Why Amsterdam Impact?

In short: Social entrepreneurship is a global trend. Amsterdam aims to be a pioneer of this movement and to this end, the City has launched Amsterdam Impact to support the business ecosystem of social entrepreneurship.

Tell me more: Amsterdam has a long history of being home to entrepreneurs that care for the city and its residents. Social entrepreneurship – doing business that creates added value for society – is an integral part of the city’s mindset. Making an impact is what it’s all about.

The combination of impact with business sense and entrepreneurship, so integral to social entrepreneurship, requires innovative partnerships. And Amsterdam has plenty of potential for this: the city is a lively and living lab, and experiments, innovations and collaborations are everywhere. Thus Amsterdam Impact is a collaborative effort with inspiring partners and events. We are working together to make an impact.

What is social entrepreneurship?

In short: Social entrepreneurs have a social mission. Their aim is making a positive impact on society. Their motto: impact first!

Tell me more: The City of Amsterdam employs the European Commission’s official definition of ‘social enterprise’ and the addendum thereto by the Dutch Social and Economic Council. According to these definitions, a social enterprise:

  1. primarily has a social objective: impact comes first;
  2. achieves that goal as an independent business providing a service or product;
  3. is financially self-sufficient, based on trade or other forms of value exchange, and therefore independent of or only partly dependent on donations or subsidies;
  4. is managed in a social manner, including the following aspects:
  • the enterprise may make a profit, but the financial objective must be to the service of the mission: increasing social impact. Profit for potential shareholders must be within reason;
  • all stakeholders must have equal say in matters of management and administration;
  • the enterprise must be fair to everyone;
  • the enterprise must be conscious of its ecological impact;
  • the enterprise must be transparent.

What is Amsterdam Impact?

In short: Amsterdam Impact is a collaborative effort. We are working together to make an impact!

Tell me more: Amsterdam wants to become the number-one city for social entrepreneurship. To this end, the City of Amsterdam has devised an action programme with six lines of action and, grouped within them, 17 measures. Amsterdam Impact is the team implementing the action programme (PDF).

What does Amsterdam Impact do, really?

In short: A lot!

Tell me more: Amsterdam Impact encourages Dutch and international social entrepreneurs to establish links with Amsterdam and helps those already here to grow or scale their impact. We have a small, hands-on team working on executing the 17 measures of our action programme. Examples of what Amsterdam Impact has been up to so far include: connecting impact entrepreneurs and capital through ecosystem meetings and investor labs, several matchmaking meetings between buyers and social enterprises, a report and pilot study looking at municipal buying policies and establishing several inspiring work spaces for social entrepreneurs. We have established international contacts, organised bootcamps and are currently working on a portal, interface, fellowship and much more.

Can Amsterdam Impact invest in my social enterprise?

In short: No, but...

Tell me more: One of the measures in the action programme details how local government can act as a launching customer for social entrepreneurs. In collaboration with the acquisitions department of the City of Amsterdam, we are currently researching the possibilities of this and developing a pilot study and a public competition at which social entrepreneurs are invited to devise innovative solutions to social issues in Amsterdam.

How can I join the Amsterdam Impact community?

In short: Come by or contact us!

Tell me more: Our partners in the ecosystem organise several events, incubators and accelerator programmes – please check our preliminary events listing to find out when and where. And if you would like to add an event yourself, please let us know!