Social Entrepreneurship

Picture: Starters 4 Communities

Social entrepreneurship is a relatively new way of doing business, a kind that has gained much popularity in the Netherlands. Social enterpreneurs have a social mission, one that sustains themselves and generates ecological or social value for others. Profits are often reinvested in improving the social and ecological conditions in the value chain.Worldconnectors strongly believes in the potential of social enterpreneurs and aims to encourage this trend on a national as well on an international level.

Aim of the working group
The working group social entrepreneurship aims to magnify the impact of social enterpreneurs, focussing on poverty within the Netherlands. This is done by the development and upscaling of innovative businessmodels for the Dutch population that lives near the poverty line. Concretely, the working group is working on an ‘Inclusive Business Platform’ as a way to realise the the Global Goals Agenda Charter. Similar platforms have been created successfully in France (2010), Portugal (2012) and Belgium (2014). There is a close cooperation between these existing platforms and the Inclusive Business Platform.

For as much as 1.7 million Dutch citizens poverty and social exclusion is a daily concern. 10,3 percent of the Dutch population lives in poverty and an additional 9,1 percent has a hard time to sustain themselves.* For some parts of the population these percentages are much higher: 32 percent of the children, 25 percent of the one parent families and 25 percent of the unemployed.

Poverty creates many challenges in one’s daily life and heavily influences the emotional and psychological state of mind. Furthermore, it turns out that this group of people spends a relatively high share of the total income on primary expenses such as food and housing. There is a so called ‘poverty premium’. The problem of poverty requires a new way of thinking: inclusive value creation. Governments and civil society cannot face these challenges on their own. Also businesses and social enterpreneurs play an important role – they offer employment and innovative solutions. But this requires a new way of thinking, businessmodels have to become more inclusive.

The inclusive business platform aims to develop new inclusive solutions. This can be attained through:

  • Developing innovative and inclusive solutions – such as businessmodel innovations, co-creation and spin-off from social enterpreneurs.
  • Offering a common learning platform to share and co-create solutions together with other businesses and stakeholders.

If you’re interested in joining the working group, of do you have input you’d like to share, please contact the chair of the working group.

Chair:               Laure Heilbron
Contact:           Laure.heilbron[at]newforesight.com

*Income below € 1.010 a month for a one-person household or € 1.900 a month for a four-person household. Source: CBS, SCP: Armoedesignalement 2014.