Support local cafés, restaurants and other venues that make an impact by doing socially responsible business. Amsterdam’s impact entrepreneurs are creating positive change – whether it’s by sourcing sustainable products and closing waste loops or supporting vulnerable young people or refugees. Visiting these pioneering local businesses can help you contribute to a fairer, more sustainable world.

Eating and drinking for a cause

Dignita Hoftuin is a café serving delicious food alongside the motto ‘eat well, do good.’ This is reflected in its sourcing of mainly local and organic ingredients and in its collaboration with Not for Sale, an organisation that provides certified training programmes to victims of human trafficking. 

The Brouwerij de Prael is a brewery with two locations in Amsterdam, both staffed by people who’ve previously faced difficulties in accessing employment. You can sample the brewery’s wide range of beers and food, as well as taking a guided tour of the work floor. De Prael’s spacious restaurant in the Houthavens district is also available for hire if you’re looking for somewhere to host an event.

The De Akermolen tea house is located in an old windmill in a peaceful setting in Amsterdam’s Nieuw-West district, and is the perfect spot to take a break from the hustle of the city centre. It’s staffed by people with learning disabilities and also features an exhibition space and upstairs rooms that can be rented out for meetings or other events.

Restaurant Freud in West offers Mediterranean cuisine in a pretty, relaxed setting. The food is prepared and served by psychologically vulnerable people – as a recognised apprenticeship company, Freud provides counselling and training that supports them finding their way back into work. They also offer a catering service if you’re looking to organise an in-house lunch or drinks party.

The de Ceuvel complex describes itself as ‘a city playground’ and is home to a range of social and creative enterprises. Located in a former shipyard off the River IJ in Amsterdam Noord, it aims to encourage innovation and experimentation and make sustainability accessible and fun. There’s a café offering vegan food and CO2-free coffee at affordable prices, as well as two fully equipped meeting spaces for hire. And if you want to extend your visit, you can spend the night in one of the six traditional Dutch style houseboats that make up the Hotel Asile Flottant.

Events and meetings with a mission

If you’re planning a large-scale event or conference then check out the options available at the KIT Royal Tropical Institute. KIT offers state-of the-art conference and event facilities for up to 900 people in a beautiful, grand building that is considered one of Amsterdam’s icons. All the proceeds from these activities contribute to KIT’s work on global knowledge projects which address topics such as child labour in the cocoa sector, gender integration strategies for the agriculture sector and sexual and reproductive health and rights. The venue is also available for smaller meetings and events. You can even get married there.

Blend Amsterdam works with vulnerable young adults, offering training and work opportunities to empower and support them. Blend Amsterdam can organise and cater for meetings and events for up to 120 people in their two historic canal-side locations. This work funds new training and opportunities for young adults within the Blend Academy.

Inject some style into your event and book space at Fashion for Good in the heart of Amsterdam’s city centre. This hub for sustainability and innovation in fashion can host gatherings from five to 150 guests, ranging from presentations, screenings and dinners to smaller-scale networking and drinks events. There are also smaller meeting rooms that can be used for breakout sessions or one-to-one discussions. And make time in your schedule to check out the Fashion for Good Museum, which tells the stories behind the clothes we wear and introduces the innovations shaping the future of fashion.

Sleeping with a clear conscience

Sustainability is an increasingly important focus for Amsterdam’s hotel sector. More than half the hotel beds in the city now qualify for a Green Key Certificate - an international certification that’s awarded to companies whose sustainability practices go above and beyond the environmental policies required by law. The Conscious Hotels group, with four central city locations, is a good example of an impact enterprise working to reduce its carbon footprint across all areas of energy consumption, food, furnishings, cleaning and laundry. The hotels offer event and meeting spaces – as well as very comfortable beds for the night if you’re organising a multi-day event. Another sustainable option is Ecomama which falls somewhere between a hotel and a hostel, with both private rooms and shared dormitories available. Ecomama uses fair trade and recycled materials and an environmentally friendly water system and recycles its waste.

Grow your impact

Amsterdam Impact is the City of Amsterdam’s impact entrepreneurship programme. It focuses on strengthening the ecosystem for all impact enterprises from startups to large corporations that create both financial and social value. Why not learn more about the programme, join the ecosystem for impact entrepreneurship and ‘buy social’ to support impact enterprises.