The Netherlands has become a European epicenter for social entrepreneurship and impact investing. 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 enduring entrepreneurial spirit; 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.
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 collective 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. The impact investing flywheel in the Netherlands continues to gain momentum, with new and innovative impact investment funds added almost monthly, the amount of capital available for impact driven entrepreneurs has more than tripled in the 5 last years.
With this first Dutch Innovation Mission for Social Entrepreneurs, we aim to further boost social entrepreneurship and create successful international collaborations. The San Francisco Bay Area tops the list of globalstartup 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: what better place to start such a social innovation mission!
We are extremely excited that The Netherlands Consulate General in San Francisco, Enviu, Social Enterprise NL and Social Impact Ventures NL have joined hands to organise this first mission of its kind. And we are thrilled that more than a dozen outstanding social entrepreneurs from the Netherlands are the pioneers on this mission, in which we strive to connect the Dutch social enterprise ecosystem to international players so we can all learn from each other and together accelerate massive social impact, worldwide.
Together we aim 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!
Delegation leader, Founder/director Social Enterprise NL, Founding Partner Social Impact Ventures NL