As Impact Hub the Netherlands turns 12, we’ve decided to make some changes to unleash its higher potential. Our vision, when we started in 2008, was ambitious: a radically better world. Built by the community for the community, we set out to accomplish this radically better world by connecting the spirit of the pioneering entrepreneur with the social conscience of the activist, to impact societal issues through entrepreneurial action.
Since 2008 we have supported the start, growth and scaling of 4000+ of impact entrepreneurs, hosted 2400+ impact-focused events, provided collaborative working space for 3800+ members, and built a wider ecosystem of 10.000+ diverse impact actors in key issue areas engaging diverse people. We have worked with government to build impact ecosystems, we have worked with business to inspire innovation towards circularity, and we have worked with civil society to drive change on causes we all care about. We are so proud of that – and mostly we are proud of all of you who have engaged with us through the years with a full heart and steadfast feet on the ground. The success of Impact Hub the Netherlands to date is a tribute to all of you who keep showing up and doing the work with us.
The problem as we saw it then was the lack of support for grassroots innovators and a lack of collaboration in the many fragmented efforts to align and implement visions for a more just and sustainable society. In response, we co-created with our community of pioneers a safe space to develop those ideas and find each other in trust and in courage.
What we see now, is how the wider movement in our city and across this country has grown to support so many innovators in the various places they inhabit. We were born in 2008 as ‘The Hub’ and now ‘hub’ has become ubiquitous and has taken many forms – and we are proud to be part of driving a larger movement that embraces collaborative working for a better world. However, this past year has revealed for all of us the brokenness of our systems as well as the unyielding ambition (and resilience) of our community. The conversation has been: What more can we do? How can we respond to the new emerging needs of our wider society and business sector for a more green and fair recovery? And, how do we make impact the norm?
We still see a need for startups to have a peer community and to learn, grow, access resources and market opportunities – in fact, our entrepreneurship support programs have grown stronger than ever in 2020.
We get new requests from SMEs to help them “be ahead of the curve” and create more all-around value while accelerating positive impact – in fact, our tailored sourcing & matchmaking between impact entrepreneurs and SMEs has grown significantly over this year.
We have diverse organisations (corporates, NGOs, public sector) ask for our trusted guidance to help implement sustainability solutions in partnership with our network of pioneers locally and globally – this means our ecosystem programs have expanded to support stronger embedding of sustainable solutions in these contexts.
And, we have also – like many other small enterprises – taken a hard hit from Corona this year and have immense gratitude for the partners and community members that have stood by us and the commitment of our team to pivot, innovate and sacrifice pay so that we can stay strong and become more relevant than ever to a post-Corona recovery. So we are shifting our resources and are saying goodbye to our co-working, offices and room rentals/event organising business. Our location will continue to be a flagship space: welcoming our pioneers and partners on collaborative impact projects and services. Our community will grow beyond the Impact Hub walls with a new digital Connect membership on offer and affiliate spaces to enable this growing movement to find itself and make more visible its collective impact. We will deepen and expand our ecosystems work particularly to serve transitions towards sustainable food, circular economy, new plastics and inclusion.
With over 12 years experience, locally and globally, we continue to build communities of pioneers, entrepreneurs and leaders. And now we also ask those who are next in line to drive change: Are you an organisation ready to step up to your next level? Are you ready to walk your talk and put the Sustainable Development Goals and impact you care about into tangible action? We are here. We work with you to create mindset shifts towards impact and bring that into practice in a co-creative way. We help you to develop valuable insights, activate your first steps, source and match innovative solutions, and accelerate your impact. Join us! To accelerate the new economy, one that works for all, where impact is the norm.
A massive THANK YOU to all our community members, partners, advisors and event makers for growing up and through all the joys and challenges over the years – it’s time to make next level impact together!
A special shout out to all our coworking and office members past and present for being so much more than just a coworker – amazing projects, business collaborations and, most importantly, long-lasting friendships have been born in our Impact Hub. Many of you are already our allies in this next level impactmaking, but we know this step is not complete without a proper Hubstyle celebration – we have to hold out on the live party for now, but we invite you all to raise your coffee, wine, Carmen-beer or green smoothie and THANK YOU for showing up every day with integrity and energy, living your values though your work here at Impact Hub the Netherlands. As well as the many ways you also do so beyond our walls as a loving impactmaker on this earth. You are deeply appreciated.
Tatiana + Team
Co-founder & Director
Impact Hub the Netherlands
2 December 2020