Social Entrepreneurship is a relatively new topic in the Netherlands that is gaining significant attention. Social entrepreneurs, driven by their societal mission, offer a service or product with a revenue model while incorporating a social approach to their business operations. Profits are often reinvested in sustainability and social improvement within the supply chain. The Worldconnectors believe that entrepreneurs can make a much greater contribution to sustainability and development, both in the Netherlands and internationally.
Goal of the working group
The social entrepreneurship working group aims to enhance the impact of social entrepreneurs with a focus on poverty in the Netherlands. This is achieved through the development and scaling of innovative business models for Dutch citizens living just below or at the poverty line. Currently, the Worldconnectors are focusing on the ‘Inclusive Business Platform’ as a concrete implementation of the Global Goals Agenda Charter. Similar platforms have previously been successfully established in France (2010), Portugal (2012), and Belgium (2014), and close collaboration is ongoing with these existing initiatives.
For as many as 1.7 million Dutch people, poverty and social exclusion are a daily reality. 10.3% of the Dutch population lives in poverty, and an additional 9.1% struggle to make ends meet. * These percentages are even higher for certain target groups: 32% of children, 25% of single-parent families, and 25% of the unemployed.
Poverty results in a multitude of daily challenges and significantly affects emotional and psychosocial well-being. Additionally, it is found that this group of people often ends up spending relatively more on essential expenses such as food and housing, leading to what is known as the ‘poverty premium.’ The complexity of poverty-related issues calls for a new way of thinking: inclusive value creation. Governments and civil society cannot address these challenges alone. Businesses and social entrepreneurs play a crucial role – they provide employment and innovative solutions. However, this necessitates a new way of thinking. Business models need to become more inclusive.
The inclusive business platform aims to develop new inclusive solutions. This can be achieved through:
- Developing innovative and inclusive solutions – such as business model innovations, co-creation, and the spin-off of a social enterprise.
- Offering a joint learning platform to share and co-create solutions with other businesses and stakeholders.
If you are interested in working with this working group or wish to provide input as an individual or organization, you can contact the chairperson of this working group.
Chairperson: Laure Heilbron
*Income below €1,010 per month for a single-person household or €1,900 per month for a four-person household Source: CBS, SCP: Armoedesignalement 2014