Takecarebnb: Creative idea for housing refugees
Seventeen young and enthusiastic entrepreneurs embarked on their startup adventure during the latest edition of Impact Hub’s Business Model Challenge. During the three month program, all developed and tested their ideas to guarantee that they will have both a commercial and societal impact in the near future. What unites them all? A shared awareness of a sustainable world, that can be reached if we work together, share our experiences and so make a collective impact.
By Suzanne van de Staaij | Trainee University of Amsterdam | Social Entrepreneurship
Due to the success of the previous BMC programmes, this past fall’s participants found themselves already in the 8th edition – where we found ideas ranging from eco-friendly child transportation to helping refugees to integrate better and faster in local society. With the help of business experts, mentors and experienced social entrepreneurs, the ideas improved and assumptions were tested constantly, to be finally presented in the grand-finale: The Pitch Event. During this event last 10th of December in Amsterdam all participants had the chance to pitch their business plans to the Impact Hub wider community, ranging from stakeholders like Rabobank and Accenture to friends and potential future clients.
Each participant was allowed to impress the audience in a one-minute pitch. After this exciting minute, different stakeholders could invest a symbolic amount of money in the highest potential ideas – and as a result, a group of three participants was selected. All three had the chance to have a final 3-minute pitch, which finally gave us the programme’s winner: Takecarebnb! Maja Gricic and Reinout de Kraker’s entrepreneurial solution focuses on housing refugees in temporary Dutch ‘foster’ families. Besides a solid plan, Maja Grcic’s moving pitch touched the heart and minds of the crowd and demonstrated the power of citizen leaders who passionately fight for social justice. Being a refugee herself enabled Maya to tell an authentic and convincing story of why this initiative is important. The audience applause was thundering. Winning the Business Model Challenge means for the fresh startup Takecarebnb the opportunity to work at Impact Hub for the coming six months and to develop and professionalise the venture with the support of peers and stakeholders.
“The Business Model Challenge taught my participating colleague the possibility to change the perspective from ‘what’s to be done today’ to ‘what should we do on a three-month horizon’. It pushed him to visit refugees himself to check assumptions, and take a broader perspective on creating a more professional organisation.” Maja Grcic, Takecarebnb
Creative idea for housing refugees
Takecarebnb is a professional organisation which aspires to match refugees with Dutch host families for a short period of time. Matchmakers, who have extensive experience in the healthcare sector make sure that a carefully matched placement is guaranteed. Takecarebnb strives to work with local or even national governments in the near future. Today, it is run on volunteers and gifts, however, also actively working towards more sustainable sources of income. The reason to take part in the peer-based Business Model Challenge was based on a belief that integration of refugees is best enhanced when people meet and interact with each other.
How to start up your own venture?
During the Business Model Challenge, the candidates develop crucial skills on how to use business tools, ranging from business modelling to marketing. Both the Business Model Canvas and the Lean Startup Method are frequently used in this startup accelerator. These models form a strategic entrepreneurial tool, which helps you to focus and to develop a clear view of your venture. It’s a visual framework that consists of multiple relevant business aspects, like the social value proposition and customer segments. In just a few months, the Business Model Challenge enables candidates to work on core challenges and to pivot into new solutions.
“Due to the BMC, it became clear to me what my true values are. My idea was transformed completely, which resulted in a renewed vision.” Anne-Sophie Noten, Abbot Kinney’s
According to BMC participants the programme clearly shows you what your ventures’ true values are and it supports social entrepreneurs to develop a clear vision of the advantages of their products or services. While participating at the BMC, prepare yourself also for a healthy dose of personal growth. Often we notice that a starting idea can be turned over and tends to switch into another – more suited – business idea, solving the societal issue more effectively.
“The BMC taught me how to focus and how to get to the core of the problems. Due to the BMC, we were able to formulate our strategy and test our assumptions.” Esther Griffioen, Haven Winkeloord