“Our main purpose is to help people with a distance from the labor market to find meaning in their lives again.”, shared Trudy van Oostrum, founder of fairy-fresh & friends – a local start-up that supports people to come out of social isolation through co-creating healthy food initiatives. “As an outcome, they start using less medication and start remembering how brilliant they once were. Our organisation is a real enterprise in which employees choose their own responsibilities, working hours, working pace and where they deliver the results that they promised to deliver. They make their own money.”
“When I came back I got an email from Stichting DOEN stating they had awarded me € 25.000!”
Knowledge in a box
An active participant in the 60 Day Challenge #5 this spring, Trudy openly shared her experience in a recent session at the Impact Hub Amsterdam that brought together past and potential program participants:
- “My dream was to create all kinds of projects of high quality for people in need so they see the sense of life again. So I came into the Challenge with big ideas, put them on a large piece of paper and put it on the wall. Rutger [facilitator of the 60 Day Challenge] walked in the second day and said: “Fold it, this is too complicated, too ambitious” and he took off one post-it. The post-it said “knowledge in a box”. I thought: “What does this guy think? Is he crazy? I’m working for 40 hours a week on this stuff! But I thought, “okay, I’m here to learn”…
- I listened, did my homework, connected with some of the participants to do some of the work I’m less good at – thank you Sivan and Kars of Afriek (fellow 60 Day Challenge participants) who helped me re-write my business plan, got input from a Workbench session on business modeling for social impact. All these efforts resulted in our product: the Breakfast Box.
- We have prepared breakfast on a weekly basis over a period of a few months. We teach them and they teach each other. Bit by bit the participants woke up and asked whether they could bring the ingredients home for themselves and their families.
- By now, the Breakfast Box has five different versions, which originated from testing and by interviewing potential customers such as owners of gyms and yoga schools, SME buyers and other individuals.
- The result of our first project is that 10 out of 17 people have found the light in their eyes again by transforming their own social isolation.
- And, when I came back from my holidays after the program, I got an email from Stichting DOEN stating they were giving €25.000 to our project!”
“This is what came out of the 60 Day Challenge for me.” Trudy is an exciting example of what is possible when you marry conviction for a better world with the possibilities of being a social business. She’s contributing to social innovation in our neighbourhoods and keeping us healthy in so many ways.
>> Do you have an idea that you wonder if it can become a social enterprise? Apply now for the next 60 Day Challenge #6! We are happy to announce a prize again of € 5000 – read about the winners of Challenge #5, Afriek.