POWERED BY OUR COMMUNITY, WORKING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT IN THE WESTERPARK, IMPACT HUB AMSTERDAM BRINGS TOGETHER RESOURCES, RELATIONSHIPS, INSPIRATION AND COLLABORATION OPPORTUNITIES THAT HELP OUR COMMUNITY OF 633 MEMBERS AND PARTNERS GROW THEIR IMPACT EVERY DAY. We believe that the systemic challenges faced in our world need talent that embodies the courage and critique of the activist paired with the resolve and pragmatism of the entrepreneur.
Read on and meet some of these entrepreneurs...




50 Stories of the Hub Effect

Accessible Travel Netherlands

Breaking through the boundaries of the tourism sector accessible_travel-nl

Veroniek Maat fills the gap between the growing demand of hotels and restaurants with adjusted facilities for disabled travellers and the current lack of supply.

What started off as a blog about how the Netherlands could be made more accessible to visitors with some sort of physical limitation grew out to be a successful social enterprise. The venture focuses on breaking boundaries within the travel industry by stimulating the supply of trips that are specifically tailored for travellers with a handicap. In addition, AccessibleTravel Netherlands tries to increase awareness amongst entrepreneurs in the travel industry by offering them advice on how they can accommodate the special needs of the physically limited visitor.

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Accessible Travel to:
  • collaborate with Impact Hub Baltimore to expand to Accessible Travel in the US market
Enabled Accessible Travel to:
  • generate visibility around her venture via our local and global communication channels
  • move from startup to scaleup via participation in the Impact Hub Scaling Program
  • to learn new skills by partaking in Workbenches – a serie of masterclasses aimed at growing specific entrepreneurial skills
Connected Accessible Travel to:
  • partners within the city of Amsterdam to participate on an international trade mission to Baltimore
  • local partners abroad via the Impact Hub Network in the US

Read Veroniek’s full story here:

Veroniek Maat: on breaking through boundaries to innovate the tourism sector

This is how you get the most out of a trade mission

Accessible Travel Netherlands


African Clean Energy (ACE)

A little-known fact: Close to half the world’s population cooks on open fire every day and it is costing us millions of lives a year. ACE!cleanstove

For many of us, cooking on open fire symbolises good times with family and friends, but for others, it is a daily problem causing serious health damage, deforestation, and poverty issues. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. It ends here and starts with the ACE1. Not just any stove – an entirely smokeless, solar-powered, biomass fuelled cookstove.

“At the moment, I am focused on scaling our operations, worldwide distribution and to rapidly down the price for families that need the stove the most. What started solely with a vision evolved into a global movement: a smokeless cookstove with the potential to save millions of lives. The downside of early entrepreneurship is being by yourself. Impact Hub is a great place to meet like-minded people… everyone is entrepreneurial, socially engaged and ready to hear your story because they’re in similar positions. It’s much more than just a shared space.”

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired ACE to:
  • triggering new thinking around clean air, clean cooking and clean BBQ’ing, with members, partners and visitors with the ACE 1 cookstove presence in the Impact Hub throughout the summer of 2014

  • reach out to their local and international community to contribute to the ACE 1 crowdfunding campaigns

  • to be part of an exclusive Partners Day at the Induction Meeting of the new African Impact Hubs in Uganda

Enabled ACE to:
  • have exposure, visibility and credibility via social, print and online media with African Clean Energy as the feature story in the launch of Impact Hub’s worldwide campaign for its new Africa Seed Programme

  • have Ruben to receive an Entrepreneurial Scholarship to SOCAP in San Francisco to feature the ACE1 Ultra-Clean Biomass Cookstove in SOCAP’s Innovation Showcase

  • have a team member of the ACE 1 crowdfunding campaign to gain access, demo opportunities, added visibility and local hosting support through our Impact Hubs during across Europe roadshow

Connected ACE to:
  • fellow expert Impact Hub members, Teach to Fish, who co-designed, developed and launched two important crowdfunding campaigns; the Dutch one raised 168% of its goal!

  • investors to explore a timely scaling up an opportunity with African Clean Energy

  • expansion opportunities for the ACE 1 cookstove to new geographic regions by inviting African Clean Energy as one of the first participants in our EU BENISI scaling programme

Read Ruben’s full story here:

Scaling: African Clean Energy

African Clean Energy




The winners of the Business Model Challenge #6 founded fashion label Afriek. With the same bright coloured characteristics of their key item blazer, the label encourages the world to see the positive side of the country where it’s produced: Rwanda, once a nation torn by internal conflicts, now flourishes again. With their social enterprise, Kars Gerrits and Sivan Breemhaar not only enable local craftsmen to get their lives back on track by treating them with nothing but equality, but they also tell a different story of Rwanda: one that changes your perspective on the African region.


“’We see Africa as a continent full of potential and opportunities. Hopefully, because of Afriek, soon others will also be able to see that. It is amazing to see during the Business Model Challenge how willing people were to help us realize our dream. Also outside the formal programme, we received so much – whether by giving branding or legal advice or offering other resources. In that sense, Afriek is a bigger dream than just ours.”

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Afriek to:
  • transform gut and intuition into strong, proven personal motivation coupled with viable business ideas
  • move from a one-time program participant to a recognised – and admired – member of our wider Impact Hub community, increasing visibility of their product and awareness of their quality of approach
  • be on the jury, bringing their lived experience as startup entrepreneurs in guiding the next cohort to its “graduation”
Enabled Afriek to:
  • test and evolve their business model over a 60-day concentrated period through the Business Model Challenge; Afriek won the €5000 jury-selected prize!
  • expand within Europe and scale production capabilities via participation in our EU BENISI scaling programme
  • get relevant guidance and contacts along the trajectory as they moved from idea to startup to a scaling enterprise
Connected Afriek to:
  • community members to engage in Afriek, offering what they can i.e. branding insights, legal advice, or other resources, to further enable its mission

  • a pool of advisors specialised in growth to international markets, and additional contacts through the international Impact Hub network

Read Sivan’s and Kars’ full story here:

It’s an Afriek! Foxy, smart, social change making high fashion. 


AKKA Architects


Challenging organisational fragmentation by stressing the importance of comprehensiveness within the design process. The innovative architecture by AKKA invites the users of a space to step up, take responsibility and act.

‘‘A building can create more comprehensive thinking when it’s designed for interactions and the users are recognized as experts in the way they use the space.’’

AKKA’s method, in which the actual users of the building are given a key role even before the designing starts, results in architecture, that fosters interactions and stimulates its users to create meaning. Because Impact Hub Amsterdam strongly believes in the vision of AKKA Architects, they hired them to co-design the space of Impact Hub Amsterdam at the Westerpark with the community.


‘‘Impact Hub offers more than a space: it offers real support for businesses. I can’t even tell how often Impact Hub Amsterdam team came knocking on our door saying I had to meet so-and-so. All of these meetings were spot on. It was never a waste of time. They connected us to so many people that truly enriched our work.’’

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired AKKA to:
  • “Impact Hub gives us as a team a constant connection with a vast network rich of people who inspire us with their everyday struggles, wins and challenges.”
  • “In a very specific way, since AKKA Architects have co-designed the office space of Impact Hub Amsterdam, we are able on a daily basis to observe how people use one of our projects, and inspired to refine our plans as we go on.”
Enabled AKKA to:
  • put our vision and process of work, by having Impact Hub as a case study into practice in an actual project.
  • show our clients who visit us one of our built projects.
Connected AKKA to:
  • Numerous potential clients, collaborators and relevant events and initiatives.

Read Stephanie’s full story here:

AKKA Architects: Building comprehensive understanding

AKKA Architects



‘The Alinker inventions: we move differently’Alinker-Loopfiest-logo

In 2014, The Alinker Inventions launched The Alinker R-volution. The Alinker R-volution is a cool walking bike that looks nothing like a medical device. Because of its attractive looks, it takes the focus off the disability. ‘’When people see the Alinker for the first time, most of them just wonder where that cool bike is coming from.’’, Barbara explains. And because the Alinker R-volution puts you on eye-level with the rest of the world and allows you to walk fast and far, it enables the users to keep up with the people around them.

With the Alinker R-volution, Barbara feels like she has created a vehicle for social change. ‘’By changing the way medical devices look, people will hopefully start seeing people as whole human beings, regardless of their physical abilities’’ as,  Barbara says. And because the Alinker is suitable for all people, regardless of age or disability, it enables different people to get together, go out on their Alinker, connect and have a great time.

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Alinker to:
  • have a very positive place to work: the vibe at the office inspired them every day to keep making a positive impact on society
Enabled Alinker to:
  • successfully set up a crowd-funding campaign: they participated in a program to set up a crowdfunding campaign and this enabled them to launch a successful one
Connected Alinker to:
  • the impact part of the world. This worked out great for them: IHA brought them into contact with entrepreneurs, impact driven businesses and investors

Read Barbara’s full story here:

The Alinker


The missing link between struggling designers and customers with a taste for uniqueness

ASADRA offers all fashion designers a full-service online marketplace where they can sell their products to a global audience: ‘’Whether just out of school or packed with decades of experience, all unique designers are welcome.’’ ASADRA provides the designers with a personalized store-profile, ware-housing, customer support and extensive marketing. In addition, the online rating-system based on product-reviews will provide them with product-credibility.


‘’The program made a huge contribution to our current business plan. By having all our peers from the Busines Model Challenge take a look at it, we gained a lot of new perspectives and insights.’’

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired ASADRA to:
  • look differently at their business idea by getting feedback from peers with a different perspective
Enabled ASADRA to:
  • share their business idea, get feedback, and validate their business model because of it
Connected ASADRA to:
  • a financial advisor who is helping to raise necessary funds

Read Adrian’s full story here:

#Impactstory: Adrian Silineks ‘How Sustainable Fashion Becomes the Norm


The do’s and don’ts of a young scale-up  46EDhkoh

Barqo is an online sharing platform that enables private boat owners to rent out their vessels, currently stuck at the docks, to soon-to-be captains. By doing so, the enterprise stimulates the sharing economy while at the same time making boating as a leisure more widely available. Thijs Jansen, the co-founder of Barqo, realised the potential of their idea: ‘’Nowadays it’s far less about possessions and far more about an experience. It was the combination of violability that comes with a sharing platform and the scalability of this concept that triggered me to focus entirely on making our enterprise a reality.’’


“When we started off with Barqo, we outsourced too much of the development of our online product, which leads to an expensive product. During the workshops from House of Performance at Impact Hub Scaling, we realised that maintaining your vision and KPI’s as a point of reference for everything you do is crucial”

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Barqo to:
  • stay closer to their own identity, believe in their vision and do more things in-house
  • Scott Kenedy, our mentor during Impact Hub Scaling, has been a great source of inspiration: because of his elaborate experience and vision, he gave us great hands-on tips on how to move forward.

Enabled Barqo to:

  • take Barqo to the next level via the workshops during Impact Hub Scaling from House of Performance and Ertston Jong about financial models
Connected Barqo to:
  • Scott Kenedy, their mentor during Impact Hub Scaling, has been a great source of inspiration: because of his elaborate experience and vision, he gave them great hands-on tips on how to move forward
  • a vast variety of mentors, peers and impact investors

Read Thijs’s full story here:

The Do’s and Don’ts of a Young Scale-up


Begin met Duurzaamheid

From corporate employee to starting entrepreneur Beeld-BEGIN-140707-grond-640x360

From brand manager caught in the modern corporate world’s clash between consumer demands and personal intrinsic values, short-term results and excellence, personal responsibility and trust, Ilona Buddingh’-Maas returns to her social entrepreneurial home, determined to grow her understanding of business cultures past and her vision of a sustainable present. Still active in the field of her corporate background, she now grows her own entrepreneurship in her new found home in the Impact Hub. She remains a participant almost like an intrapreneur in her former field, but as a protagonist and with a clear solution in hand to create a basis for sustainability within the organisation…

“the Impact Hub community of similar minds she found in Amsterdam was a definite necessity to create her current method..”

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Begin met Duurzaamheid to:
  • keep going with her startup and to stay true to her values, after leaving the corporate scene world, even in times when all odds were against
  • find ways how to include governments into her change method for sustainability
Enabled Begin met Duurzaamheid to:
  • take part in Impact Nights where, with support of peer-to-peer feedback, she moved from idea to startup
  • start pilloting her solution and giving workshops at the Impact Hub event spaces
Connected Begin met Duurzaamheid to:
  • several Impact Hub members who supported her in branding, mareting and presentation skills

Read Ilona’s full story here:

A Good Long Run Home: a story on starting entrepreneur Ilona Buddingh-Maas

Begin met Duurzaamheid



Beetles as a substitute for crude oil? titel9

Aagje Hoekstra has developed a bioplastic made of pressed insect shells; Coleoptera.

In the Netherlands, mealworms are bred for the animal food industry. Mealworms are the larval form of the mealworm beetle, which dies three to four months after laying its eggs. Because the beetle is at the end of it’s lifecycle, it is seen as waste. Aagje gives these beetles a second life, in which design is their new function.

The beetle’s armor contains the substance chitin. After cellulose, chitin is the most common polymer on earth. Aagje peels the insects, so she is left with just the shields. In a chemical lab, Aagje transforms these shields into pure chitin and subsequently into chitosan. Chitosan is almost the same polymer, but bonds better due to a variation in molecular composition. She presses the chitosan together into the ‘insect plastic’ Coleoptera.

This paper-thin material is already used for light objects and jewelry.

“Now I am ready for the next step in my business: make the production process less labor-intensive, faster and so make the material and products a lot cheaper. I would definitely advise BMC to others, it really helped me to focus on the things that are important for my enterprise and let the things go which weren’t.”

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Coleoptera to:
  • to find out during the Business Model Challenge what they didn’t know and how they could get the best out of their enterprise. Through the Business Model Challenge they got more visible what the founder wanted to do and the strategy plan that takes them there
Enabled Coleoptera to:
  • generate visibility around their venture via our local communication channels and press contacts
  • formulate and activate their business plan
  • to learn new skills by partaking in Workbenches
Connected Coleoptera to:
  • partners that helped Coleoptera get access to a larger audience via pitch competitions

Read Aagje’s full story here:

Bioplastic made from insects
Why You Should Continue in Your Idea Phase


De Brauw, Blackstone, Westbroek


Lodewijk van Thiel, acted as legal advisor for the participants of our acceleration programs? “Working with start-ups gives me the opportunity to be active in multiple areas. Our advice often reaches further than only legal issues, which stimulates me to think further than just the legal framework. Lodewijk shares that he always has had an interest for entrepreneurship. Being a corporate partner and turned out to be, the perfect project for Lodewijk to combine his legal expertise with other personal interests. Lodewijk has offered his expertise to the participants and emphasises the two-way street between corporate and startups that this emerging sector needs.

De Brauw advises the social start-ups on matters in various areas such as corporate, contract, employment and data privacy law.

“It is very inspiring to see how ambitious the entrepreneurs running the social start-ups are to make the difference they strive for.”, Lodewijk van Thiel, Senior Associate / Lawyer at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired our partner to:
  • feed on the remarkable entrepreneurial mindset, expressed through a lot of passion in their own work of the participants. “That works contagiously.”
  • be directly involved and collaborate with the participants. “It is very inspiring to see how ambitious the entrepreneurs running the social start-ups are to make the difference they strive for.”
Enabled our partner to:
  • have the opportunity to be active in multiple areas. “Our advice often reaches further than only legal issues, what stimulates me to think further than just the legal framework.”
Connected De Brauw to:
  • other corporates like the Boston Consulting Group. “Collaboration with the BCG makes it definitely a joint effort; the social start-ups learn from partners, and the partners collaborate and learn from each other and the start-ups.”

Read Lodewijk’s full story here:

We Help Startup Entrepreneurs to Focus

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

De Buurtcamping

How to solve world issues? Start a camping ground caroussel2

‘‘First of all, camping as a product serves my own needs. Growing up in the countryside, it is a long-lived wish to implement the feeling of civil cohesion (typically found in small villages) into larger cities. It gets even better if you see camping as a place for talent development, to stimulate local entrepreneurship and a place to enjoy a regular holiday even if your budget doesn’t allow you.

A place and moment in the year where visible differences in social backgrounds disappear offers potential for equality.  You start to see “camping” as the solution for all world issues.

“At the moment we are expanding to more cities, refining our financial model and adding possibilities for talent development and local entrepreneur involvement. Participation in the Business Model Challenge showed me how a business model can evolve from ‘good camping’; how you can become financially independent while you maintain the underlying vision.”

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired De Buurtcamping to:
  • possibilities to transform an idea to a workable business model

  • come up with new ideas, i.e. developing a commercial segment to support revenue growth

Enabled De Buurtcamping to:
  • receive direct advice on how to generate financial revenue and how to make De Buurtcamping more profitable so it can cut down reliance on subsidies

  • gain visibility of De Buurtcamping via national communication channels

  • take a next step for the enterprise via our acceleration programme into a workable model for further expansion and improved cooperation with municipalities

Connected De Buurtcamping to:
  • fellow members, i.e. experts on civic participation

  • the team with valuable peer support during their idea phase, to help evolve De Buurtcamping into a running startup

Read Katusha’s full story here:

How we solve world issues. Start a camping.

De Buurtcamping


Closing the Loop

CIRCULARITY FOR MOBILE PHONES 9ac1286c8e907044c957c339e0bc8924_400x400

Closing the Loop and its local partners buy end-of-life mobile phones in Asia and Africa, for the scrap materials to be recycled properly.


“We turn phones – that would otherwise end up in landfills – into something worth collecting. Using this unique approach, we create jobs, bring back scarce metals into production cycles and turn waste into a source of income.”


The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Closing the Loop to:
  • make CtL see collaboration and open discussions about our goals, approach and ideas, which helped CtL grow much faster – and better – than before
Enabled Closing the Loop to:
  • learn CtL about interacting with investors, telling our story in a better way and getting funds to grow
Connected Closing the Loop:
  • investors, other social enterprises and knowledge experts

Read Joost’s full story here:

Hoe Impact Investering een Rol Speelt Voor Closing the Loop

Closing the Loop


A Place To Both Store and Share Things Deelkelder

A sharing basement. It works likewise as a library: in exchange for a yearly membership, you get access to a broad variety of quality things. This can be tools, hobby gear or home-and-garden utilities.


‘’When we started with the Business Model Challenge, we had a very complex business idea. During the BMC, we were challenged to ask ourselves over and over again: what’s the core of our business? This resulted in our current clear business plan. Impact Hub Amsterdam has not only connected us to other inspiring members of the impact community but also matched us with the right experts that for example helped us solve our insurance issues.’’

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired DeDeelkelder to:
  • believe in their business idea
Enabled DeDeelkelder to:
  • develop a more concrete and clear business idea

Connected DeDeelkelder to:

  • other inspiring entrepreneurs and experts as well as visiting companies

Read Michiel’s full story here:

#Startup story: #Impactmakers Michiel and Claire



‘‘Through our online platform, we focus on how we can enable self-employed entrepreneurs offering qualitative care and service in a more personal, reliable and trustworthy approach. On a daily basis we encounter the apparent loss of trusted quality delivered to a vulnerable group in need in our society, yet overall this is still a glaring issue.” Logo Dinst

From the scope on a life longer lived at home under one’s own responsibility, our challenge is to hand over the authority to our self-employed, now still carried by semi-government owned service provider institutions.


‘‘Deliverance of care services appeared to be just a minor part of our social business. We are now expanding to more cities, growing our database with self-employed. In cooperation with a small group of diverse people within the Impact Hub, we changed our marketing strategy, rebranded and now embark further as Dinst to make our social impact happen.’’

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Dinst to:
  • come up with new ideas through surrounding the team with like-valued entrepreneurs, i.e. entrepreneurs using online technology to support a sharing economy
Enabled Dinst to:
  • access better-working facilities and infrastructure to accommodate Dinst’s growth
  • visibly to promote Dinst via our national communication channels
  • host an important gathering of healthcare professionals to look at the future of healthcare
Connected Dinst to:
  • the team by adopting them as a regular part of the day’s patterns and culture, and encouraging connection with the wider community where useful

  • fellow members and experts with Dinst for service provision and/or advisory i.e. graphic design, marketing communications, social media experts, onboard to cooperate in growth.

  • Dinst with new talent through our internship programme

Read Olivier’s full story here:

Dinst: on Unlikely Allies


Ernst & Young (EY)

Why is a company like EY involved in the arena of social entrepreneurship?

EY | Impact Hub Amsterdam | Partnership | Social Startups | Scaling | Startup VisaWorking in the arena of social entrepreneurship is good for business. That’s the part people understand because the assumption is that otherwise a company like EY would not be in involved. But the question that remains is why it’s good for business. There are several reasons, here are the three most important ones according to EY’s engagement at Impact Hub:

1) staying relevant and profitable in the long-term
2) attracting and retaining international top talent
3) gaining creativity, fun and inspiration.


“A question frequently asked to me. The answer from my perspective is easy and logical, however as the question keeps coming back to me, I’ve realized that it might not be logical for everyone. Read along while I lead you through my thoughts as reflected in this blog.” – Carolien Gadella-van Wersch, Senior Manager, EY Cleantech and Sustainability Services

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired EY mentors to:
  • entrepreneurs of Impact Hub that inspire EY colleagues to combine the entrepreneurial aspirations with intentions for impact, believe in your dreams and make them happen
  • combine entrepreneurship with positive impact in a financially viable manner
Enabled EY mentors to:
  • connect with passionate entrepreneurs, get inspired and learn from different experiences
  • use their knowledge and experience to scale impactful enterprises. “And they love it!”
Connected EY mentors to:
  • a variety of social entrepreneurs

Read Carolien’s full story here:

Why is a company like EY involved in the arena of social entrepreneurship

Ernst & Young (EY)

Fairy, Fresh & Friends

“Our main purpose is to help people distanced from the labour market to find meaning in their lives again”548ef8d158507

By co-operating in the creation of healthy food initiatives, we support those who are in this specific kind of social isolation. In our organisation, participants choose their own responsibilities, working hours, working pace and where they deliver the results that they promise to deliver. All these efforts result in their product: The Breakfast Box.

” ‘What does this guy think? Is he crazy? I am working for 40 hours a week on this!’, was my immediate response when a facilitator of the Business Model Challenge grabbed only one of the Post-Its out of a sea of my activities. He advised me to ‘fold it’ because it was too complicated overall, ‘okay, I guess I am here to learn and move forward I realised’.”

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired FF&F to:
  • maintain focus while coming up with many new ideas

  • connect with diverse others and take advantage of the learning opportunities provided through Impact Hub; and even take the BMC a second time to strengthen her work

Enabled FF&F to:
  • learn a more integrated approach to blending social impact and business through our Workbench session on Business Modeling for Social Impact

  • gain recognition and credibility towards fund providers, and pre-application advice to the project proposal

  • have a physical space and community for the team to practically test their products along the development journey, and obtain beneficial feedback from diverse perspectives

Connected FF&F to:
  • business coaches able to drive Fairy, Fresh & Friends towards effective business modelling

  • the team with fellow participants to partner with, with experts to engage in specific difficult parts of starting a business, and with networking opportunities that contributed to the exciting receipt of a €25.000 grant for its first project!

Read Trudy’s full story here:

Starting: Fairy, Fresh & Friends

Fairy, Fresh & Friends



Sustainable Energy in Africa droppedImage

Fasogaz is the first private energy supplier in Burkina Faso. Based on the value chain of the Jatropha plant, we provide biodiesel, biogas, electricity, and heat.

Our mission is to energize rural Burkina Faso, locally made and sustainable. Fasogaz provides locally produced, renewable energy for the benefit and future of the rural population in Burkina Faso. Our energy is produced in energy islands, providing a triple source of income for the local community. Fasogaz creates economic growth of rural areas, by mixing access to energy with knowledge transfer and organizational skills. Our team works on the triple P principle: People, Planet and Profit. We belief in local and sustainable energy generation, working with dedicated people; creating strong rural communities.


“Waste does not excist. Waste equals value.”

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired FasoBiogaz to:
  • move from testing activity for the rural market to their current operational model
  • broaden their vision on the posibilities in the African region to clean up waste in the broadest sense
Enabled FasoBiogaz to:
  • optimize their internal organisation, financial model and investment proposition through intensive peer-to-peer sessions and several coaching sessions
Connected FasoBiogaz to:
  • the Ghana Environmental Agency via fellow Imapct Hub member Joost de Kluijver from Closing the Loop

Read Anton’s full story here:

We zoeken naar goede poepachtige bronnen in West-Afrika



Fitz-g a well-tested ambitious business idea on how to solve the so-called plastic soup in our oceans, accelerated into a viable start-up business. LOGO_DEF_FITZG3

Fitz-g impacts the amount of plastic waste in the oceans. We do this by creating key products that are easy to dispose of responsibly through recycling or composting. Our first product is a 100% recyclable beach sandal. For them, the Business Model Challenge turned into a major exercise that would make us comfortable with continuously questioning, adjusting and validating our business model. Our next step is to go with SLEM – the institute for innovative and sustainable shoe design – to China.


‘‘Whether you have just launched a business, are pivoting or want to improve your business model, the Business Model Challenge will serve to inspire you. We would definitely recommend it to other social entrepreneurs.’’


The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Fitz-g to:
  • come with new ideas, like the initiative to expand their product line

  • the team’s personal motivation by giving structure for their recently adapted business and impact models

  • validate assumptions and step out of their comfort zone

Enabled Fitz-g to:
  • access the tools to develop new skills and move their ambition to the next level of realisation

  • be in a setting where Fitz-g is comfortable to continuously question, adjust and improve their business model

  • participate in a public pitching and networking opportunity at our Stakeholder Forum, where they were presented with the BMC jury’s prize

Connected Fitz-g to:
  • like-minded social entrepreneurs in a broad community and network to accelerate the process of setting business, and start making a difference

  • coaches, experts and fellow participants to meet, discuss and share ideas, which has contributed to accelerating their journey to implementation

Read Haim’s full story here:

4 reasons why you should continue in your idea phase



Green Insights

From Consultant to Entrepreneur | Ajay Varadharajan, Startup Visa Resident 31022

Green Insight’s GreenerU is the first app that automatically tracks and measures the impact of all aspects of your lifestyle. By quantifying the sustainability performance of your various activities, we make it possible to compare them and recommend improvements with the biggest bang for the buck. Ajay applied for a startup visa via the new regulations initiated by the Dutch state government, guided by facilitators Impact Hub Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Expatcenter.


 “The most important thing that the startup visa has allowed me is to open access tot the European market that is extremely willing to change the status quo and move to a more sustainable future. Sometimes I think about the decision to move to Amsterdam from the US, and I wonder why I did not do it sooner. With Impact Hub Amsterdam as my facilitator, I tap into a globally-rooted local network, a key success factor for all startups.””

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired GreenInsights to:
  • collaborate with likely allies in the Impact Hub network to explore joint ventures of its app
Enabled GreenInsights to:
  • participate in various pitch events
  • participate in a national crowdfunding training competition by ASN Bank
  • expand the amount of Advisory Board members through contacts from Impact Hub
  • work as startup in the Netherlands through Impact Hub’s facilitation for the startup visa regulation
Connected GreenInsights to:
  • the Impact Makers Fund, where Ajay won the investment call, resulting in a direct financial injection of €7.500

Read Ajay’s full story here:

3 Steps Towards a Sustainable Business (and how we all benefit..)



We believe that everyone is a specialistgreenfox_logo

GreenFox renovates existing luminaires to the latest energy efficient standard. Greenfox employs people with a distance to the labour market and they are making a huge impact in the Netherlands. With the help of Impact Hub Scaling they are scaling their impact.


“We work per project with 1 GreenFox-expert and 3 people with a handicap/distance to the labour market. We want to scale in Europe.”


The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired GreenFox to:
  • see the growing opportunities GreenFox still has: a lot of companies need the specialities of someone who has a distance to the labour market. With this realisation, GreenFox is very much looking forward to the future.
Enabled GreenFox to:
  • experts and peers that helped GreenFox to get where they are now and to realise their scaling ambition
Connected GreenFox to:
  • scale up their impact by participating in Impact Hub Scaling

Read and see Renze’s full story here:




Focus on the transportation sector GUTTS | Impact Hub Amsterdam | Impactmaker | biobrandstof | Bio Fuel | Cleantech | Renewable Energy

Edward is one of Impact Hub’s members whose full dedication is directed towards creating a climate neutral society. Currently, GUTTS provides multiple car racing championships and its drivers with biofuel that reduces the amount of CO2 the car spreads by 65-70%.

Within the next five years, the enterprise wants this fuel to be accessible to the normal consumer at every Dutch gas station. According to Edward, this would be a major improvement of the transportation sector; where the development of electric cars is extremely expensive and the vehicle’s battery requires rare earth elements, the average normal car can be made biofuel ready for no more than €25. GUTTS, founded in 2009, has accelerated from one transformed BMW to a real player in the biofuel industry.

Edwards states he couldn’t have done it without Impact Hub Amsterdam:


‘’In addition to a stimulating working environment and the perfect atmosphere, quick Wi-Fi and good coffee, Impact Hub Amsterdam has given us all the support we needed to accelerate GUTTS. The regular master classes and workbenches connected us to the right experts with even righter solutions.’’


The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired GUTTS to:
  • go! ‘’The inspiring and stable work environment at Impact Hub Amsterdam has motivated me to be disrupted and act to improve sustainability.’’
Enabled GUTTS to:
  • accelerate GUTTS by offering access to regular masterclasses and workbenches
Connected GUTTS to:
  • the right experts in the field of pitching, marketing, social entrepreneurship and finance

Read Edward’s full story here:

Biobrandstof vs Elektrische Auto’s: de race is begonnen




Seaweed for a sustainable future 12d5b1e761-Hortimare_logo_transp_bg-01 uitsnede

Business economist Reinier van den Biggelaar teamed up with co-founder and technical expert Job Schipper, former scientific seed breeder, in seaweed farm Hortimare. Here to supply the rising demand of proteins for fish feed. Slowly there are economical and ecological opportunities appearing at the surface to replace our current resources like soya proteins and using other fish as feed.

Now via business accelerator programme Investment Ready at Impact Hub Amsterdam Hortimare has been under intense refining, unflinching discussions and critical peer-to-peer review by fellow participating social entrepreneurs and business experts. If all gets to fishy and straightforward a private coach from Boston Consultancy Group is there to be supportive, concerned but yet critical, often still as devils advocate.


“We adjusted our strategy, take more time to develop the sea-weed market and burn less money while doing this. We came out with a better vision on activities for short-term cash generation, a recalculated business model, and clear thoughts on our value creation along the business chain.”

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Hortimare to:
  • re-think their key-issues, vision and business proposition
  • coordinate and plan their go-to-market strategy after the investment phase
Enabled Hortimare to:
  • gain a deeper understanding of the value chain and Hortmare’s most effective position in the business chain
  • make well-thought trough decisions on how to create opportunities for short-term cash generation
  • grow their pitching skills
Connected Hortimare to:
  • pitch training experts
  • a group of potential impact investors
  • peers and mentors who were able to give critical feedback from their boots-on-the-ground experience

Read Reinier’s full story here:

Why we can’t live without seaweed and Hortimare





Instock puts food waste on the map in the most fun, creative, accessible and delicious way. In between a Scaling Program workshop at Impact Hub King’s Cross London and the launch of their new cookbook, co-founder Freke van Nimwegen finds some time to talk to me about their road to success.

To save at least 200.000 kilos of food every year, Instock is looking to expand its restaurant to two new locations in the Netherlands. By the end of this year at least one of these should be up and running. The foundation is in the middle of developing its product line and cookbook. ’’By giving people hands-on tips on how they can start saving food in their kitchens as well, we hope to change people’s mindset and thereby increase our impact.”


“At Instock, every single day is a new challenge that requires good coordination and focus. Because we never know which ingredients we’re going to get, we always need to improvise: what’s the menu going to look like? And how are we going to communicate the dishes on the plates? Because all the founders have their background at Albert Heijn, we are aware of their processes and line of work, and we know the people. It makes the coordination with the stores a lot easier. By participating in the programme together with other fascinating social entrepreneurs, we gained a lot of energy. The vibe during such pieces of training and events is inspiring.”

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Instock to:
  • work together with other fascinating social entrepreneurs through the Scaling Program, where they gained a lot of energy. It inspired Instock to scale in various ways.
Enabled Instock to:
  • participate in useful workbenches and programmes such as the Scaling Program that helped Instock improve their overall strategy
Connected Instock to:
  • other initiatives and social enterprises such as fellow-scaler and Impact Hub member Starters4Communities. Through Impact Hub Scaling Instock’s founders received practical advice on strategy execution, legal, financial and marketing-related topics

Read Freke’s full story here:

What’s Instock’s Recipe For Success



Italian Social Entrepreneurs Learning Journey

‘We Are Ready To Get Companies Off the Ground’

Initiated by Impact Hub Florence and the provincial government of Tuscany, this week-long immersion programme and social venture exchange is proof of how trans-local learning is possible through multi-Hub collaboration. Impact Hub Amsterdam hosted 9 Italian social entrepreneurs interested to know more about #social entrepreneurship and the creative industry. Through facilitated peer-learning and business model support, the entrepreneurs found out how Amsterdam enables social entrepreneurship and made valuable contacts.


“In this program I realized that energy comes from sharing and the best way to share is to prototype and tell your story” – Laura De Benedetto, Make Tank

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired the participants to:
  • prototype and share stories and prototype new aspects on their business
Enabled the participants to:
  • build trust, share and collaborate to achieve goals
  • improve their business model
Connected the participants to:
  • other Impact Hub’s and their members

Read the full story here:

Tuscany on the Move 2014


Providing a safe and reliable taxi service, the Kibo brand will prevent many of these accidentsKoneksie_branding_by_Studioraar-560x315

Koneksie focuses on solutions for social problems in emerging countries worldwide. In Kenya, Koneksie has developed the Kibo Brand. Kibo is a safe and reliable motorcycle taxi service that needs to replace the current unsafe boda-boda taxis. In order to establish and maintain this safe taxi transportation service, Kibo provides the motorcycle taxi drivers with a driving training, mechanical training and training in giving first aid to victims of traffic accidents. In addition, Kibo transforms motorcycle taxi drivers into successful business owners: a two-year payment program enables them to become the owners of their own motorcycle.

Right out of high school, Huib van de Grijspaarde became an entrepreneur. At the age of 29, he decided to get a degree after all. Because he felt the urge to contribute to societal problems, he chose development economics: “Just making money wasn’t that interesting to me anymore’’, he says. A few years later, Huib decided to unite his old entrepreneurial spirit with his new academic background and launched a social enterprise: Koneksie.

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Koneksie to:
  • according to Huib, being around the other social entrepreneurs at IHA is very inspiring: ‘’They’re all very passionate, positive and driven people who inspire you to keep on going, but also make being a social entrepreneur a lot of fun.’’
Enabled Koneksie to:
  • look at their business model from different perspectives
  • make their pitches really clear
  • become known among other social entrepreneurs
Connected Koneksie to:
  • peers: Huib tells us that he found the peer-reviewing element in the IRP really interesting because it helped them to gain new perspectives on his business model + to get their pitches really clear + they connected them to other social entrepreneurs
  • the Boston Consulting Group for strategic coaching


Read Huib’s full story here:




EVERYONE HAS A SKILL WORTH SHARING Michel Visser | Konnektid | Impact Hub Amsterdam

Konnektid is here to promote social inclusion, developing a skilled workforce that can respond to labour market needs and promoting lifelong learning, via an up- side-down online marketplace. Konnektid believes from their core that everything you want – and need – to learn is present within the people in your direct surroundings. So they offer a tool to access this knowledge. 


“First I was kind of a sceptic, but soon I found out the place was packed with hard-working social entrepreneurs. I learned my first steps in starting Konnektid by asking all sorts of questions to the advisors around me. As you grow so does your group of peers to engage with.”

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Konnektid to:
  • strengthen personal motivation in the face of challenges via moral and business support
  • setup new collaborations in community-building and peer support, in and outside the Impact Hub
  • enter the European Commission by bringing Konnektid as an onsite peer-connecting tool to the largest cross-Europe social entrepreneurship event, Strasbourg 2014
Enabled Konnektid to:
  •  have more visibility via our media channels (inter)nationally and on location during a key funding campaign, and on an ongoing basis to generate new participants for Konnektid via our network

  • feedback via our members (as users) and team (as community-builders) for improved functionality, at various stages of Konnektid’s platform development and enhancement

  • grow into better working facilities and access Impact Hubs in other cities; a ‘local office’ when Konnektid is abroad

Connected Konnektid to:
  • knowledge on accounting, crowdfunding, marketing and several fields via experts in our network

  • potential investors, strategic advisors and thought-leaders to learn more about the sharing economy and this unique approach to strengthening social cohesion

Read Michel’s full story here:

How Konnektid enables a lifelong learning



Lab I - Societal Renewal

Where Social Entrepreneurship and Municipal Government Meet

On November 2014 at Impact Hub Amsterdam, 30 civil servants, politicians and social entrepreneurs were brought together for a two-part innovation lab – named the Societal Renewal Lab – where a dedicated group with diverse perspectives was invited to take a deeper dive into understanding the system constraints that get in the way of collaboration around shared goals for a healthier society. We focused on the question: How can we create an enabling environment for social enterprising?

We created a space to support meaning-making and explore what it is that enables collaboration and social enterprising towards societal renewal. This initiative was made possible through collaboration withAlterra at Wageningen University, Impact Hub Amsterdam and Publieke Versnellers; it was inspired by the Borders to Cross initiative and fed into the EU FP7 project enabling the flourishing and evolution of social entrepreneurship for innovative and inclusive societies: EFESEIIS. This article is a reflection paper based on our own learning from the Lab experience, and furthered at the SI LIVE 2014 event in Lisbon which brought together leading social innovators, academics and practitioners to discuss how best to incubate and scale social innovation in Europe.


“Allow experiments, we might just surprise ourselves,”

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired the participants to:
  • connect as human beings beyond job titles and start fostering more dialogues between civil servants and social entrepreneurs to find more bridges in order to address societal challenges even better than we’re doing today
Enabled the participants to:
  • find bridges between the different worlds the participants work in to create an enabling environment for social enterprise
Connected the participants to:
  • those who hold other perspectives yet work with an intent for similar impact towards a better society

Read the full story here:

Societal Renewal: where social entrepreneurship and municipal government meet


Lab II - Societal Renewal

WHAT INTERMEDIARIES AND ENABLERS SEE EFESEIIS, Impact Hub Amsterdam, EU, Social Entrepreneur, socent

We invited a dedicated group of people who are active as enablers of social entrepreneurs. We seek diverse perspectives and to include policy-makers, financiers, civil servants, politicians, network-organisations, academics and other relevant partners that operate at a city-level. The insights generated from this workshop were used to further shape the Amsterdam Action Program on Social Entrepreneurship, and were also brought directly to the European Commission.

In this Lab we took a deep dive together to understand:

  • What enables the development of social entrepreneurship within a city? What enabling ecosystem do we need?
  • What challenges does the development of social entrepreneurship/social enterprise face at a city level?
  • How can we optimise the impact of social entrepreneurship?


“To produce new knowledge enabling the European people to fully understand the conditions under which social entrepreneurship starts, develops and can contribute effectively and efficiently to solving societal challenges in a sustainable way”

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired the participants to:
  • share their plans with each other and work toward real measurable progress in the field.
Enabled the participants to:
  • gain a deeper understanding of the challenges that social entrepreneurs face
Connected the participants to:
  • 20 enablers from a very diverse backgrounds, to understand each others role in the ecosystem

Read the full story here:

Life Tip: Let the Tool Do the Work


Lab III | Impact Investing

IMPACT INVESTOR LAB – AMSTERDAM CAPITAL WEEKAmsterdam Capital Week_Impact Investors_Impact Hub

In October 2015, we welcomed 50+ investors and entrepreneurs to meet their colleagues from the emerging impact investment field. Participants learned how and why impact investment is globally on the rise and about to set a solid foot on the ground in the Netherlands. We showcase some success stories told by both the entrepreneur and investor. We challenged all participants to meet each other in conversation.

“It’s about redesigning our corporate institutions―creating a different kind of asset class”, Pablo @dutchgroup

Building relationships with entrepreneurs to potentially invest in them is an essential part of impact investing and takes time. Having the opportunity to do that at Impact Hub makes it faster and easier and thus very valuable”, Koen van Seijen @ToniicNetwork

The Hub Effect. We..

Inspired investors to:
  • get more active in the field of impact investment. During the Amsterdam Capital Week, we showcased some success stories told by both very inspiring entrepreneurs and investors.
Enabled investors to:
  • learn how and why impact investment is globally on the rise and about to set a solid foot on the ground in the Netherlands
Connected investors to:
  • all kinds of (inter)national impact investors, partners, social entrepreneurs and start-ups

Read full stories on and by our participants here:




Om bij te dragen aan een betere wereld, houdt Mimi zich tegenwoordig als gepassioneerde changemaker bezig met duurzame energie.


“Frisse blik van buiten nodig voor helderheid en koersbepaling? Meez zet met u de bakens uit en gaat aan de slag:
een nieuwe koers varen, de juiste koers houden of veilig de haven inloodsen, Meez werkt voor u.”

The Hub Effect. We..

Inspired Meez to:
  • gain confidence in the fact that it was going to work out. ‘’The Business Model Challenge gave me the tools and focus that I needed to make Meez work.’’
Enabled Meez to:
  • gain new perspectives, networks and energies. ‘’To me Impact Hub Amsterdam is a place full of meaningful encounters, feedback and exchange.’’

Connected Meez to:

  • other like-minded social entrepreneurs, experts and networks of aid organisations

Read Mimi’s full story here:


MUD Jeans


With his social enterprise Mud Jeans, Bert van Son introduced the fashion industry to a new revolutionary idea that’s perfectly in line with the circular economy: lease a jeans.

At Mud Jeans, nothing is wasted: old jeans are being recycled or up- cycled and sold as vintage. Because of this, ever since the enterprise was launched in 2008, Mud Jeans has been able to make a massive sustainable impact on the fashion industry.

‘‘I want to become the Tesla of the fashion industry: a successful enterprise that sells a product that’s conscious, sustainable and hip at the same time.’’


‘‘Whenever I’m at Impact Hub Amsterdam, I get this major energy boost. What inspires me whenever I walk into Impact Hub Amsterdam is that people don’t think in problems: they think in possibilities.’’

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired MUD Jeans to:
Enabled MUD Jeans to:
Connected MUD Jeans to:
  • ..

Read Bert’s full story here:

Niemand maakt mij iets wijs over de kledingindustrie

MUD Jeans


Namasté Foundation

Give a woman the opportunity of her life Namaste Foundation | Impact Hub Amsterdam | #Impactmaker | Sociaal Ondernemen | Nepal 5 | Netwerk

Namasté Foundation invests in education and entrepreneurial skills for underprivileged women in Nepal. Namasté Foundation offers them a training and micro-financing. This enables them to build independently up a career for themselves, their children and the community.


‘’I am not even sure that the Namasté Foundation would be here without Impact Hub, it’s so important to have an inspiring working environment. All the people are working from the same perspective, it feels like a big family. I am not even sure that the Namasté Foundation would be here without Impact Hub Amsterdam, it’s so important to have an inspiring working environment. All the people are working from the same perspective, it feels like a big family.’’


The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Namaste Foundation to:
  • being part of the Impact Hub community and working in a breeding place of social change gave Hilde a lot of power and energy to keep moving forward
Enabled Namaste Foundation to:
  • re-assess building an social enterpris strategically and over long term sustainability
Connected Namaste Foundation to:
  • inspiring people from a whole range of different fields of expertise
  • helpful, skilled people: the video on their homepage is made by another Impact Hub member who is a documentary maker and visited their projects in Nepal

Read Hilde’s full story here:

#Impactstory: Hilde Bleijswijk | Namasté Foundation

Namasté Foundation

OECD Forum 2015

Impact Hub at OECD Forum 2015 | Investing in the future OECD Forum_Impact Hub Amsterdam_New Entrpeneurship_Sharing Economy

OECD Week, 2-4 June 2015, was organised around the theme of Investing in the Future. At the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting, French President François Hollande and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, together with Ministers from OECD and partner economies, explored the role of innovation in fostering productivity growth. They noted that new technologies and innovations were critical to boosting global growth and creating new jobs.

Impact Hub Amsterdam was represented by one of our speakers and a member, that was featured in a panel dealing with ‘Sharing Economy’ (watch screencast), we also facilitated the ‘New Entrepreneurs: Startup, Standup, Scaleup’ session which provided input for better policies in the OECD entrepreneurship policy making agenda.


Given the systemic nature of many of our socio-economic and environmental challenges, our first task at hand as entrepreneurs (and governments) is to admit that we are dealing with a level of complexity in which a multiplicity of perspectives is needed. In a values-based society, one cannot quantify everything. So how do we evaluate and report progress when societal change is non-linear?

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired the participants to:
  • think about how to best prepare economies for the next production revolution, how investing in knowledge-based capital can help reduce unemployment and inequality and why data-driven innovation matters
Enabled the participants to:
  • contribute on insights and experience that directly contributed to the OECD new entrepreneurs policy-making agenda.

Connected the participants to:

  • explore how both small business, social enterprises, and government can contribute to the sharing economy and more impact through entrepreneurship

Read the full story here:

Citizen entrepreneurship: Creating space for a more collaborative economy

Organisation for Economic Development and Co-Operation (OECD)



Know More About What You Are Buying OpenLabel | Impact Hub Amsterdam | Social Enterprise | Impact Investment | Capital Week | #Impactmaker

OpenLabel, a tech startup that hopes to replace static packaging with a socially conscious, data-rich app. Scott Kennedy is a member of Impact Hub and currently based in Amsterdam, where he finds an enthusiastic community of fellow peers and impact investors. He is also a frequent speaker, advisor, and is involved in several initiatives aimed at growing the social entrepreneurial scene forward.

By simply waving their mobile phone over any product barcode, OpenLabel lets the public access and edit a “digital label”. This label can include everything you might want to know about a product; how it was made, how healthy or sustainable it is, the politics and labour practices of the manufacturer, and even whether your friends recommend it. Best of all, the app and website are a free and open resource for all consumers and nonprofits.

In a world where consumers are increasingly demanding transparency – especially in the food and consumer goods sector – OpenLabel empowers consumers to make more responsible, more considerate decisions on which products to buy.

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired OpenLabel to:
  • Impact Hub to engage in a broader conversation about open-date for consumer products
Enabled OpenLabel to:
  • host the conversation on open-data for consumer products by collaborating with other members who relate to the topics, such as Green Insights
  • generate revenue by facilitating an event on Societal Renewal
  • gain visibility through Impact Hub’s local and global channels
  • grow his training skills by acting as an advisor for members and in several initiatives aimed at growing the social entrepreneurial scene
Connected OpenLabel to:
  • an enthusiastic community of fellow peers and data-driven entrepreneurs
  • impact investors and investment opportunities many of them have been key to the success of OpenLabel today

Read Scott’s full story here:

5 Tips On How To Be a Tech Startup For Good



A social enterprise that enables street teens in main capital cities to design and create their own authentic street wearRambler | Social Innovation | Social Enterprise | Scaling | MVO | Impact Hub Amsterdam

By engaging the teenagers in a creative program whilst at the same time offering them social guidance, Rambler both creatively inspires the youngsters and offers them a safe haven they can always return to. By doing so, they have been able to touch upon many teens lives. The founder of this innovating enterprise that’s currently expanding internationally, Carmen van der Vecht, says that Rambler couldn’t have come so far without the Impact Hub Amsterdam.


‘‘Through all the different stages, Impact Hub Amsterdam gave us the inspiration and motivation we needed to continue. Because of the support of the other Hubbers, we never felt like we did it alone.’’

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Rambler to:
  • keep on going: Because Impact Hub enabled Rambler to start off their venture, Carmen says: ‘’Because Impact Hub enabled us to pilot our programs, it gave us so much inspiration and motivation to continue. Through of the support of Impact Hub Amsterdam, we never felt like we did it alone.’’
Enabled Rambler to:
  • launch Rambler: Carmen tells me how Impact Hub Amsterdam has influenced Rambler in all the different phases they went through,
  • to launch and start the venture by letting them do the workshops every Friday at Impact Hub’s office in Amsterdam before their studio opened
Connected Rambler to:
  • people with a lot of expertise: Through Impact Hub, Carmen has met people who still coach the teams at Rambler

Read Rambler’s full story here:

How Rambler enables Amsterdam’s street teens
Impactmaker Rambler & Konnektid @The Grid Podcast


Where Art Leads reckoning-tagline2-300x110

Central to Reckoning’s core values is the belief that social non-cognitive skills are the foundations of all other types of learning. Therefore, Reckoning uses art as a means to foster other skills.  Furthermore, once an individual can reckon what’s happening inside themselves, they’re also able to become aware of and reflect upon the society around them and thereby to start making a change.

“While making art, people are often more holistic in their approach and therefore not aware of why they’re making the object the way they do. However, this does not mean that their final product isn’t a reflection of their ideas, emotions and stances in life, cause it is. By enabling youngsters to make art and reflect upon it afterwards, Reckoning enables the youngsters to become aware of their ideas, emotions, thoughts and feelings.’’

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Reckoning to:
  • participate in the BENISI-program and scale up their new program: the Mashup Academy
Enabled Reckoning to:
  • grow and innovate by bringing them into contact with useful contacts
Connected Reckoning to:
  • many interesting people, among them people who were doing a long term study in Bos and Lommer, in which they ended up doing their pilot

Read Shanaw’s full story here:


Impact Story: Shawna Snow ‘Reckoning’


A social venture that works to create a direct link between farmers and consumers kaart-Rechtstreex-445x286

It was the ongoing frustration with the current supermarket model, which is characterized by a lack of transparency, sustainability, and justice that inspired Arthur and Maarten to launch the venture in 2013. With Rechtstreex, they want to revolutionize the entire food chain. Rechtstreex not only allows customers to buy their food in an informed way, but it also puts an end to unnecessary long food miles, prevents food from getting spoiled by artificial additives and offers the farmers a fairer share for their products.

Being a member of Impact Hub Amsterdam enabled Arthur and Maarten to gain access to the knowledge, expertise and experience they needed to grow their business into the amazing venture it is today. By participating in and winning Impact Hub Amsterdam’s Investment Ready Program, Arthur and Maarten were able to gain a clearer focus and to develop a more realistic business strategy.


‘’The unique dynamic of peers, coaches and experts make the Investment Ready Program a truly unique and valuable experience.’’

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Rechstreex to:
  • focus on impact measurement as integral part of their growth
  • keep eye on the next step, to scale up after the investment phase
Enabled Rechtstreex to:
  • gain access to the knowledge, expertise and experience they needed to grow their business into the great venture it is today
  • grow their entrepreneurial skills, specifically on pitching, the investment process and needs, and marketing
  • participate in Impact Hub’s acceleration program, through this Arthur and Maarten were able to gain a clearer focus and to develop a more realistic business strategy
Connected Rechtstreex to:
  • experts, entrepreneurs, and investors with similar energies, norms and values that they can reach out to whenever it’s needed
  • a vast amount of peers, which supported the growth of Rechtstreex to several rounds of critical peer-ranking

Read Rechtstreex’s full story here:

Rechtstreex to victory

How To Turn Our Food System Into One That’s Simple, Concise and Logical?

Shake the World

Focus on Fair Trade, Employment and Job Creation, Economic Development, and Poverty Alleviation issues in the African region skaetehworld

Passionate Jop Blom founded the fair fashion bracelet Shake The World – a most surprising poverty-fighting item – which shines light on the lack of decent work and proper work conditions for African women. His initiative has become a national success, with backers for the cause including Desmond Tutu, Lilliane Ploumen and various celebrities.

“The main challenge is to deliver my purpose, currently with a zero percent marketing budget.  And to make the movement more profitable. The next phase of my journey is to adapt Shake The World to be interesting for investments and international implementation. With both profit and social outcome on the bottom line. Through Impact Hub’s scaling support and with help from the other entrepreneurs and available coaches, I can make Shake The World more interesting for the international market.”

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Shake the World to:
  • through personal motivation and experience-sharing, given our mutual resonance in brand values and commitment to advancing social business

  • new ideas on how to present a local brand narrative into new places

  • by bringing in the right vibe and energy and linking them to a great team of freelancers to work with
Enabled Shake the World to:
  • look deeper into continuity and scalability via our EU BENISI scaling program

  • customised recommendations for professional guidance and topic-based Workbench sessions to support the enterprise in improving its investment-readiness at this critical stage of growth

  • peer support locally and internationally to further its international implementation

  • develop a brand new campaign and exploring impact investment contacts
Connected Shake the World to:
  • a peer community where he could source feedback, insights, expertise and resources

  • a great team of project managers and freelance designers

Read Job’s full story here:

The Disrupters: How to scale to international markets

Shake the World



How Space Technology Reduces CO2 on Earth SKYTREE-RGB-01

Skytree ® has developed a technology that offers a highly effective way to capture CO2 directly from the air around us. Skytree can store and re-use this CO2 in countless products and applications we use every day. Skytree is working on prototypes, products, and pilots for various markets.

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Skytree to:
  • develop a new project: the tree-pot
  • keep on going: Impact Hub Amsterdam provided them with an inspiring and motivating environment full of helpful and passionate social entrepreneurs
Enabled Skytree to:
  • develop a clear cut five-year plan regarding business and in terms of social impact and thereby to develop a clear business plan
  • develop a story that portrays Skytree in a way that people understand what Skytree is about and can easily get behind it
Connected Skytree to:
  • stakeholders, (private) investors and other social entrepreneurs

Read Max’s full story here:

Giaura: How Space Technology Reduces CO2 on Earth




Starters4Communities, known as S4C, believes in a better world in which societal issues are tackled by bottom up and entrepreneurial approaches. Manon Becher founded S4C to support young professionals that are struggling to find their spot in the labor market.

After having worked in welfare and the international development sector for many years, Manon was ready for a new professional challenge. Seeing young, educated and driven people around here who couldn’t wait to start making a positive contribution to society, Manon asked herself: How could we use the enormous potential of highly educated and equipped starters with their fresh perspectives and creative solutions to make the world a better place? This resulted in the idea for S4C: a social enterprise that brings eager starters and bottom-up small neighbourhood initiatives together in such a way that both parties can mutually benefit from the collaboration.

“By enabling these people to get in touch, we hope to foster social change on an even bigger scale.” Also, S4C currently finds itself in the middle of developing a social franchise model. At the end of the summer, the first franchisees should be up and running in the Netherlands. And in one year time, S4C is looking to expand to the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. “To begin with”…

The Hub Effect. We…

  • to aim for the moon: “Impact Hub truly broadened my horizon by showing me how much is possible.”
  • to gain the knowledge, skills and thereby the confidence to set high and ambitious (though realistic) targets
  • to strategic partners, mentors and a network of fellow social entrepreneurs who S4C always found willing to share their expertise and offer their help

Read Manon’s full story here:

How Starters4Communities Embarked On the Road to Success

The Spontaneous City (SPcitI)

The Spontaneous City International SC_Cover_0

SPcitI brings a new approach to urban planning. Gert, Bernardina and their team go wherever impact is needed: ‘’We work from a felt urge, whether this urge is felt in an urban community in Sweden or in Liberia.’’, she explains. Once there, the SPcitI works with a multi-stakeholder approach. Because they want to connect citizens to their city, the SPcitI tries to involve both citizens, local entrepreneurs and students as well as big players such as the municipality, companies and other key stakeholders in the urban planning process.

During this process, a constant attention is being paid to the diverse interests and desires that the different stakeholders hold. Because of the diversity in interests, planning a project can become very complex. However, the SPcitI always tries to launch a project that all the involved parties are on board with. This collective commitment is very important to make a project succeed. After all, once the SPcitI leaves, the community has to keep up the good work themselves.

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired SPcitI to:
  • to reframe how coworking can be usefu in one’s own work to drive new city collaborations
Enabled SPcitI to:
  • create within SPcitI a sense of solidity to what they were doing in sense the social entrepreneurship ecosystem
Connected SPcitI to:
  • people with the same mentality: the other social entrepreneurs

Read Bernadina’s full story here:


Sustainable Apparel Coalition


SAC leads us into an innovative era aggregated by knowledge-based interaction, in which knowledge sharing, collective sensemaking, and collective intelligence are key. Also, by collaborating with European governmental bodies, SAC also enables positive change and actively identifies chances on how to improve the industry on a policy level.

SAC focuses on transforming the industry so that everyone can benefit from reduced risk as well as efficiency in the future. With their Higg Index, a self-assessment tool to empower brands, retailers and facilities of all sizes to measure their environmental, social and labor impacts and identify areas for improvement, SAC has been able to make a significant positive impact on the fashion industry. Today, the growing list of members of the SAC includes some of the largest global players in the apparel, footwear and home textiles industries, with names like Adidas, the Gap, and Disney joining the founding companies, Walmart and Patagonia. Pascale and the team at SAC hope to continue this growth year over year, the foundations of which were achieved in part thanks to the Impact Hub Scaling program.


“Impact Hub Scaling program helped raise us to a level of professionalism that didn’t exist previously within SAC.”

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired SAC to:
  • by hearing and sharing the experiences with other Scalers also helped us realize that our growing pains weren’t unique
  • provide to us a highly energetic and positive work environment
  • let us work in an inspiring atmosphere where the space is shared by people having a similar vision
Enabled SAC to:
  • participate in the Impact Hub Scaling program just as it was launching in Amsterdam, and they helped to build up the business case and business plan. It provided more structure, and more targets that we needed to hit.
  • properly recognize some milestones we’d achieved and in overcoming some behavioral issues. This was done through Insight/MBTI profiling and helped us recognize individual differences to our approaches to work, which greatly facilitated communication.
  • deploy our presence in Europe, by leveraging the Hub network in other European cities (London, Barcelona).
Connected SAC to:
  • the program’s external experts and consultants. Through one of these, we learned how to identify blockages and create team unity, as we were too focused on work itself and not on nurturing a team mentality.
  • industry actors (sustainable textile brands which are now working with us on some projects) and also with contractor (communication consultant)

Read SAC’s full story here:

Looks Good, Feels Good, Is Really Good: 2 steps to becoming a sustainable fashion SME

Sustainable Apparel Coalition



A water bridge for the most economically challenged Marten Susebeek_Susteq_Impact Hub Amsterdam

Susteq offers a bridge between demand from people that need reliable water access and supply by organisations that provide reliable water service. They found a solution through a mechanism that includes monitoring and a micro-payment facility. Watch here how the Susteq process works. What was most interesting is that Susteq have found that often the most economically challenged – the most bottom of the bottom-of-the-pyramid – are more likely to pay for clean drinking water than the ones economically better off, explains Marten in a recent chat. Watch Marten share what he discovered as an unmet need and why he is doing this.

Last year Susteq was selected along with 11 other growing enterprises for an intensive 3-month long investment ready program, hosted by Impact Hub Amsterdam. Sounds interesting to you? Read about the value Susteq gained by participating in the program, “The program made me look at my venture through the eyes of an investor”. Considering that 780 million people lack access to an improved water source (source: WHO/UNICEF), it’s clear we are in need of committed entrepreneurs like Susteq to grow.

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Susteq to:
  • explore possible benefits that come by the increasing amount of more Impact Hubs in Africa.
Enabled Susteq to:
  • participate and build new skils in a Workbench session.
  • by joining a group of next-level entrepreneurs Marten received bespoke scaling support through our BENISI program.
Connected Susteq to:
  • the community where Marten can be found enjoying a cup of coffee while giving and receiving useful peer support.
  • investors and partners and through the Impact Hub network was featured in several international pitch platforms such as the Unreasonable Institute.

Read Marten’s full story here:

Growing: Susteq




Power of citizen leaders who passionately fight for social justice tcbnb_logoflavicon

Takecarebnb is a professional organization that matches refugees with Dutch host families for a short period of time. Matchmakers with extensive experience in the healthcare sector make sure that a carefully matched placement is guaranteed.

Takecarebnb originated out of the belief that integration of refugees is best enhanced when people meet and interact with each other. With their entrepreneurial solution to house refugees in temporary Dutch ‘foster’ families, Maja Grcic and Reinout de Kraker demonstrate the power of citizen leaders who passionately fight for social justice. Winning Impact Hub Amsterdam’s 8th edition of the Business Model Challenge enabled this fresh start-up to develop and professionalize the venture with the support of Impact Hub’s peers and stakeholders. In the near future, Takecarebnb strives to work with local and national governments and gain sustainable sources of income.


‘‘Participation in the Business Model Challenge taught us to take on a broader perspective and create a more professional organisation.’’


The Hub Effect. We..

Inspired Takecarebnb to:
  • think regarding opportunities and be persistent and determined about the goals they set
  • connect and keep connecting with people while remaining true to yourself, motivation in difficult time
  • share their insights on how to tackle the refugee issue with other members
Enabled Takecarebnb to:
  • establish contacts with many people who in short time contributed to success stories that Takecarebnb now has to share
  • meet national and international policy makers, which led to a seat on the judging panel for the European Social Innovation Competition
  • present Takecarebnb at a number of occasions which attracted media attention and subsequently led to the expansion of their team
Connected Takecarebnb to:
  • kindred spirits, other social entrepreneurs and local and international policy makers, among them the European Commission

Read Takecarebnb’s full story here:

Takecarebnb: Creative idea for housing refugees
Hosting refugees at home (external publication via Impact Hub Amsterdam)
Maja Grcic features as jury in the European Social Innovation Competition (external appearance via Impact Hub Amsterdam)


U.Lab Transforming Business, Society, and Self

U.LAB @Impact Hub Amsterdam ulab-7min

The Presencing Institute and the Impact Hub network partnered to bring the edX / MITx course U.Lab: Transforming Business, Society, and Self to 40+ Impact Hub locations around the world.

To complement the free online ULab Impact Hub Amsterdam facilitated the offline component where over 30 participants learnt the basics of Theory U, a process for connecting to the more authentic aspects of who we are individually and collectively, and to apply it to the issues and systems that matter most to them. We invited participants to Impact Hub Amsterdam to build prototypes of the emerging future. With the guiding question: How can we help you make the impact you seek?

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired to:
  • Think about the responsibility you have towards others you interact with. “The art of listening and being present for the other is the most useful thing I learned during the U-lab. The co-dependency that you have with the others. If you show up yourself fully, they do the same. The responsibility that comes from the awareness of the kind of energy that you bring into a conversation. I had never thought about that responsibility before.’’
Enabled to:
  • Start a company that’s anchored in human understanding. ‘’During the BMC I decided that I wanted to model my services together with the other participants. I wanted to see how I could connect with them differently, blending in all of my insights from anthropology with an entirely different business framework and see what value I can offer. It was not just about starting my own thing, I didn’t want to operate without knowing if this different way of looking at the world applied to business really works.’’
Connected to:
  • Like-minded people. ‘’The ripple effect of the U.Lab is extraordinary. Not only did so many initiatives come out of the 8 weeks, but so many connections appeared, groups of people coming together to think why we are collectively creating results no one wants. The apparently calm surface of our relatively undisturbed living was stirred by connecting with a deeper sense of responsibility to contribute positively to the fast changing world.’’

Read and discover the U.Lab experience through the eyes of a participant

Stop pointing fingers of blame and turn the camera inwards

Utah (US) NL Trade Delegation

Impact Hub Amsterdam hosted the Amsterdam-Utah Trade Mission Utah trade meeting | Impact Hub Amsterdam | Scaling | Startup | Social Entrepreneur

Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert, accompanied by his Western European trade mission delegation, visited Impact Hub Amsterdam to explore opportunities for increased collaboration between Salt Lake City and Amsterdam. Tatiana Glad from Impact Hub Amsterdam and Dustin Haggett from Impact Hub Salt Lake signed a memorandum of understanding during the visit to formalize their partnership. The event was visited by Udo Kock, deputy mayor of Amsterdam.


“We see a lot of synergies as a result of our partnership with Impact Hub; so much so that we have our own dedicated space there. It is a great way for the Governer’s Office of Economic Development to interact with the innovator and entrepreneur community to help them be successful. Impact Hub also provides an important global link for these companies to take their businesses to the next level internationally.”


The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired the visitors to:
  •  take their partnership to the next level by exploring more opportunities for increased collaboration between Salt Lake City and Amsterdam
Enabled the visitors to:
  • make a bigger impact both in Salt Lake City and in Amsterdam by sharing ideas, best practices and resources around social responsibility and entrepreneurship
Connected the visitors to:
  • each other. Impact Hub Amsterdam and Impact Hub Salt Lake City have developed a participation visa program in which individuals can apply for a fellowship and spend a year in Impact Hub Amsterdam networking, pitching and cultivating their ideas and expanding businesses in Europe

Read the full story here:

Gov. Gary R. Herbert Visits Amsterdam‘s Impact Hub


Willem & Cammeraat

Startup, focused on Health and Well-being, Food and Nutrition, Sustainability issues in the Netherlands Willem-Cammeraat-geWoonboot

Professional backgrounds in the hotel and supply & logistics branches notoriously meet each other in Le Grand Croissant. Ruben Cammeraat and Willem ten Teije have come to realise their shared dream: via a mobile restaurant and food concept they show the food sector how to be more sustainable and healthy. The core of the concept is built around three strong and irreplaceable principles, from which Ruben and Willem urge large food corporations to adopt a more sustainable food practice. Impact Hub Amsterdam is excited to support such an ambition, our support system and network.

Willem and Ruben started the Business Model Challenge program while being in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign via OnePlanetCrowd. With the end of the campaign in sight (and still not being fully funded), the situation became tense.

“The greatest learning experience we encountered out of this situation came from the Business Model Challenge. This program for start-ups foremost stimulates you to give your idea and product a critical review. From that we gained a valuable lesson from the Business Model Challenge: Before you start you should actually think about how to connect your product to your market. Ask yourself, How does is it improve the lives of people, in convenience or life quality?”

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired W&C to:
  • curate their raw ideas into a well-done business model, via the Business Model Challenge
Enabled W&C to:
  • learn new skills and the capability to critically review products, and a place to test them
  • increase in efficacy and impact  i.e. with marketing approach suggestions, financial planning support, target market perspectives
  • generate financial revenue and visibility through our network by strategically inviting the team and their concept to special events; Impact Hub as a client
Connected W&C to:
  • the team in sourcing relevant others to engage in the growing and optimising of their team and market

  • people who ask us about catering option, to this reliable and tasty local social entrepreneurial team

Read Ruben’s full story here:

From idea, to startup, to growing social enterprise 

Willem & Cammeraat


As we would say in the Netherlands: ‘het gaat ze voor de wind’ cropped-Banner

After launching Windchallenge in 2009, Sander and Eline spent over 4 years developing and testing their very own wind turbine: a small, light weighted, moveable and storm proof wind turbine that is able to generate power on both on- and off-grid locations. By enabling people everywhere to generate green energy, Windchallenge doesn’t only contribute to a better environment, but it also makes people independent from the regular power network.

In addition to producing a sustainable product, Windchallenge tries to be as sustainable as possible in every step of their production, distribution and installation process.


‘’We try to use as little material as possible, all our suppliers are located in the Netherlands, for export we transport things by boat and we don’t use any cranes when we’re installing the wind turbines.’’


The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Windchallenge to:
  • change their pitch: to change the technical story to a story that was more about why they started Windchallenge Holland BV and what inspired them to launch it
Enabled Windchallenge to:
  • focus and realise what the best markets were for them to enter
  • look at their own enterprise from very different perspectives
  • look critically at their own enterprise: it helped them to question every part of it and to take nothing for granted
Connected Windchallenge to:
  • impact investors
  • the Boston Consultancy Group
  • a very nice pitch coach called David Beckett

Read Eline’s full story here:



“We believe every woman should be able to know what her tampons, pads and panty liners are made of” Yoni

In early 2015, Wendelien Hebly, along with her business partner and co-founder Mariah Mansvelt Beck, created Yoni – a brand of organic tampons, pads and panty liners.

“Working in the corporate world, I found it doesn’t really fulfill you as a person. What you’re mainly doing is filling the pockets of the board or the people above you, while you’re not able to make the decisions that you want to, based on your own principles. I was very open to setting up a business that was sustainable on its own, and even more so as being a driving force for doing something good.


At the same time, I had recently reconnected with Mariah, an old friend from university. She told me the awful story that she had begun developing cervical cancer and was advised to start using only cotton products. For myself, like most women, I had never heard or thought about the products that I had been using in such an intimate area. She biked way out of town, getting soaking wet in the process, to find one of the only places that sold such things. That’s when we started thinking: Hey, this is not right.


At the same time, as consumers, we are becoming more and more aware of everything we consume and even the clothes that we wear, along with what kind of effect that these have on ourselves and also on the environment. That’s when we found out that there are no ingredients listed on the packaging of these products. It’s crazy, when you consider that listing ingredients is required for pretty much everything else we buy.

After a few months of doing research on these feminine products outside of our normal jobs, this idea, this feeling, would not let us go. We quit our jobs and said ok, we’re doing it!”


The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired Yoni to:
  • think big. ‘’After participating in Impact Hub Scaling, we now dare to aim to make every woman aware of what her tampons, pads and panty liners are made of. We aim at making that choice as widely available as possible.’’
Enabled Yoni to:
  • reach a new level. ‘’Impact Hub Scaling gave us the tools in order to reach a new level. We’re no longer a start-up, but a scale-up because of that.’’
Connected Yoni to:
  • experts and other social entrepreneurs. ‘’During Impact Hub Scaling we were able to talk to experts in areas like tax, financing, and PR. We were even able to have a session with one of the world’s largest PR agencies. On top of this, we also found it very useful to meet other social entrepreneurs that belong to the Impact Hub.’’

Bonus story: 17 New Business Ideas for Impact | Business Model Challenge #8

17 New Business Ideas For ImpactBMC_logo_rectangle

We welcome 17 new entrepreneurs in a community of 240+ like-minded pioneers! They embark on the mission towards a sustainable business, a path walked by 124 #impactmakers that went before you since 2008. In July 2015 the participants of the 8th edition of the Business Model Challenge participants met for the first time, with their fellows and facilitators at Impact Hub Amsterdam. All share the spirit of innovation, an urge to change our current society, and see social entrepreneurship as the key asset to tackle society’s challenges of our time.

Impact Hub inspires, enables and connects Business Model Challenge participants:

We are not in this for altruistic, charitable reasons or to improve employment in Central Africa. We believe in fostering business relations on equal footing, implying we view and treat the African tailors we work with as our equals. Africa is not all bad, it’s not just war and poverty that ‘defines’ Africa, on the contrary. If we can even slightly alter the current dominant discourse on this, then part of our mission is accomplished. – Sivan Breemhaar – Afriek | winning participant BMC#6

“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.” – Trudy van Oostrum | Knowledge in a box, participant BMC #7

The Hub Effect. We…

Inspired the participants to:
  • many participants; for example Coleoptera, with new ideas how to more quickly unleash the potential of her enterprise leaving her with a clear sense on the next steps in her business and strengthened personal motivation

  • nearly 100% of the participants to continue their entrepreneurial adventure, even where their original idea was deemed not feasible – often a real look at the first idea, led to the next better one!

Enabled the participants to:
  • participants like Coleoptera with direction and a clear plan to work more efficiently and effectively on their next steps

  • a collaboration workspace for all participants during the programme, which BlokXii used to meet a valuable network of people, experts and peers

  • direct access to new clients and beneficiaries via our network, as participants enter the final stage of the programme

Connected the participants to:
  • with both national and international advisors, experts and supporters values-aligned and ready to engage with

  • with the opportunity to tap into the knowledge available in our larger Impact Hub community and network while they are part of the programme

  • our community with the powerful energy of passionate startups who bring conviction to make a difference in the world through social enterprise, often in surprising and fresh ways

Read full stories on and by our participants here:

17 New Business Ideas for Impact | Launch Business Model Challenge #8

Business Model Challenge

Equip yourself to start, grow and scale your business with the tools, knowledge and network of Impact Hub Amsterdam. Become a member now!
Impact Hub Amsterdam_logo_lores INNOVATE. START. GROW. SCALE.