• Dutch Social Entrepreneurs Innovation Mission

    San Francisco Bay Area, USA

    8-14 October 2017

  • Dutch Social Enterprise (r)evolution

    The Netherlands has become a European epicenter for social entrepreneurship and impact investing. The last 5 years, the social enterprise sector has grown rapidly and boosted impact on important themes as circularity, poverty reduction, education and inclusivity. The Dutch collective social business revenues grew with 75% to €3.5 billion in 2015 and have contributed 3% to the growth of the GDP between 2010 and 2015.


    Its success is based on a unique foundation with 3 strong pillars: deeply rooted humanistic and social values in an open society; a historical track record of international trade and entrepreneurial; and an internationally renowned ecosystem of finance and investing with a long-term horizon. With this fertile ground, the Netherlands social enterprise sector has everything to continue to grow rapidly and deliver social impact with high value added jobs and healthy investment returns.

    Key Features of the ecosystem in the Netherlands

    National network

    A national trade organization (Social Enterprise NL) for social entrepreneurs was founded 6 years ago and actively built the ecosystem. The national network connects the growing community and offers direct support services such as start –up, incubation, acceleration and access to finance, impact measurement. Over the past five years, the total Dutch infrastructure has expanded to serve about 4,000 social enterprises. Five new network platforms were established, and up to 40 competitions, accelerators and incubators have started.

    Local government support

    Many Dutch cities and regions actively support social enterprises. The City of Amsterdam, was one of the first cities to develop special policies and has become an ideal homebase for social entrepreneurs, offering the networks, ecosystem and business preconditions to make impact enterprises a success. The Hague Impact City is following suit and the Cities of Utrecht and Rotterdam have partnered with universities and co-created The University of Utrecht Social Entrepreneurship Initiative and Erasmus Social Entrepeneurship Center in Rotterdam University.

    Aid and trade

    In 2012, the Dutch government got its first minister for Aid and Trade. Combining traditional ministries for foreign trade and development cooperation, the Dutch started focusing on CSR in international production chains and boosting entrepreneurship in developing countries. A national CSR-agreement between the garment industry, and consumer and labor organizations, to improve working conditions in Bangladesh, was the first in its kind worldwide. The Dutch Good Growth Fund gives out loans to Dutch entrepreneurs that want to create jobs in developing countries.

    Impact investing flywheel

    The impact investing flywheel in the Netherlands continues to gain momentum, with new and innovative impact investment funds added almost monthly. Crowdfunding has increasingly become a valuable source of funds for social enterprises and angel investor, philanthropic foundations as well as traditional financial institutions are starting to experiment with impact investing. The amount of capital available for impact driven entrepreneurs has more than tripled in the 5 last years, according to recent research by McKinsey and Company.

    National awareness

    In no-time, Dutch consumers have become aware of social entrepreneurship. Many trends and developments indicate an increased emphasis on social impact as a goal and social entrepreneurship as a means to that end. The sector became more visible, thanks to increased media attention. The sector’s profile also rose because of general societal trends and specific advances in infrastructure and education.

  • Innovation mission 2017

    Twelve outstanding Dutch social entrepreneurs will visit the San Francisco Bay Area October 8-14. With this first Dutch Innovation Mission for Social Entrepreneurs, the Netherlands aims to further boost social entrepreneurship and create successful international collaborations. The San Francisco Bay Area tops the list of global startup ecosystems, and is the place where the world’s leaders in social entrepreneurship gather. In addition, the SOCAP conference is the largest annual gathering of impact investors and social entrepreneurs.


    The Netherlands Consulate General in San Francisco, Enviu, Social Enterprise NL and Social Impact Ventures NLhave joined hands to organize this mission. The goal is to connect the Dutch social enterprise ecosystem to international players, to learn from each other, and accelerate massive social impact worldwide. The Netherlands aims to create valuable new connections to further scale up the global social economy, and make a significant contribution to driving sustainable and inclusive growth worldwide.


    Monday Oct 9

    Visits to Change.org, Sungevity and a Knowledge Café with various service providers for impact companies

    Tuesday Oct 10

    Visits to Stanford University - Center for Social Innovation, Ripple Works

    Registration and welcome party at SOCAP17

    Wednesday Oct 11

    SOCAP day 1

    Panel Session ''The Netherlands Social Impact (r)Evolution: an engine for economic growth'' at ‘The Netherlands & Social Impact’ network event in Greens Restaurant

    Thursday Oct 12

    SOCAP day 2


    Friday Oct 13

    SOCAP day 3

    Wrap-up at Dutch Consulate



  • SOCAP17

    The social impact delegation from the Netherlands is present at SOCAP17. SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) is in the vanguard of the emerging global impact economy, convening ideas and capital to catalyze world change. It is a network of investors, social entrepreneurs, and social impact leaders addressing the world’s toughest challenges through market-based solutions. SOCAP17 is the annual flagship event, which convenes thousands of impact investors, world-class social entrepreneurs, and innovative cross-sector practitioners dedicated to increasing the flow of capital toward social good. For more information on the SOCAP17 event please click here. You can find the Dutch delegation at one of the tables in the main SOCAP building, clearly indicated in orange.



    Furthermore, we host two events that you can attend:

    The Netherlands Social Impact (r)Evolution - official Socap Session October 11


    The Dutch share insights on how they created a vibrant ecosystem and how this approach could be transferred to other countries and regions. With Willemijn Verloop (Social Enterprise NL), Stef van Dongen (Enviu) and Warner Philips (Social Impact Ventures NL). Open to all SOCAP attendees.

    The Netherlands & Social Impact – Restaurant Greens, Fort Mason

    October 11, 4pm-8pm

    The 10th edition of SOCAP is reason for the Netherlands to organize the first Dutch Social Entrepreneurs Trade Mission Mixer at Fort Mason. Join this event and learn more about the Dutch ecosystem, see pitches by leading Dutch social entrepreneurs and build new connections at the network reception. Speakers include: Leilah Janah (Samasource), Jasper Snoek (Postcodelotery, director DOEN Foundation), Ellen Oetelmans (City of Amsterdam) Please RSVP here.

    Click here to see the full program

  • Participants & Organizers


    (click on logos for more information)

  • Organizers

    The Dutch Innovation Mission for Social Entrepreneurs is organized by:

  • Video, Blog & Social media


    The Aftermovie

    Social Entrepreneurs Innovation Mission

    First day - Social Entrepreneurs Innovation Mission

    Day 2 - Social Entrepreneurs Innovation Mission

    Day 3- Social Entrepreneurs Innovation Mission

    Day 4 - Social Entrepreneurs Innovation Mission

    Changing the world through social entrepreneurship

    Willemijn Verloop at TedX

    Fairphone - Changing the way products are made

    Bas van Abel at TedX

    Crazy About Chocolate, Serious About People

    Henk Jan Beltman at OnBrand

    Dutch Weedburger - about building a brand

    Mark Kulsdom at Iamsterdam

  • Blogs

    Read blogs about the social entrepreneurs innovation mission

  • Social media

    Follow #NLinnovatief en #SocapNL

  • How to connect

    There are several ways to connect with the Dutch Delegation. During SOCAP find us at:


    At the orange table in the main SOCAP building


    At the panel session “The Netherlands Social Impact (r)Evolution: an engine for economic growth”, Wednesday Oct 11, 2.30-3.30pm


    At ‘The Netherlands & Social Impact’ network event in Greens Restaurant, Wednesday Oct 11, 4-8pm. Please RSVP here

  • Contact & Find us at SOCAP

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