This Friday was an exhilarating day. I had the chance to go to a startup event organised by the ABN AMRO bank. I didn’t know what this would entail, but after looking at the schedule It were a pentad of pitches from rising startups in the social enterprise scene with an introduction from professor Harry Hummels and Rutger Schuur.
Before I even arrived in the hall where the pitches would take place I met a man who also would go to this event. Ime Duyfjes, a friendly man who was himself inspired by entrepreneurship. He worked for years as a business consultant, but for the last one and a half year has been a teacher at the Hogeschool Windesheim in Almere. He’s a coach and inspirator for his students. We talked a bit about the pros and cons of entrepreneurship. Especially the mentality that is required for something as hard, dynamic and oftentimes frustrating of having your own business.
The introduction by …
First it started out by a small speech of Rutger Schuur. He is part of Stichting Jong Ondernemen. This NGO has partnered with ABN AMRO and some other ventures. When you look at it prudential we are at the edge of change when it comes down to the way we do business. The phrase: “money is the mean, impact the goal” is what this organisation has in mind. He said that Social entrepreneurs are the big companies of the future. The following speaker verifies these phrasings.
The talk Professor Hummels gave was interesting with a sparkle of an utopian world view. He talked on how you could see that the startups and companies in the social enterprise industry really are flourishing. And with good reason he adds.
According to him most social enterprises have problems with creating a business plan, but they have what most commercialised companies lack, a mission. Social enterprises are there to make a positive social impact. But this can only be sustainable if you have a good business plan to create revenue. This is also what came across with the startup talks that followed.
The five pitches
The first pitch was given by Niek van Hengel. He talked about his startup called Grannies Finest. He began with a story of his own grandfather and we discovered through that story that over 1.2 million people in the Netherlands are lonely and from this group 200 thousand are extremely lonely. With his startup he wants to do something about this societal problem.
So he went to research and found out that a lot of old people, especially female elderly, are into knitting. Many have done this their whole life and it pleases them to continue this habit.
He combined two worlds with each other. He let the grannies knit a whole variety of knitwear that could be used by designers to make designer clothing. These cloths are now being used for retails stores like Bijenkorf, which, as you probably know, a pretty high class brand. This is a great example of a social enterprise that fulfills two necessary needs. A social impact, the people involved are evidently less lonely. And the second part is that the business has a very viable business model.
Thuisafgehaald.nl is another social enterprise. The talk was given by Jasmijn Vreeburg, which is the communication specialist at this venture. She began by explaining what the platform is all about. The idea was to reconnect people in neighbourhoods through exchanging food. A large problem within urban regions is that neighbours lose more and more connection. To provide a solution for this problem, people can invite other people to buy a meal from someone that lives in the neighbourhood. And so far with success: there are already 100.000 users on this platform.
Within this venture there has been made a division that has the same target group as the first pitch, bijzonder afgehaald.nl. This site is especially for the elderly. The idea was that neighbours could come and cook for these people. Research on this has shown that this is beneficial for both parties. The elderly don’t have to do the cooking and have therefor more rest and interaction with people, aversion of loneliness. And the people contribute their time to make food, and in the case of thuisafgehaald do a lot more choirs, get a good feeling from doing this. This has shown time and time again.
Voor je buurt
Voor je buurt is a crowdfunding platform set up to help people with projects in their neighbourhood. This venture launched it business in 2012. The pitch was given by Aster van Tilburg. The venture is a cowdfunding platform for small projects for the neighbourhood. A couple of examples that she gave were the “bruisplaats” in Gouda and “de deelkelder” in Utrecht.
Wij de Wijk
This is a organisation that is very similar to thuisafgehaald.nl. Only it provides care in stead of food. Neighbours or family members can easily divide tasks that need to be done for the elderly/family. In this app you can put in activities that need to be done and arrange and divide them up among the people that want to be involved in the help for these elderly people.
This was actually a very interesting talk. Especially since I’ve been working with refugees myself. They have build a restaurant with a Syrian kitchen and with the help of Syrian Refugees. Many refugees, and I know this from my own experience, can’t do anything without a permit and are often locked away in camps without sufficient guidance. SYR is an very interesting place because people can work or volunteer here even if they don’t have a permit. A very interesting pitch given by Hester van Eerten.
The experience of the event overall was a very nice event. I’ve learned a bit about the pitches, although most of them I didn’t find particularly intriguing the overall trend of social entrepreneurship was both appealing and satisfying. I don’t know yet what this will entail for me, because I’m not sure yet what I want to do. But I do know that I want to help build on an enterprise that tries to improve one or more societal problems. So in a way it was very enlightening for me to be at this interesting event.
MKB Service Desk (z.d.). Stichting Jong Ondernemen. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, http://www.mkbservicedesk.nl/6571/stichting-jong-ondernemen.htm
Hummels, H. (z.d.). Linkedin profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van,https://www.linkedin.com/in/harry-hummels-50a8547
Schuur, R. (z.d.) Linkedin Profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.linkedin.com/in/rutger-schuur-2275854
v. Eergen, H. (z.d.). LinkedIn profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van,https://www.linkedin.com/in/hester-van-eerten-62bb5522
Duifjes, I. (z.d.) LinkedIn profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.linkedin.com/in/ime-duyfjes-243a97
Jong Ondernemen (z.d.). ‘Jongeren inspireren en uitdagen te bouwen aan een ondernemende toekomst’. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, http://www.jongondernemen.nl/missie
van Hengel, N. (z.d.) LinkedIn profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van,https://www.linkedin.com/in/nvhengel
Vreeburg, J. (z.d.) LinkedIn profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasmijnvreeburg
van Tilburg, A. (z.d.) LinkedIn profiel. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.linkedin.com/in/astervantilburg
De Deelkelder (z.d.) Eerste spullen bibliotheek van Nederland en misschien wel de hele wereld. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, http://www.dedeelkelder.nl
De Bruisplaats (z.d.). Homepage website. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.voorjebuurt.nl/campaigns/bruisplaats/
Voor je buurt (z.d.). Over voor je buurt. Verkregen op 10 oktober 2016 van, https://www.voorjebuurt.nl/over-voor-je-buurt/