone in the commune can play the game. The game is always in Luxembourgish, with a French or English translation below. These are the languages that most people speak in Luxembourg. We also have foreign customers and most of them understand one of these languages. But we've already been asked if we could do a Portuguese translation and we're actually trying to make that happen. It was also important to us that young and old could play together. That's why we've included different levels so that everyone can choose their own degree of difficulty.
You've won a number of awards: Mini-Enterprise of the Year 2023, the Goodyear Brand Excellence award at the Gen-E conference in Istanbul, the Best Overall Company 2023 award from JA Austria Marketplace in Vienna, and you yourself received the Leadership Award as company leader in Istanbul. What do you have to do - apart from coming up with a good idea - to win these awards and get this far in general?
When you're a young adult and you want to set up a business without any contacts, it's very difficult. That's why everyone should contact the Jonk Entrepreneuren. We got the contacts we needed, whether it was with the House of Start-Ups, which supported us a lot, or with the Librairie Ernster, for example. We were informed of events abroad by the Jonk Entrepreneuren, but we registered ourselves. We received no financial support. We started with €10 shares that we sold to our friends and family. And now we're in the process of paying back the shareholders and giving them part of our profits.
f.l.t.r.: Manuela Klensch-Melchior (RH&C), Fréd Ternes (mayor), Kim Lanners (Bëssen Wëssen), Laura Gaul (RH&C).
Finally, a few questions to round off our interview:
- Kachkéis or Judd mat Gaardebounen?
Judd mat Gaardebounen!
- The Roude Léif or the Gëlle Fra?
The Roude Léif
- Digital or on paper?
- You'll probably be starting university soon: university in Luxembourg or abroad?
- While developping the card game: drawing, writing, marketing or accounting?
- The most beautiful place in the commune of Niederanven ?
Near the scouts' hut.
You will find more infos about the card game Bëssen Wëssen on their website www.bessenwessen.com. You can buy the game on their website or in shops. In fact, there's already a European version of the card game - enjoy!