Successful partnership between TMG & Closing the Loop

In a question-and-answer session with Paul Kok (City of Amsterdam), Willemijn Verloop (Social Enterprise NL) stressed the importance of social purchasing: “Cooperation between purchasers and social enterprises creates the change in mentality that is so badly needed.” Thirteen social entrepreneurs then pitched their products and services, and described the impact they make.

Esther Lammers (Purchasing Manager at TMG) and Joost de Kluijver (Closing the Loop) explained the partnership between their companies, which has an overall goal of combating e-waste. As this is a direct result of Socially Responsible Enterprise policy, it helps raise awareness internally. When asked whether larger organisations can simply and effectively make use of social enterprises, Niels van Buren (Swink Webservices) expressed that pilots work well in practice: “As a purchaser, you then gain insight into the company; you get to know each other, and first gain some experience. From this position, you can scale up more easily.”

When asked whether larger organisations can simply and effectively make use of social enterprises, Niels van Buren (Swink Webservices) expressed that pilots work well in practice: “As a purchaser, you then gain insight into the company; you get to know each other, and first gain some experience. From this position, you can scale up more easily.”

Schiphol Group

Denise Pronk (Corporate Responsibility, Schiphol Group) took the audience through the company’s corporate responsibility policy, which focuses firmly on developing a sustainable aerospace industry, airport and surrounding area. In human resources, Schiphol Group focuses on diversity – a policy that has already produced several concrete results for them.

Companies attending

Apart from TMG and Schiphol Group, the following purchasing companies and organisations attended the event: City of Amsterdam, COMPAREX, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, Recolo and Van der Valk Hotels.

Additionally, the following social enterprises and companies gave a pitch: B-Challenged (Dutch link), Breedweer (Dutch link), Closing the Loop, CRE8, Freud (Dutch link), KANS! Amsterdam (Dutch link), Piipol (Dutch link), Print en Pixels (Dutch link), Reflow, Shootlab, Solar Sedum (Dutch link), Swink Webservices (Dutch link) and Tuyu. During the networking, which took place after the pitches, each company made an average of 3.5 potentially valuable contacts.

Why buy from a social enterprise?

For a growing number of companies, just making a profit is no longer enough; creating social value or impact is increasingly important. One way to create impact is by purchasing from social enterprises, which are companies whose primary aim is to tackle a social problem – often by applying innovative solutions. By buying products and services from social enterprises, companies can increase their impact and contribute to solving society's challenges.

The City of Amsterdam and #BuySocialNL events

Amsterdam wants to lead the charge as a social-enterprise city by becoming involved with more social enterprises. With the Buy Social events, in partnership with Social Enterprise NL, the city aims to inspire the business community to follow suit. The events are part of the Social Entrepreneurship Action Programme 2015-2018.

Social enterprises across many sectors

The 13 social entrepreneurs that attended are only a small reflection of the growing number in the Netherlands. On the Social Enterprises NL website, you can search for many more social enterprises in 16 sectors.

To find out more about Buy Social and social purchasing, contact Social Enterprise NL's Bart Krull at [email protected].