Business with a passion for society

Social entrepreneurs are tackling social problems. They have an innovative approach, basing their business on profitable earning models. This way, they are contributing to a better world. ABN AMRO has forged relationships with several social entrepreneurs. Their inspiring stories deserve to be told: What does social entrepreneurship mean in practice? What changes are they bringing about? Read more about their passionate approach.

As a bank, we want to contribute to a better world. This is why we support the initiatives of these social entrepreneurs by investing in them or buying their products or services. For example, ABN AMRO employees can use their permanent employability budgets to order books from YouBeDo and BeeBox caters for lunches at internal meetings. This ties in perfectly with the concept of an economy in which multiple parties benefit from a purchase.

‘Large food companies will have to implement major changes.’

Drees Peter van den Bosch of BeeBox

Those who want to eat fresh, organic, local products no longer need to leave their homes. BeeBox delivers the best products from local farmers straight to the consumer’s home, adding some recipes too. 

Drees Peter van den Bosch’s eyes were opened in his previous job at Unilever. He noticed that we all benefit from global food chains through efficient production and inexpensive food. He felt this has been taken too far: ‘We should let smaller, local producers be a part of this system in order to help the food system become more robust.’

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‘I want opportunities for all young people in the Netherlands.’

Leo van Loon of Buzinezzclub

Buzinezzclub has already helped 600 formerly underprivileged youngsters in the Netherlands set up their own business. Many more will follow. Founder Leo van Loon is inspired by these young owner-managers. ‘It’s so cool to see them grow several inches taller in just a few months’ time.’ 

His business model is based on reducing the cost of paying out benefits. At the same time, the parallel social impact is very interesting. The Buzinezzclub offers hope and new prospects and helps keep this high-risk group of youngsters on the right track.

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‘My goal is to have a positive effect on the lives of one billion people.’

Jan van Betten of Nudge

Having had a successful career in senior corporate management, Jan van Betten set off on a new course at the age of 48. He launched Nudge, a platform that connects people and organisations in order to realise sustainable initiatives. 

Everyone who registers at Nudge becomes a ‘Nudger’ and plays a key role in the creation and completion of new projects. The Nudge Global Leadership Challenge teaches young people how to make a difference in an organisation, neighbourhood or an NGO. This helps disseminate the Nudge working method.

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‘We have a long way to go in making the chain more efficient.’

Alec Clement of WAAR Netherlands

Alec Clement had been working for the fair trade chain of shops ‘De Wereldwinkel’ for many years before setting up a new chain in 2012: ‘WAAR’. All of the products sold by Clement are sustainable and also produced and traded under a fair trade policy.

The main mission of ‘WAAR’ is to fight poverty and to develop social initiatives with a real impact in deprived areas. According to Alec Clement, fair trade boosts the local economy, making it an excellent tool for realising WAAR’s sustainable mission.

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‘From profit maximisation to ‘social maximisation’

Michael van Loenen of YouBeDo

Michael van Loenen is co-founder of YouBeDo.com, an exceptional online bookshop. Ten per cent of the purchase price of each book goes to a charitable organisation selected by the customer, at no extra charge for the customer.

YouBeDo wants to ensure the money goes to those who really need it. They refer to this as a ‘system turning point’. Fair and fun for their customers, whose new books contribute to a better distribution of funds.

View the video (in Dutch only)