The Oranje Fonds foundation, Utrecht City Council, Buzinezzclub and ABN AMRO will together invest 2.1 million euros next year in a Social Impact Bond to reduce youth unemployment in Utrecht. The Buzinezzclub initiative can help 540 young people in Utrecht to find work.
The Mayor of Utrecht, Jan van Zanen, the city councillor with responsibility for Work and Income Victor Everhardt, ABN AMRO chairman Gerrit Zalm, Oranje Fonds Director Ronald van der Giessen and the Director of Buzinezzclub, Leo van Loon, signed up to the Buzinezzclub Social Impact Bond on 26 November in the City Hall in Utrecht.
A Social Impact Bond (SIB) is a funding instrument in which private investors invest to achieve social outcomes. The local authority uses some of the savings made on paying benefits to pay a return to the investors. This makes a Social Impact Bond attractive for all concerned. Councillor Everhardt affirms this: “Buzinezzclub helps more young people into work or appropriate training. Our collaboration with the investors and Buzinezzclub delivers social and financial impact for all those involved. In Utrecht, we are striving to create a labour market in which everyone can participate and where social enterprise pays. That allows social enterprise to become the norm.”
Investors aim for social and financial return
The ABN AMRO Social Impact Fund and the Oranje Fonds are seeking to achieve both a social and a financial return on their investment. The Oranje Fonds promotes participation in society, providing support to enable people to meet each other and find a new place in our society. “The Oranje Fonds has been supporting social entrepreneurs for ten years and helping them to grow their initiative”, says Ronald van der Giessen, “in particular through our Growth Programme, in which Buzinezzclub is also participating. Investing in this SIB is a logical next step for the Fonds. Ensuring that social investments also deliver a financial return releases more funds for other initiatives. We are also very pleased to be involved in a project that gives lots of young people a new chance through the Buzinezzclub initiative. By pooling our strengths, we are able to offer hope to more young people than each of us individually would be able to do.”
The ABN AMRO Social Impact Fund invests in social enterprises, and is participating in a second Social Impact Bond in Utrecht. "We invested in our first Impact Bond just under two years ago in Rotterdam,” says ABN AMRO chairman Gerrit Zalm. “It proved to be a success and we are delighted to be embarking on a new collaborative venture in Utrecht together with the Oranje Fonds and Buzinezzclub. The Dutch SIB market is still young, but there is lots of potential for it to develop into an important funding instrument. Using private capital to give a chance to young people who are not in the best starting position on the labour market is something that we at ABN AMRO consider very important. I hope that Social Impact Bonds will enable us to continue making a difference.”
Buzinezzclub helps young jobseekers to move off benefits and into work, training or entrepreneurship. It brings young people into a nurturing network and supports them in making their dreams come true, with the goal being to offer them a successful future without reliance on benefits. The programme consists of daily training sessions, workshops and personal coaching by a professional from the world of work. Following successful Buzinezzclub initiatives in Rotterdam, The Hague and Drechtsteden, Utrecht is now following the same path. Leo van Loon is the Director of Buzinezzclub: “This is the second Social Impact Bond in which Buzinezzclub has been involved. These new partnerships enable us to work with young people for no less than three years to help build a successful future for them. Even if youngsters slide back, they can still count on Buzinezzclub. It’s a unique approach, which offers the chance of a future and stability to young people who really need it“.
You can read more about Social Impact Bonds in the ABN AMRO report ‘Opportunities and challenges in the Netherlands (PDF 4 MB)’.