The social-impact sector in the Netherlands has fostered several smart, innovative ideas: refrigerators that run 24 hours a day using only six hours of energy, mobile apps that track your daily lifestyle sustainability levels, handwoven fabrics made from recycled yarn, a marketplace that provides qualified people for immediate humanitarian aid, and much more.

What do they have in common? Their concepts come from a progressive mindset and are rooted in the Netherlands’ focus on addressing global challenges, sustainability, and climate action.

On top of that, they are all representing their smart, social initiatives at Social Capital Markets Oct. 23-26 in San Francisco.

Social entrepreneurs challenging creativity at SOCAP2018

Gerbert Kunst, Consul General of the Netherlands in San Francisco, will welcome more than 20 Dutch social enterprises and organizations next week.

“SOCAP 2018 provides a great platform to showcase the Dutch social impact revolution, and I’m certain we will make a big impact again,” Kunst said. “During this week, we aim to boost social entrepreneurship and create successful international collaborations. The San Francisco Bay Area tops the list of global startup ecosystems, and is the place where the world’s leaders in social entrepreneurship gather. This is exactly where Dutch social entrepreneurs can excel and showcase their outstanding businesses.”

Due to national awareness, local government support, and a national trade organization for social entrepreneurs (Social Enterprise NL), the success story of the social impact sector in the Netherlands continues to flourish.

According to Willemijn Verloop, co-founder of Social Enterprise NL, a strong national network for social entrepreneurs has been established in the Netherlands.

“Due to the ever-growing number of social entrepreneurs, the Dutch social-impact climate continues to improve,” said Verloop, who will represent both Social Enterprise NL and Social Impact Ventures at SOCAP 2018. “The Netherlands is a frontrunner in this field, and the collaborative ecosystem that we have created for social entrepreneurs in the past five years leads to not only a stronger social impact in the Netherlands, but also outside of it.”

This shows at the Social Capital Markets 2018 in San Francisco, where the Dutch will host a number of events.

According to Consul General Kunst, “after the successful showcase of the Dutch social impact revolution during SOCAP last year, the Netherlands feels motivated to focus on social enterprises even more. The Dutch government just announced plans to stimulate social entrepreneurship even more, another sign of how important business with impact has become in the Netherlands.”

The pillars supporting the social-impact sector

People, planet, and profit. Like a tripod, social entrepreneurship – or impact entrepreneurship – rests on these three individual pillars.

With care for the planet and its people, as well as a focus on profitability, social enterprises continue to find smart solutions for global challenges.

This was also visible during the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September. More than 50 Dutch businesses traveled to San Francisco to discuss their sustainability and climate ambitions.

An additional 40 Dutch designers contributed to the Climate Summit, which was organized by Governor Brown of California, by showcasing their creative and innovative designs at the “Clean Revolution: Dutch Design for a Better World” exhibition.

Dutch businesses and organizations joining SOCAP2018 are: Africa Clean Energy (ACE), Closing the Loop, Coolfinity, Enviu, Everless/Gyre, Future Proof Shipping, Gemeente Amsterdam, Gemeente Den Haag, Gemeente Rotterdam, GreenerU, HumanSurge, Khaloom, Makers Unite, Moyee, People’s Pension, PwC, RVO, SCOPEinsight, Social Enterprise NL, Social Impact Ventures, SweepSmart, Sycada, The SocialMedwork, Upset!, and Yapili.