• The Netherlands Social Entrepreneurship Mission

    SoCap 2018, San Francisco Bay Area, USA

    23 - 26 October 2018

  • The Netherlands Social Entrepreneurship Mission 2018

    A delegation of seven organizing partners and seventeen outstanding social entrepreneurs from the Netherlands will visit the SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) Conference San Francisco Bay Area October 23-26. The SOCAP conference is the largest annual gathering of its kind and brings together global innovators, investors, foundations, governments, institutions, and social entrepreneurs to build the world we want to leave to future generations.


    RVO, Social Enterprise NL, the municipalities of Amsterdam (Amsterdam Impact), The Hague (ImpactCity) and Rotterdam, PwC the Netherlands and Enviu have joined forces to organize this mission. The Netherlands Consulate General in San Francisco will support the mission locally.


    With this second Dutch Mission for Social Entrepreneurs to SOCAP, the Netherlands aims to further boost social entrepreneurship, create successful international collaborations and promote the Dutch Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem worldwide.

  • 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 collective social business revenues of the Netherlands grew with 75% to €3.5 billion in 2015 and have contributed 3% to the growth of the GDP between 2010 and 2015 (McKinsey 2016 - Scaling impact of the social enterprise sector).


    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 mindset; 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 has 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 cities and regions from the Netherlands actively support social enterprises. The City of Amsterdam develop special policies and has become an ideal home base for social entrepreneurs, offering the networks, ecosystem and business preconditions to make impact enterprises a success. As the international city of peace and justice, ImpactCity The Hague offers a wide range of possibilities for impact startups and scale-ups. The city encourages “doing good & doing business” in all kinds of ways with practical help: assistance with settling, start-up hubs, possibilities for financing and a great infrastructure. Other cities like Rotterdam are also attracting social entrepreneurs to establish in their city by facilitating them in every possible way.

    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.

    Corporate environment

    Corporates are playing an increasing significant role in the social enterprise sector of the Netherlands. Major corporates such as PwC and CMS have provided social enterprise with coaching, guidance and above all knowledge. These corporates also learn a great deal from social enterprises as society is appealing to the business community more and more pointedly and urgently to contribute to solving global issues. PwC recently wrote a publication on the development of the social enterprise ecosystem in the Netherlands with the key lessons learned and an outlook to the future, which will be presented during

    SOCAP 2018.

    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.

  • SOCAP18

    The delegation from the Netherlands is present at SOCAP18. This conference is 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. SOCAP18 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 SOCAP18 event please click here. You can find the delegation from the Netherlands at exhibitor booth nr 17 in the Festival Pavilion.


    Furthermore, we host two events that you can attend:

    Dutch Session: “The Remarkable Growth of the Dutch Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem”

    October 24, 2.30pm-3.45pm


    Within the past five years, the ‘black-hole’ of the social enterprise sector from the Netherlands has turned into a flourishing ecosystem with thousands of social enterprises, €3.5+ Billion revenue, and 80,000+ jobs. The municipalities of Amsterdam and The Hague played a huge role in this growth by creating innovative, regenerative systems within their cities. Join for a report on this remarkable growth, with applicable insights and learnings for other regions looking to jumpstart their local ecosystem.


    The Dutch will tell the story of how the Netherlands developed one of the fastest growing social impact ecosystems in the world, and grew from a practically non-existing sector 10 years ago, to a flourishing sector in their economy by 2018. During the session they will share insights on how they created a vibrant ecosystem and how this approach could be transferred to other countries and regions.

    During this session the report on the learnings of the Social Impact Ecosystem in the Netherlands prepared by PwC the Netherlands will be officially launched. All attendees will receive a copy of the report providing them plenty of food for thought! You can find the report here.

    Willemijn Verloop (Founder Social Enterprise NL), Michiel Elich (CEO Enviu), Renate de Lange-Snijders (Board member PwC The Netherlands), Derk Jan Statema (The Hague Business Agency), Ellen Oetelmans (Amsterdam Impact), Laila Janah (Founder SamaSource).


    Open to all SOCAP attendees. Please register on pathable!

    Netherlands Social Entrepreneurs PITCH event

    Greens Restaurant, 2 Marina Boulevard, Fort Mason (Building A)

    October 25, 4pm-8pm

    During this event, all 17 entrepreneurs from the Netherlands will present their business in surprisingly creative way.

    Join this event to get to know and get inspired by the social entrepreneurs from the Netherlands and build new connections at the network reception.

    Moderated by Willemijn Verloop (Social Enterprise NL) and Margarita Quihuis.


    This event is invitation only. Please contact one of the partners if you would like to attend.

    Click here to see the full SOCAP program.

  • Social Entrepreneurs

    Click on logos for more information about the social entrepreneurs:

  • Organizers

    The Netherlands Social Entrepreneurship Mission is organized by:

  • Video, Blog & Social media

    Videos 2017

    Social Entrepreneurs Innovation Mission -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 Entrepreneurship Mission

  • Social media

    Follow #Socap18NL

  • How to connect

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


    You can find the Dutch delegation at exhibitor booth nr 17 in the

    Festival Pavilion.


    At the Dutch Session: 'The Remarkable Growth of the Dutch Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem'. October 24, 2.30 pm - 2.45 pm.


    At the 'Netherlands Social Entrepreneurs PITCH event'.

    @Greens Restaurant, 2 Marina Boulevard, Fort Mason (Building A). Oktober 25, 4 pm - 8 pm.

  • Contact the Delegation from the Netherlands

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