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Welcome to the website of Social Enterprise NL.

As a national membership body Social Enterprise NL represents, connects and supports the growing community of social enterprises in The Netherlands.

Social Enterprise NL has adopted the European definition of social entrepreneurship:

A social enterprise is an operator in the social economy whose main objective is to have a social impact rather than to make a profit for their owners or shareholders. It operates by providing goods and services for the market in an entrepreneurial and innovative fashion and uses its profits primarily to achieve social objectives. It is managed in an open and responsible manner and, in particular, involves employees, consumers and stakeholders affected by its commercial activities. (Social Business Initiative, European Commission). In addition, Social Enterprise NL qualifies enterprises as social enterprises when enterprises are for a minimum of 50% financially dependent on trade or other forms of value exchange that are not donations or subsidies. 

Since 2012 we have instigated the movement of Dutch social enterprises by:

1) Providing support to its members: business support programs, BOOST programs for start-ups, network events

2) Facilitating a favourable business environment: influence government, public bodies, corporations and investors to break down barriers for success of social enterprises

3) Inspiring social and entrepreneurial action: encourage education on and research about social entrepreneurship, spread the word about social entrepreneurs and their enterprises 

Providing support to its members
A community of over 300 social enterprises form the member base of Social Enterprise NL. These members are active in 16 business sectors (such as catering, IT solutions, manufacturing, health care ect) and have a diverse range of impact areas (such as circular economy, economic development,  renewable energy and active participation in the labour market for underprivileged groups).   

Together with our partners and a network of experts and coaches, we offer our members direct support services in specific areas such as access to finance, impact measurement, positioning & marketing, sales & acquisition and legal support. There is also a support program for social start-ups: BOOST. 

Facilitating a favourable business environment
Social Enterprise NL focuses on local and national government in improving the business environment. For instance, contrary to a lot of other countries, the Netherlands has no separate legal structure for social enterprises. Social Enterprise NL has published a white paper on a new legal structure as well as instigated the drafting of a Code of Conduct for social enterprises.

Buy Social is another avenue in our pursuit to facilitate a favourable business environment for social enterprises in the Netherlands. This campaign is aimed at promoting sustainable procurement by large corporations and governments.

Inspiring social and entrepreneurial action
In order to provide an insight into and an overview of social entrepreneurship in the Netherlands, we carried out the 4th edition of our yearly Survey among our members in 2016. You can find the management summary here (the survey is in Dutch).

More about Social Enterprise NL
Social Enterprise NL was founded in 2012 by Willemijn Verloop and Mark Hillen. They wrote The Social Enterprise Unravelled. Founding partners are PwC, ABN Amro, CMS, Stichting DOEN and Anton Jurgens Fonds.

Should you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us at +31(0)20 6264410 or info@social-enterprise.nl