Magdalena Suchora co-founder of Invest-Mobile

Mrs. Suchora has a degree in Economics from Westchester University of Pennsylvania and The Economic University of Poznań. From 2002, she continued her career in Investment Banking and Corporate Banking at Citibank in Poznań, Poland. During her tenure at Citibank, Mrs. Suchora was the relationship manager for many multinational clients. In 2009, Mrs. Suchora founded Invest-Mobile, where she is currently responsible for Finance and day-to-day operations.

Why Knokke-Heist?

I’ve lived in Knokke-Heist for 15 years now. My husband is from Zeeland, whereas I come from Poznań, a large Polish city with 700,000 inhabitants. Settling in Knokke-Heist was a deliberate decision. Knokke-Heist offers my family and I two important things: living the good life in a beautiful natural environment, with all the advantages of a large metropolis and none of the disadvantages. Knokke-Heist is very innovative and international and you can enjoy a tremendously high quality of life here. It’s also a region which you can enjoy together as a family. As my husband was born and raised here, stories like “I used to go fishing here with my grandfather” are wonderful to share with our children.

Do you feel at home here?

Certainly. I can see a lot of similarities between Belgium and Poland. The values and standards are the same, also when it comes to business. We have also created a home for ourselves, as a family, in Knokke-Heist, which makes it even easier to feel at home here. And it only takes 3 hours to get from Knokke-Heist to Poland, so the central location is very important for me.

What does Invest-Mobile do?

We sell City Mobiles, small electric vehicles for public roads, that we assemble and market under our own management. We also have a fleet of City Mobiles available for rent. They are suitable for everyday use in urban areas. We focus strongly on service, high quality standards and a clear vision. We also offer small electric trucks as well as electric buses for private and public transport. Lots of people want to get rid of their cars these days. They already travel so much for work, for example. The City Mobile is a great solution. Not just for families, but also for older people or people with disabilities who can no longer cover long distances. As a result, our product also has a social significance.

You have customers all over the world and are really putting Knokke-Heist on the map. Would you also recommend Knokke-Heist to other entrepreneurs?

Definitely. In America, they say about New York: ‘If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere’, and I think the same goes for Knokke-Heist. The customers, both the people who live here and those who work here, are challenging and demanding. But as an entrepreneur, that’s what gives you the greatest satisfaction. We all work for economic reasons, after all, but customer appreciation is priceless.

These eco-friendly electric golf carts tie in perfectly with the sustainable policy that Knokke-Heist strives to implement. Do you find this important?

Very important. We live in a beautiful natural environment that our municipality cherishes. We enjoy very good air quality, which isn’t a given in the rest of Europe. If people increasingly have the opportunity to travel without using conventional fuel and without harming nature, this can only have more positive effects.

Why do you like being here so much?

Knokke-Heist is extremely central. We have good train connections, as well as the heliport and Antwerp International Airport. Everything is within easy reach. Other major cities such as Bruges and Ghent are just an hour’s drive from here. If you’re based here and it takes just 45 minutes to get to a university city like Ghent by car, that’s a luxury. People also feel very safe here, which is a priority for business people with a family. Knokke-Heist also has a modern hospital and the care is very accessible. And the university hospitals are also very close by.

You obviously value your family a great deal. Is Knokke-Heist a good place to live for families with children?

Absolutely. In addition to the schools, the Art Academy is important too. Our children can really make the most of their talents here. We also have a very wide range of sports facilities. Our son is making his hockey dream come true here, while our daughter is a passionate wakeboarder. On Sundays, we usually go to church with the children. Not such an obvious thing to do these days. I can highly recommend the Dominican Church.

Knokke-Heist is your place of work, but where can you be found in your spare time?

I love going on long walks, getting some fresh air in the Zwin nature reserve and braving the North Sea wind. I also like swimming laps in the pool at Sportoase Duinenwater. I like shopping too. Knokke-Heist is also very innovative when it comes to fashion. You might see something in a magazine, but here we’ll have been wearing it for ages or it will already be on the shelves. My favourite shops are Max Mara, Printemps, Princess and Marie Claire. You will often find us at Surfers and Lakeside Paradise too. These are truly unique locations where you can experience that holiday feeling in your own town.

What other things do you appreciate about Knokke-Heist?

The amazingly diverse cultural offering in Knokke-Heist is still a big plus for me. Going to the opera in Ghent or Brussels is not something you’d do on a weekly basis, so the performances at Scharpoord Cultural Centre or the Casino are a fun alternative. And you can often find us at the Klassiek Leeft concert series in the summer.

Fine dining is also at a very high level in Knokke-Heist, from restaurants to delicatessens. I think artisan butcher Decock and Traiteur Vandycke are very special because the meat is of good quality, they rear it themselves and prepare it using traditional methods. Knokke-Heist and the surrounding inland areas are certainly unique when it comes to the restaurants. So much variety within a radius of 18 km. And of course Belgium has the most amazing bakers. Bread and pastries are becoming more and more industrial and supermarket-oriented, but here pure craftsmanship still comes first.

What does the future hold for you as an entrepreneur?

We’re going for healthy growth and international expansion. And of course happy customers who remain our best ambassadors.

All pictures: © Olivier Depaep